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Central Coast Football 2015

THE SEASON HAS ARRIVED Righetti’s Zach Burg, Nipomo’s Terry Wambolt, St. Joseph’s Blake Jaeckels, Lompoc’s Torey Sims and Santa Ynez’s Austin Vreeland, from left to right, will each lead their respective teams in the 2015 season, which kicks off Friday night with games around the Central Coast.


WELCOME TO THE 2015 SEASON! LCCN STAFF

Joe Bailey J BAI LEY@LE ECE NTRA LCOASTNEWS.COM‌

A2 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

‌T

he 2015 high school football season is just a few days away. We here at Lee Central Coast Newspapers are sure fans around the area are excited for the season to arrive. But we’re also certain that we are even more pumped for the season to get here. Yes, we know you all love football, but we’re confident that we like it just a bit more. We also feel that passion comes out in our work. And we’ve got some wonderful coverage planned for you all. We’ll be bringing all the scores, stats and highlights you want, from around Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, right to your fingertips. Once again we will be webcasting a game of the week online at santamariatimes.com. Anyone with an internet connection can tune in from around the world to watch our broadcasts of big-time games. We’ve been broadcasting games online for over a decade now. The sports staffs from the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record, Times Press Recorder, Adobe Press and Santa Ynez Valley News will preview every game the area teams will play. We will also cover, with live updates, game stories, video and photos, nearly every game during the regular season and playoffs. Our coverage will start quickly as there’s a solid slate of Week Zero games Friday night. The big one will be Lompoc at Arroyo Grande. As we’ve written about throughout the offseason, the Eagles ended the Braves’ season in the quarterfinals of the CIFSS Northern Division playoffs. So, obviously, that’s going to be a heated contest. The LCCN staff will be all over that game with previews, video, photos, live scoring updates and game stories. Another big Week Zero game is Pioneer Valley taking on defending CIFSS Northwest Division champion Nipomo. The Panthers play at the Titans Friday at 7 p.m. We are scheduled to webcast the opening game at Huyck Stadium in Lompoc as Cabrillo hosts Santa Maria, a contest with two teams who are very, very hungry to get the season started with a victory. St. Joseph is at Santa Fe Friday at 7 p.m. The Knights are playing host to Righetti on Sept. 4. Righetti won’t get a home game until October! The Warriors start their season with four straight road games, at Bishop Diego, St. Joseph, Simi Valley and Santa Maria. The Warriors host Lompoc on Oct. 2 for their first home game. What a brutal schedule for Righetti. Let’s see how the Warriors hold up!

Joe Bailey‌ |

Kenny Cress‌ | Sports Writer‌ kcress@leecentralcoastnews.com (805) 739-2237

Elliott Stern | Sports Editor‌ estern@leecentralcoastnews.com (805) 739-2235

Jacob Rayburn‌ | Sports Writer‌ jrayburn@leecentralcoastnews.com (805) 739-2220

Daniel Dreifuss‌ | Photographer‌ ddreifuss@leecentralcoastnews.com (805) 739-2225 | Twitter: @DDreifussSMT

Daniel Dreifuss, Staff‌

Nipomo’s Terry Wambolt, Righetti’s Zach Burg, St. Joseph’s Blake Jaeckels, Lompoc’s Torey Sims and Santa Ynez’s Austin Vreeland, from left to right, are some of the top players on the Central Coast as the 2015 season approaches.

It’s clear we’ve certainly got some promising teams here on the Central Coast, teams with CIFSS championship hopes. We’ve also got some wonderful individual players. So keep an eye out for some of the known star players and others that will have breakout seasons. Nick Kimball was our All-Area MVP last year after a breakout season with 20 touchdown receptions, although he entered 2014 as an unknown commodity. Who will be this year’s breakout stars? I can’t wait to find out. Finally, we here at Lee Central Coast Newspapers, would like to thank all the players, parents, coaches and volunteers who all work together to make the football season happen. There’s really nothing like high school football to bring communities together and here on the Central Coast we have a real special football community. We all wish everyone a healthy, fun and successful 2015 season and thanks for checking out Central Coast Football Preview!

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Righetti  Arroyo Grande 

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ST. JOSEPH HIGH SCHOOL KNIGHTS 2015 SCHEDULE AUG. 28 @ Santa Fe 7 p.m. Los Angeles.

SEPT. 4 RIGHETTI 7 p.m.

