PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Avocado League
Carlsbad looks to repeat after going 6-0 in league last season
Last season: 11-1
Coach: Thadd MacNeal, 17th year
Key players: Julian Sayin (QB), Finn O’Gorman (OL-DL), Will Barton (OL), Thomas Weirich (RB-LB), Cassius Murphy (DL), Zach Marshall (TE-LB), Justin Johnson (WR-DB), Justus Woods (WR-DB), Nico Arbiet (RB-LB), Luke Ferrelli (WR-DB).
Scouting report: The Lancers lost a lot from a team that went 11-1 last season. But the junior class is ready to step up. That class is 16-0 at the freshmen and JV levels. Sayin, a 5-star player, is the key. He completed 181 of 253 passes for 2,769 yards with 34 TDs and only five interceptions as a sophomore. Most of his receivers graduated, but there is a talented group ready to step up. Marshall, a transfer from Santa Fe Christian, will help the passing game. Weirich had 51 tackles a year ago, but will be asked to carry some of the offensive load. Jacob Sisson had 27 tackles last season and O’Gorman has the size to help up front on both lines. Arbiet and Woods fit the bill as strong two-way players.
Last season: 7-6
Coach: Michael Hobbs, 11th year
Key players: Tate Reid (WR), Elton Hurd (WR), Devin Cerda (RB), Zuriel Eatmon (WR-RB), Genesis Seumalo (OL), Alex Hernandez (OL), Talo Tavale (OL), Mikey Tinoisamoa (OL), Pisa Tinoisamoa (DL), Pe’a Misaalefua (OL), Ryan Seau (LB), Braden French (LB), Isaiah Dixon (DB).
Scouting report: The Wildcats are big and experienced up front with five starters returning on the OL and two more — Chance A’ano and Kaleb Tapuloa — who saw plenty of action also back. Carson Howard, last year’s JV QB, steps into the starter’s spot. Tate is a veteran WR with 38 catches for 593 yards and two TDs. The Wildcats have several sophomores who are ready to step up to the varsity. To be successful, however, El Camino’s veterans must play tough, hard-nosed football.
LA COSTA CANYON
Last season: 5-6
Coach: Sean Sovacool, 13th season
Key players: Conner Annicharico (QB), CJ Williams (WR-DB), Cooper Mau (LB), Rhoen Gurung (DB), Drew Gonzales (DB), Alex Catledge (DL), Ryan Norbohm (OL), Jake Fromme (TE), Trevor Ladd (TE), Henry Sanchez (OL), Tyler Robles (P-PK).
Scouting report: The Mavericks have been a good team on the verge of being a power for the last few years, but key injuries have crushed their hopes. If this team stays healthy, it will make some noise with 10 starters back and help coming from an 8-2 JV team. Annicharico is a three-year starter who has a quick release, is accurate and can make the big throw. Williams is a difference maker on offense, defense and special teams. The WR corps is deep and talented with Williams, Bode Estabrook, Paco Martinez and Andrew Odenweller. TE is a strength with Fromm and Ladd, who stars on the basketball team. Mau will be the MLB and is a wrestling champion and lacrosse player. LB is a strong position while Gurung and Kaden Miller anchor the secondary. Robles is a top-flight P-PK.
Last season: 8-3
Coach: Chris Hauser, 23rd year
Key players: Sawyer Knox (OL), David Leyva (OL), Henry Davis (TE), Jayden Williams (WR), Lucas Scott (WR), Santiago Salas (RB), Andy DeVine (LB), Brandon Worsley (DB), Kamron Palizan-Ellis (DB).
Scouting report: The Grizzlies are strong up front, especially on the defensive side, and have a talented group of runners and receivers. The big concern is at QB and at several other key positions where there is talent but a lack of experience. DeVine, Davis and Worsley will be two-way starters. Salas figures to get the bulk of the carries on offense. DeVine has college offers from Navy, Air Force and Northern Arizona. Davis has a load of Division II offers and is drawing Division I interest.
Last season: 4-7
Coach: Dave Rodriguez, 8th year
Key players: Roberto Garcia (OL-DL), Daniel Herrera (OL-DL), Kalani Pickett (WR-DB), Joseph Matthews (QB-DB), Sa’ne Thompson (QB-DE), Matthew Gonzales (DE), Joseph Garcia (RB-LB), Georgie Nau (RB-LB), DeMariay Vivian (WR-DB), David Porotesano (OL-DL), Julian Amador (OL-DL).
Scouting report: Talent isn’t a problem. Size certainly isn’t a problem. What the Pirates lack is experience, so the team will learn as it goes. Roberto Garcia (6-4, 315) and Herrera (6-2, 315) will be anchors on both lines. Pickett has an offer from Army and has drawn interest from UC Davis and Cal Poly. Matthews has Ivy League schools Cornell, Yale and Dartmouth calling. Vivian gives the Pirates three strong deep defenders. The coaches feel Nau has a chance to be a dynamic runner. The areas of concern are QB, WR and LB where there is a lack of experienced players. Ke’sean Goodson, who checks in at 6-4, is a big target and could be the breakout guy at WR.
Last season: 1-10
Coach: Tom Carroll, 1st year
Key players: Nolan Cummings (WR-DB), Jase Nix (WR-DB), Josh Ball (WR-DB), Jake Vorhees (TE-DE), Brian Butler (OL-DL), Chase Dersarkissian (LB), Nate Snakenborg (DE), Carter McMullen (OL), Brady Pohl (WR-DB).
Scouting report: Carroll, a longtime assistant coach and defensive coordinator, takes over as head coach and will try to turn the program around. The Knights have team speed and a skilled group of WRs, led by Cummings, Nix and Ball. Nix had 42 catches for 504 yards last season while Cummings had eigth receptions for 266 yards. All three will also play in the secondary. The DL is strong and there is good leadership at LB, led by Dersarkissian, who had 36 tackles last season. The question marks are on the OL and at QB. To be successful, the Knights must learn how to win close games, something that was a problem last season.
Last season: 6-4
Coach: Robby Collins, 1st year
Key players: Remi Beare (QB), Easton Clements (RB-DB), Dyl Friedland (RB), Andy Livingston (OL-DL), Matthew Staycer (OL), Alex Taylor (RB-LB), Nick DeFina (LB), Kade Williams (DE), Jake Zimmerman (LB), Jake Vargas (QB), Peyton Rodgers (RB-DB), Carson Kuehnert (WR-DB), Karel Novy (TE-LB).
Scouting report: Ron Gladnick has left to take over the St. Augustine program, and longtime assistant Robby Collins steps into the big chair. Beare, who threw for 1,393 yards and 15 TDs, returns at QB. Taylor (784 yards, 5.9 yards a carry), Friedland (457 yards) and Clements (368 yards) give the Falcons a trio of quality RBs. Up front, Staycer is a load at 6-3, 320. Livingston gives the team another quality man on the OL. On defense, Zimmerman had 37 tackles last season and DeFina 34. Collins is counting on Rodgers, a junior, and sophomore TE-DE Karel Novy to step up.
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