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Another Sims set to join La Cañada High football

Football: Son of second-year Spartans coach joins dad; will look to bolster team's defensive line in final high school season.

July 10, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • La Canada High School football coach James Sims keeps an eye on his son, senior D'Andre Sims, during workout at the school's gym in La Canada Flintridge on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. The younger Sims, 6 foot 3 inches and 254 pounds, sat out one year at a school in Florida so he could play defensive end at La Canada High.
La Canada High School football coach James Sims keeps… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

A year ago, James Sims left his coaching position at Florida's Arlington Country Day in favor of a move to La Cañada High football.

This year, another Sims — D'Andre, James' son — is set to trade the sunshine state for the golden one and join the Spartans. It'll be the first time since D'Andre, 17, was 10 years old that he's played under his dad.

Hope for a father-son reunion was sparked after D'Andre visited his dad and La Cañada High in November. During the trip, James took him to La Cañada's locker and equipment rooms and showed him the new football helmets La Cañada will don in 2013.

"He picked one up and said, 'Dad, you have to reserve me one of these helmets,'" said James, who learned his son's transfer to La Cañada was officially approved two weeks ago.

"I wanted to come back and play for my dad and help [La Cañada] win some games," said D'Andre, who lifted weights at La Cañada High Tuesday.

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D'Andre, who arrived in California Friday, previously played football his sophomore year at Florida's Atlantic Coast High. After being the only sophomore on the Stingrays varsity team in 2011, the incoming senior took a break from football his junior season to take a break to focus on music.

While D'Andre's transfer has been approved by the La Cañada Unified School District, he's still going through paperwork to enroll in classes at La Cañada and be cleared by the CIF Southern Section. Until that's completed, he can't practice with the Spartans.

It wound up paving the way for an easy transition to La Cañada with CIF Southern Section transfer rules, James said.

"I didn't think it was a possibility," James said. "I thought he walked away from [football]."

When it come to picking back up the football and leaving Florida for California, La Cañada just felt right for D'Andre when he visited over Thanksgiving break.

"Seeing the city, how nice it is and the people were and the motivation out here — it's a lot better than Florida," D'Andre said. "I am looking forward to coming to a new school, getting some good grades and hopefully getting into a good college."

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, D'Andre stands to make a powerful impact for the Spartans, who are looking to rebound from a 2-8 season in 2012. La Cañada also placed fifth in the six-team Rio Hondo League a year ago with a 1-4 record.

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