SEPT. 11 @ Sacred Heart Cathedral 7 p.m. Kezar Stadium, San Francisco

SEPT. 18 PASO ROBLES 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25 @ Arroyo Grande 7 p.m. Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

A4 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

St. Joseph may not have a lot of depth, but the Knights certainly have talent. Pictured here are key St. Joseph players Jose Garcia, Max Morris, Joe Guzman, C.J. Cole and Mateo Becerra, from left to right. Garcia is a force on the defensive line and can even make a play or two on offense when needed. Guzman is gamechanger on either side of the ball as well. And Cole is developing into one of the best playmakers on the Central Coast. BELOW: St. Joseph’s Fenton Will, Blake Jaeckels and Ben Rantz are all versatile players for St. Joseph. Rantz will likely start at linebacker and center this season for the Knights, snapping the ball to Jaeckels, who accounted for 34 total touchdowns as a junior. Jaeckels threw 24 touchdown passes and ran for 10 more. Will will play all over the field as the Knights open the season at Santa Fe Springs on Friday at 7 p.m. Kenny Cress KCRESS@LE ECE NT RA LCOASTNEWS.COM‌

S

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

t. Joseph was good enough to go 3-1 and finish a solid second to Lompoc in the Los Padres League en route to making it to the CIF Southern Section Northern Division quarterfinals last year. After that solid 2014, things figure to be looking up for the Knights in 2015. Fourth-year coach Dustin Davis has seven returning starters on offense, including senior quarterback Blake Jaeckels, an All-Los Padres League selection in 2014. Jaeckels passed for 1,956 yards and ran for 797 more

last year. Jaeckels threw for 24 touchdowns and ran for 10 in 2014. He threw for 1,965 yards and ran for 797 more. As for the St. Joseph defense, the Knights have eight starters returning, including All-PAC 5 linebacker Ben Rantz. Davis spoke as the Knights had wrapped up summer passing league competition and were about to head into fall workouts. “The passing league went well,” said Davis. “Offensively, we didn’t change too much because we have a lot of guys, including our quarterback, back. It was more fine-tuning what we already do. “Defensively, we had to adjust. We weren’t struggling, we were just trying

OCT. 2 @ Santa Maria 7 p.m.

OCT. 9 PIONEER VALLEY 7 p.m.*

OCT. 16 BYE.

OCT. 23 @ Lompoc 7 p.m.*

OCT. 30 CABRILLO 7 p.m.*

NOV. 6 @ Santa Ynez 7 p.m.* * — Los Padres League game. Home games in CAPS.


to get every nuance down. We got better and better as the passing league went on.” Big-play receiver Chris Barganier, the 2014-15 Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table Male Athlete of the Year, graduated, but Jaeckels will have some reliable targets, including C.J. Cole and Max Morris, to throw to. Cole, a junior, was an All-Los Padres League wide receiver last year. He caught 42 passes for 625 yards and six touchdowns. Morris had nine receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Besides playing at wide receiver, “Max will start at linebacker and C.J. will play at defensive back,” said Davis. “C.J. played regularly there last year.” Becerra was an All-League defensive back last year. The Knights have solid running backs in Joe Guzman and Mateo Becerra. Guzman, with 762 yards, was the team’s secondleading rusher last year, behind Jaeckels. Guzman, an All-LPL running back in 2014, is also a dangerous punt and kick returner. Both of them play in the secondary on defense. St. Joseph has several other capable two-way players, including wide receiver-defensive back

St. Joseph’s Fenton Will, Blake Jaeckels and Ben Rantz, from left to right, will help attempt to get St. Joseph back into the playoffs after they made it to the quarterfinals last season, falling to eventual finalist Newbury Park.

Projected starters Defense DL: Jose Garcia*, Steelee Morgan, Noah Lossing, Trenton Carter. LB: Ben Rantz*, Austin Adam, Justin Wong. DB: Patrick Rippy*, Mateo Becerra*, Dominic Partida, CJ Cole.

Offense OL: Steelee Morgan*, Noah Duncan, Noah Lossing, Trenton Carter. QB: Blake Jaeckels*. RB: Joe Guzman, Mateo Becerra. WR: CJ Cole*, Blaine Perry. * — Named to All-LPL Team in 2014

Patrick Rippy, offensive lineman-linebacker Jose Garcia, tight end-linebacker Fenton Will, and two-way linemen Noah Lossing, Trenton Carter and Steelee Morgan. Garcia was an AllPAC 5 defensive lineman last year. “Steelee has been on the varsity since his freshman year,” said Davis. Morgan, an AllLPL offensive lineman last season, will be a

junior this year. Will is a returning All-LPL defensive lineman. Rippy was an all-league defensive back last year. St. Joseph will have to do without several graduated all-leaguers, Lompoc has won the LPL championship the last five years, and the Braves look formidable again. As for the Knights, they will open at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 against Santa Fe in Los Angeles.

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Base offense: No huddle spread. Base defense: Odd front. Returning starters: Offense — 7. Defense — 8. Head coach: Dustin Davis, fourth season, career record 22-12, 1 PAC 7 League co-title, 2012. Top returner on offense: Blake Jaeckels, QB , 1,956 yards, 24 TDs passing, 797 yards, 10 TDs rushing in 2014.

Top returner on defense: Ben Rantz, LB, 44 solo tackles, 41 assists, 6.5 tackles for loss in 2014. Key losses: Chris Barganier, WR-DB, Zach Ginter, LB-WR, Justin Schnorf, WR, Jacob Adam, RB-LB, Jace Cochiolo, OL-DL. Top returners: Blake Jaeckels, 6-2, 195, Sr. QB; C.J. Cole, 6-1, 185, Jr. WR-DB; Ben Rantz, 6-2, 230, Sr. LB-DL. Top newcomers: n/a.

Michelle Galanski (805) 878-4150

Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A5

What to know


LOMPOC HIGH SCHOOL BRAVES 2015 SCHEDULE AUG. 28 @ Arroyo Grande 7 p.m.

SEPT. 4 NIPOMO 7 p.m.

SEPT. 11 OJAI NORDHOFF 7 p.m.

SEPT. 18 @ Morro Bay 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25 Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

Lompoc’s Richard Foster, Chris Green, Torey Sims and Toa Taua, from left to right, will power Lompoc’s explosive offense this season. Sims was named the Los Padres League’s MVP last year as he rushed for 16 touchdowns and threw for seven more. Taua is considered one of the top young players in the nation, a five-star recruit according to many scouting services. Kenny Cress KCRESS@LE ECE NT RA LCOASTNEWS.COM‌

E

A6 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

very football team suffers through injuries. Then there is what the Lompoc High School squad went through in 2014. By the time the CIF Southern Section Northern Division quarterfinal at Arroyo Grande rolled around, “We were missing eight starters, including four all-leaguers and the MVP of the Los Padres League (quarterback Torey Sims),” said sixth-year Lompoc coach Andrew Jones. “I’d never faced anything like that in all my years of coaching. “But you’re going to have that type of thing. Every year our goal is the same, to win a CIF (Southern Section divisional) championship. To do that you have to be lucky,

you have to stay healthy and you have to have great camaraderie.” Lompoc reached the top Northern Division ranking after moving up from the Northwest Division in 2014, but the injury-riddled Braves lost 28-3 in that quarterfinal at Arroyo Grande, their only loss in an 11-1 campaign. Jones will have Sims, and a host of other players, back from the 2014 squad that won the Los Padres League championship. The Braves have won the LPL title in each of Jones’ first five years at the helm. The former Lompoc quarterback graduated in 2003. Jones quarterbacked the 2002 team that won a Southern Section divisional title under veteran coach Robin Luken. Jones guided the Braves to CIFSS Northwest Division titles in 2010 and 2011. Lompoc, with a game-saving tackle by Joe Valla, edged Torrance South 20-14 in

2010 and defeated Lompoc Valley rival Cabrillo 21-0 for the title in 2011. That was the year a lot of people, including the 14-0 Braves, figured Lompoc would be the Southern California representative in the CIF Division 3 state championship game. Instead, the Braves were passed over in favor of Fresno Washington Union. Jones got a measure of satisfaction, more than a measure, actually, from his team being named the 2011 Cal High Sports Division 3 state champion based on Cal Hi’s rankings that year. “Politics kept us out,” of the Division 3 state championship game, Jones said. “People ask me what my biggest memory from sports will be. I tell them it’s going to be being screwed by politics. That’s sad, I know.” Tough defense, tough front lines and a punishing running

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE DL: Jason Ray*, Izzy Norman, Daniel Landeros. LB: Toa Taua*, Ruben Cortez, Chris Green. DB: Mark Morales*, Michael Taylor, Richard Foster.

OFFENSE OL: Alex Vega, Fred Perry, Jonathan Barragan. QB: Torey Sims*. RB: Ruben Cortez, Chris Green, Toa Taua. WR: Richard Foster*, Mark Morales. * — Named to All-LPL Team in 2014

DOS PUEBLOS 7 p.m.

OCT. 2 @ Righetti 7 p.m.

OCT. 9 BYE.

OCT. 16 SANTA YNEZ 7 p.m.*

OCT. 23 ST. JOSEPH 7 p.m.*

OCT. 30 @ Pioneer Valley 7 p.m.

NOV. 6 CABRILLO 7 p.m. * — Los Padres League game. Home games in CAPS.


WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: “I” formation. Base defense: 3-5. Returning starters: Offense — 5. Defense — 5. Head coach: Andrew Jones, sixth year, 59-6 career record, 1 Cal Hi Division 3 state championship, 2011, 2 CIF Southern Section Northwest Division championships, 2010 and 2011, 5 Los Padres League titles. Top returner on offense: Torey Sims, QB, 882 yards rushing, 16 touchdowns, 774 yards passing, 7 touchdowns in 2014. Top returner on defense: Toa Taua, LB, 10 solo tackles, 41 assists. eight tackles for loss in 2014. Key losses: Joseph Osegueda, QB-DB-WR, Darious Dunson, WR-DB, Austin Hayes, RB-DB, Ruben Venegas, WR-DB-LB, Derrick Portis, RB-DB. Top returners: Torey Sims, 6-0, 170, Sr. QB; Toa Taua, 5-10, 190, So. RB-LB; Richard Foster, 5-9, 155, Sr. WR-DB; Jason Ray, 5-7, 150, Sr. FB-DL; Mark Morales, 6-0, 150, Sr. DB.

game have been Lompoc staples. That figures to be the case again this year. Lompoc has anchors at every spot on defense, some of whom include nose guard Jason Ray, linebacker Toa Taua and defensive back Mark Morales, all returning allleaguers. Senior tackle Pedro Flores and junior center Fred Perry return to help lead the offensive line. Sims will have a bunch of capable backs to hand the ball to — when he isn’t running it himself — including Taua, Chris Green, Ruben Cortez, Cody Perry and varsity newcomer Dallas Canley, a sophomore. Oh, yes, Sims’ favorite target through the air,

breakaway all-league wide receiver Richard Foster, is back. Lompoc will open at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Arroyo Grande. Taua says the Braves will be an extremely balanced team this year, as they’ve improved a lot on offense and defense. “I think we’re a lot more sound this year on the defensive side, we’re a lot faster,,” Taua said. “I think we’re smarter, playing a lot more smarter ball this year, the defense should be pretty good. The offense, we got it pretty locked down this year, too.” Taua received his very first scholarship offer, from Washington State, during the offseason.

Lompoc’s Torey Sims, Richard Foster and Chris Green, from left to right, will be counted upon to make plays for the Braves in 2015. Sims and Foster certainly did that throughout the 2014 season, but Green is coming off a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the final half of the season.

His older brother, Ainuu Taua, is a redshirt freshman defensive lineman at UCLA. Vai Taua, the oldest Taua brother, starred at Cabrillo before going on to a record-breaking career at Nevada, playing alongside current 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Toa, the youngest Taua boy, was named a Freshman All-American by Maxpreps and various other publications, but

still feels he can get a lot better on the field, showing a bit of maturity and humility to recognize he has some faults. “I got a lot of tune-ups in there,” Taua said. “My biggest struggle right now is offense. I feel like offensive plays, I still need to get them down, we’ve got a lot more plays coming in. We’ve changed up the offense a bit and that’s my biggest struggle right now.”

Sims said the offense is really predicated on rhythm. “We’re going to go with the flow,” he said. “Whatever is needed in the game. We’re worrying about AG right now, so we’re making plays around their defense. We’re trying to get faster, we have the no-huddle this year so we’re trying to speed it up. Our speed will be a huge advantage this year.”

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Top newcomer: Dallas Canley, So. RB.

Lompoc nose guard Jason Ray, left, and defensive back/wide receiver Mark Morales are defensive leaders for the Braves this year. Morales had six interceptions for the Braves as a junior last season while Ray led the Braves in sacks with 4.5. Both were named to the AllLos Padres League team as juniors.


CABRILLO HIGH SCHOOL CONQUISTADORES Cabrillo High School quarterback J.C. Miller, left, and lineman Jake Tourtillotte will be key figures for the Conquistadores throughout the 2015 season. Miller may split time with Matt Rocha at quarterback as both try to replace the void left by standout Brett Gregory, who has graduated.

WHAT TO KNOW

Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

Base offense: Spread. Base defense: 4-3. Returning starters: Offense — 5. Defense — 6. Head coach: Don Willis, second year, 3-7 in 2014. Top returner on offense: Jalen Howard, Sr. RB. No 2014 stats available. Top returner on defense: John Splitter, Jr. DE-LB. No 2014 stats available.

Kenny Cress KCRESS@LE ECE NT RA LCOASTNEWS. COM‌

D A8 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

on Willis returns as the head football coach at the same high school he graduated from. He will start his second season as Cabrillo head coach when the Conquistadores host Santa

Maria Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. Willis is a 1991 Cabrillo grad who played professional football for the New Orleans Saints from 1995 to 1997 and the Kansas City Chiefs from 1999 to 2004. He was a Cabrillo assistant coach from 2009-2011. Willis worked with the offensive line and was the defensive coordinator. The Conquistadores reached the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division title game

in 2011, falling to Lompoc Valley rival Lompoc 21-0. The Conquistadores have fallen on harder times since then. As the Conqs work to improve their fortunes following a 3-7 2014, Willis liked some preliminary things he saw from his team this year. “I thought we started a little slow, but I thought we picked it up toward the end of the summer,” Willis said as fall workouts

approached. “Some guys who will be juniors have stepped up pretty well, they’ve done some good things in shorts and t-shirts. We’ll see how things go when we start going in pads.” The Conquistadores will have to do without strong-armed quarterback Brett Gregory. Gregory, who was a standout pitcher in baseball, graduated last spring. He was an All-Los

Key losses: Brett Gregory, QB, Steven French, WR-FS, Eugene Choi, WR-DB , Zak Morson, WR-CB. Top returners: Jalen Howard, 5-9, 185, Sr. RB-S; John Splitter, 6-1, 180, Jr. DE-LB. Top newcomer: Anthony Manahan, 6-0 1/2, 170, Jr. WR-S.

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Padres League selection at quarterback in 2014. “We’re going to miss Brett,” Willis acknowledged. “There are two guys who are in pretty good competition for the starting quarterback job, J.C. Miller who’s a junior and Matt Rocha who’s a senior. “Matt took a few snaps as Brett’s back-up last year. He also played some at wide receiver. If we were to open the season tomorrow, J.C. would be the starting quarterback. He’s been a little more consistent.” Steven French, Cabrillo’s top receiver and an All-LPL punter, graduated. French made it to the state finals in the pole vault in track. Willis said returner Jalen Howard figures to help lead the rushing game. “Actually, we have several guys who look like they’ll be capable of helping carry the rushing load,” said Willis. Newcomer Anthony Manahan figures to fit into Cabrillo’s plan at

2015 SCHEDULE

Cabrillo’s John Splitter, left, and De’Andre Sauceda will be key players for the Conquistadores this year. Sauceda and Splitter will both split time at fullback on offense. Sauceda is expected to be a cog on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker. The Conqs kick off their season at home on Friday, with a 7 p.m. game against Santa Maria.

wide receiver and safety. Willis said he has some anchors on defense, particularly returning starters John Splitter (defensive end-linebacker), Deandre Sauceda (middle linebacker) and safety Chris Glaze, and newcomer Manahan. Cabrillo figures to be

in the thick of the run for the playoffs, but the Conquistadores will have to deal with St. Joseph and Lompoc Valley rival Lompoc. Lompoc and St. Joseph finished 1-2 in the revised LPL last year, and both teams have several prominent players returning.

AUG. 28

OCT. 9

SANTA MARIA 7 p.m.

@ Santa Ynez 7 p.m.*

SEPT. 4

OCT. 16

@ Dos Pueblos 7 p.m.

PIONEER VALLEY 7 p.m.*

SEPT. 11

OCT. 23

@ Paso Robles 7 p.m.

BYE.

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE DL: Nico Davis, Nathan Wood, Giovannia Palacio, Chris Maxwell, Cameron Hudspeth. LB: John Splitter, Jalen Howard, Isaac Rich. DB: Orland Cryer, Jimmy Benavidez, Chris Glaze.

OCT. 30

SEPT. 18 BISHOP DIEGO 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25 @ Templeton 7 p.m.

OCT. 2 SAN LUIS OBISPO 7 p.m.

@ St. Joseph 7 p.m.*

NOV. 6

OFFENSE OL: Jake Tourtillotte, Nathan Wood, Isaac Burmester, Tyler Pickles, Nico Davis.

@ Lompoc 7 p.m.*

QB: JC Miller, Matt Rocha.

* — Los Padres League game.

TE: Eli Mayhew.

Home games in CAPS.

RB: Xander Robinett, Jalen Howard. WR: Sean Wood, Isaac Rich.

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Cabrillo’s Jake Tourtillotte, J.C. Miller, John Splitter and De’Andre Sauceda, from left to right, from a solid core of players for a Cabrillo team looking to improve off a 3-7 2014 season. After Friday’s game against Santa Maria, Cabrillo plays at Dos Pueblos on Sept. 4 before taking on Paso Robles on Sept. 11.

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Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A9

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A10 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

s his team prepared to start fall workouts, “We’re worlds ahead of where we were at this point last year,” fourthyear Santa Ynez coach Josh McClurg said. “We have 26 seniors this year. Last year we had 10. We have 40 varsity guys this year, and it’s a quality 40.” The Pirates went 1-9 last year. McClurg has several returnees he’s banking on in particular as the Pirates seek to improve their fortunes. Austin Vreeland, with 563 yards in receptions and 455 yards rushing, was second on the Santa Ynez team in total yardage behind since-graduated quarterback Bear Redell last year. Vreeland, a senior, is back this year. He was a 2014 All-Los Padres League running back. Connor Epley, a standout on the defensive line, is back. So is dependable RB-DB Tye Hollingsworth, a returning All-LPL running back. Two-time AllLos Padres League defensive back Daniel Gallardo returns. Gallardo plays wide receiver on offense. The Pirates also have versatile Michael McCoy. “He’s in the running for the quarterback spot along with Tanner Shean,” McClurg said in late July. “If Michael’s not the starting quarterback, he’ll be our wide receiver. “We can put him in a lot of

2015 SCHEDULE AUG. 28 @ San Luis Obispo, 7 p.m.

SEPT. 4 @ Carpinteria, 7 p.m.

SEPT. 11 DOS PUEBLOS, 7 p.m.

SEPT. 18 NIPOMO, 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25 @ Fillmore, 7 p.m. Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

Santa Ynez’s Dalton Payne, Connor Epley and Edgar Cabrera, from left right, are key members of the Pirates’ revamped team in 2015. The Pirates open up play Friday at San Luis Obispo as they hope to improve on last year’s 1-9 record. Payne and Epley were named to the All-Los Padres League team last year.

places. He plays defensive back. He’s also our punter.” McCoy is a returning all-leaguer at the latter position. McClurg likes what he sees from Gabe Prendergrast, a varsity newcomer. “Gabe’s a sophomore who got moved up to the varsity,” said McClurg. “He’s 6-foot-3, about 170, and he’s the third-fastest guy on the team.” Santa Ynez will open at San Luis Obispo at 7 p.m. Aug. 28. Vreeland says the team has

OCT. 9 CABRILLO, 7 p.m.*

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE

OCT. 16 @ Lompoc, 7 p.m.*

DL: Dalton Payne*, Ramon Lazarit, David Quiroga. LB: Travis Vreeland, Greg Fariss, Edgar Cabrera. DB: Tye Hollingsworth*, Austin Vreeland*, Daniel Gallardo*.

@ Pioneer Valley, 7 p.m.*

OFFENSE

BYE.

OL: Connor Epley*, Dalton Payne, Gustavo Zarate, Edgar Cabrera. QB: Tanner Shean, Michael McCoy*. RB: Tye Hollingsworth, Austin Vreeland*. WR: Daniel Gallardo, Gabe Prendergast.

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OCT. 2 TEMPLETON, 7 p.m.

* — Named to All-LPL Team in 2014.

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Santa Ynez’s Tye Hollingsworth said he wants the Pirates to play physical this year. We’ll see just how physical they are Friday, when the play at San Luis Obispo in the seasonopening game.

WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: Multiple sets. Base defense: Odd front, 3-4. Returning starters: Offense — 7. Defense — 9. Head coach: Josh McClurg, fourth season, 6-25 career record. Santa Ynez’s Austin Vreeland, left, and Tye Hollingsworth play similar positions, but are very different players. Vreeland, who is a running back/receiver/defensive back may be the quickest player on the Santa Ynez roster. Hollingsworth just may be the strongest player the Pirates have. Both seniors are expected to lead the Pirates on offense and defense this year.

GOOD FOOD

is focused on being physical. “I think we’re going to bring the hard-nose football to Santa Ynez, back to the old days, ‘80s and ‘90s,” he said. “Hard-nose, run-it-up-the-gut, outside runs, hard-nosed defense, we’re going to bring it back this year.” Hollingsworth also spoke about his physicality and versatility. “I can bring a lot on defense, I can cover down at corner and come up for a run stop,” the senior said. “On offense I can obviously run the ball, we’re both running backs ( he and Vreeland) and I can also play in the slot, catch a couple passes, I’m looking forward to this year, for sure.” Vreeland and Hollingsworth also talked about the quarterback position and what they’re

expecting out of either Shean or McCoy. “We’ve been working with them all summer, we’ve been trying to get that camaraderie down so they know where we’re going to be and which route, and all that timing,” Vreeland said. “I honestly don’t know who’s going to start because they’ve both been good for us in during the summer, in passing league. It’s going to be a gametime decision.” “It’s going to be a grind, for sure, from the first game to the last game,” Hollingsworth. “I don’t know who the starter is going to be, but I know Mike McCoy is very fast, great feet, athletic, throws a deep ball really well. Tanner is just the mental freak, he knows the game really

BUILDS GREAT ATHLETES

well, he’s always in the playbook, he’s studying all the time. He knows everybody’s route and he knows what he’s doing.” One thing is certain for Vreeland this year: He’ll be on the same team as his younger brother for the very first time in his life. Travis Vreeland is a sophomore linebacker for the Pirates. “It’s crazy, time flies, I can’t believe I’m a senior already, going to graduate and I’m really excited because my brother is coming up,” Austin Vreeland said. “It’s the first year I’ve played sports with him. Ever. Baseball, football, soccer, anything. So I’m really excited for that, time flies and you just gotta have fun with it and leave it all out on the field.”

Top returner on defense: Connor Epley, 35 solo tackles, 31 assists, 5.5 tackles for loss in 2014. Key losses: Bear Redell, QB, Jake Chaves, RB-LB, Jackson Valencia, OL-DL, Brett Filippin, WR-K, Justin Mortensen, OL-DL. Top returners: Austin Vreeland, 5-10, 175, Sr. RB-DB; Connor Epley, 6-1, 220, Sr. OL-DL; Tye Hollingsworth, 6-1, 185, Sr. RB-DB, Top newcomer: Gabe Pendergrast, So. WR.

Proud to support youth sports in the Santa Ynez Valley

Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A11

set some lofty goals entering the season. Vreeland hopes the 26 seniors on this year’s squad can form a bond to help them throughout the season, which shouldn’t be a problem considering many of the players have been together for years. “We can achieve anything as long as our team comes together as a family,” Vreeland said. “We set goals as a team every year, we always want to win league, of course. We have a good chance of doing that because a lot of teams lost a lot of players, a lot of linemen. We have 26 seniors, six All League (players), we’ve all been playing together for four or five years. Some of us have been playing together eights years, nine years — since YFL. Hollingsworth said this team

Top returner on offense: Austin Vreeland, RB-WR, 455 yards, four touchdowns rushing, 30 catches, 563 yards, seven touchdowns receiving in 2014.


A12 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

PIONEER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL PANTHERS

Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

Pioneer Valley’s Peter Ybarra, Cedrick Pullen, Anthony Estrada and Daniel Perez, from left to right, will lead the Panthers into Friday’s game at Nipomo, the defending CIF-SS Northwest Division champion. After Friday’s game, the Panthers host San Luis Obispo on Sept. 4. Kenny Cress KCRESS@LE ECE NT RA LCOASTNEWS.COM‌

A

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

s John Ruiz goes through his first season as Pioneer Valley’s head football coach, “It’s going to be a learning process,” he acknowledged recently. The Panthers made the playoffs under Dan Ellington last season, going out in the first round. They lost 34 seniors from that team, including all of their regulars — several of whom were

All-Los Padres League players — on the offensive and defensive lines. Ruiz was an assistant under Ellington in 2014, Ruiz’s first year with the varsity squad and Ellington’s last as Pioneer Valley coach. After five seasons as Panthers head coach, Ellington took over at Santa Maria, where he was a special education teacher last year and will teach in the special education department again this year. Though not with the varsity, Ruiz coached in the Pioneer Valley football program for seven years before taking two off. He rejoined the program

last year. Ruiz welcomes back senior Cedrick Pullen, a double threat as a running back and receiver. Pullen was having a solid 2014 early season campaign before going down in Pioneer Valley’s Sept. 19 game at Arroyo Grande with an injury. He could not return for the rest of the year. Senior quarterback Jerett Rodriquez returns. Rodriquez threw for nearly 1,000 yards last year. Ruiz has two anchors in particular on defense; senior outside linebacker Roman Garcia and senior cornerback-free safety

Anthony Estrada. The Panthers have four returning starters on offense and four returning starters on defense on their 48-man roster. “We’re going to be primarily a running team on offense,” said Ruiz. “We didn’t do much of the passing league stuff. We did the one at Arroyo Grande, and I thought our guys did OK. “We mainly went to that one to see what kind of competitive spirit the kids had.” As the 2015 fall season goes along, “As long as we’re improving week-to-week,


that’s all I ask,” said Ruiz. The Panthers will open at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28 at Nipomo. Estrada admits that the Panthers are going miss Mondo Mansera’s production at running back. Mansera had 1,801 rushing yards on 230 carries with 21 touchdowns in 2014. “Without Mansera we took a big hit, but I think that this year a lot of guys are stepping up and we’re going to go out there and show them,” Estrada said. “This offense is going to be a mix, a lot of pass, a lot of run, we’re going to run the ball and we’re going to shove it up the gut.” Pullen said the quarterback position with Rodriquez will be a

Pioneer Valley’s Cedrick Pullen, left, and Anthony Estrada are expected to provide some big plays for the Panthers on both sides of the ball this year. Pullen is a bigplay threat on offense and a sound cornerback on defense. Estrada will get some carries on offense and play defensive back.

positive for the Panthers. “I think it should be a strength because he was there last year, we should be good,” Pullen said of Rodriquez. “He knows what he needs to do.” “He’s become a big leader this year, he’s stepped up and he’s slinging the ball pretty hard,” Estrada added. Pullen will see a lot of time on either side of the ball this season, but he prefers to play with the ball in his hands. “I think my strongest position is receiver,” he said. “Get the ball in my hands and just go to work.” Estrada, on the other hand, likes to play on the defensive side, although

he’ll likely get his share of carries at running back. “I love running the ball and stuff, but I love hitting, too, I like defense,” Estrada said. As far as expectations, Pullen said it’s just about playing hard, game in and game out. “Our expectations are for every game go out there and compete so we’ll have a good season,” Pullen said. “That’s a big thing right there, compete every game.” Estrada was a bit more specific in his expectations. “Winning record, for sure,” he said. “You always hope to win every game, so we’re going to go out and play, game-by-game.”

WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: Spread. Base defense: “30” Returning starters: Offense — 4. Defense — 4. Head coach: John Ruiz, first year. Top returner on offense: Jerett Rodriquez, QB, 973 yards passing, four touchdowns, 180 yards rushing in 2014. Top returner on defense: Roman Garcia, ILB, 29 solo tackles, 38 assists, one tackle for loss in 2014.

Key losses: Mondo Mansera, RB, Dyriece Tell, OL-DL, Bryan Gonzalez, LB, Gabriel Garcia, LB, Andrew Prado, WR-QB-CB. Top returners: Cedrick Pullen, 5-7, 145, Sr. RB; Jerett Rodriquez , 5-9, 155, Sr. QB; Roman Garcia, 5-9, 145, Sr. ILB; Anthony Estrada, 5-11, 155, Sr. CB-FS. Top newcomer: Isaac Renteria, Jr., 6-0, 150, WR.

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE DL: Edson Sierra*, Daniel Perez, Eddie Osuna. LB: Roman Garcia, Jose Garcia, Leo Estrella. DB: Anthony Estrada*, Cedrick Pullen.

OFFENSE

AUG. 28 @ Nipomo 7 p.m.

SEPT. 4 SAN LUIS OBISPO 7 p.m.

SEPT. 11 BYE.

SEPT. 18 ARROYO GRANDE 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25 SANTA MARIA 7 p.m.

OCT. 2 @ Atascadero 7 p.m.

OCT. 9 @ St. Joseph 7 p.m.*

OCT. 16

QB: Jerett Rodriguez*.

@ Cabrillo 7 p.m.*

RB: Anthony Estrada.

OCT. 23

WR: Cedrick Pullen, Daniel Young.

SANTA YNEZ 7 p.m.*

* — Named to All-LPL in 2014.

OCT. 30 LOMPOC 7 p.m.*

NOV. 6 @ Righetti 7 p.m. * — Los Padres League game. Home games in CAPS.

Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A13

OL: Peter Ybarra*, Manuel Rolon, Christian Ayala.

2015 SCHEDULE


RIGHETTI HIGH SCHOOL WARRIORS 2015 SCHEDULE AUG. 28 @ Bishop Diego, Santa Barbara City College, 7:30 p.m.

SEPT. 4 @ St. Joseph 7 p.m.

SEPT. 11 @ Simi Valley 7 p.m.

SEPT. 18 @ Santa Maria 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25 BYE.

OCT. 2 LOMPOC 7 p.m. Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

A14 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

Righetti’s Troy Artopoeus, Seth Ollice and Zach Burg, from left to right, will contribute all over the field for the Warriors in 2015. Burg will play linebacker, on the defensive line and some on offense. Artopoeus played tight end mostly last year but will play as receiver this year. Ollice is a dominant player on either the defensive or offensive line, from the tight end position. Kenny Cress KCRESS@LEECENTRALCOASTNEWS.COM‌

R

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

ighetti’s football team made it to the playoffs in 2014 under second-year coach Ed Herrmann, falling in the opening round to powerhouse Newbury Park. The Warriors went 4-7 overall last year, but their regular season was good enough to get a playoff bid. They will have experience and they will have numbers in 2015 as they go after another trip to the post-season. “We have 18 seniors and we have about 50 players on the varsity,” said Herrmann. “We did pretty good in the summer

passing league. We did better on defense. We made quite a few interceptions.” Herrmann said, “Our defense is ahead of our offense. On offense, we’re trying to get our timing down between our quarterback and our receivers.” Righetti’s starting quarterback in 2014, Conor Regan, and its leading receiver, All-PAC 5 League selectee Steven Spadarotto, graduated. Spadarotto hauled in 69 passes, and racked up 1,002 yards and eight touchdowns in receptions last season. Deandre Thomas will be back. The senior amassed 464 yards rushing and 252 more yards in kick returns last year despite playing in just six games. He went down with an injury in Righetti’s

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE DL: Seth Ollice*, Antonio Ramirez, Joseph Paquet, Patrick Barnnon. LB: Matthew Navarro, Zach Burg*, Mitchell Silva, Johnuel Laron. DB: Jacob Gonzales, Joey Garcia, Greg Lewis.

OFFENSE

OCT. 9 @ San Luis Obispo 7 p.m.*

OCT. 16 ATASCADERO 7 p.m.*

OCT. 23 ARROYO GRANDE 7 p.m.*

OCT. 30 @ Paso Robles 7 p.m.*

OL: Antonio Ramirez, Jordan Gutierrez, Jacob Rothanzl, Justin Koekebakker. QB: Manuel Bucio, Greg Lewis. RB: Deandre Thomas, DJ Freitas. TE: Seth Ollice. WR: Troy Artopoeus, Nick Diaz.

* — PAC 5 League game.

* — Named to All-PAC 5 League in 2014.

Home games in CAPS.

NOV. 6 PIONEER VALLEY 7 p.m.


What to know Base offense: Power “I”. Base defense: 4-4. Returning starters: Offense — 6. Defense — 5. Head coach: Ed Herrmann, third season, 9-13 career record. Top returner on offense: Deandre Thomas, RB, 464 yards, 6 TDs in 2014. Also 252 yards in kick returns. Thomas played in just six games because of an injury. Top returner on defense: Seth Ollice, DE. No 2014 stats available.

Key losses: Eli Wilkinson, SS-RB-KR, Andy Cooper, RB-KR, Jordan Pollard, P-K-LB, Conor Regan, QB, Steven Spadarotto, WR-DB-PR, Jeff May, C. Top returners: Troy Artopoeus, 6-5, 220, Sr. TE-WR; Antonio Ramirez, 6-0, 285, Sr. C-DL; Nick Diaz, Sr. 5-10, 175, WR-DB; Zach Burg, 6-0, 215, Sr. FB-LB; Seth Ollice, 6-2, 215, Sr.TE-DE. Top newcomers: Manuel Bucio, SR, QB; Greg Lewis, JR, QB

first PAC 5 League game, against Atascadero and was out for the rest of the season. Herrmann is counting on senior D.J. Freitas to help with the rushing load. As far as who will step in to replace Regan, “We have two guys competing, Greg Lewis and Manuel Bucio,” Herrmann said just before the start of Righetti fall practices. “Greg has mostly played with the JVs. Manuel was a baseball player last year. He played football as a sophomore. He did not play football last year.” The Warriors have several returning anchors on defense, among them All-League defensive end Seth Ollice, fellow defensive end Joseph Paquet, linebacker Zach Burg, lineman Antonio Ramirez and defensive back Nick Diaz. Righetti will start its season with four straight road games, including the Week One game at St. Joseph on Friday, Sept. 4. It doesn’t matter what either team does in Week Zero, Righetti receiver Troy Artopoeus said, anything could

Burg and Artopoeus are both being recruited by national programs, either at the FBS or FCS levels. Artopoeus has taken visits to Miami, Notre Dame, UCLA, Northern Arizona, Boise State, Arizona State and has another scheduled with Cal Poly. “All of them are great options, all of them are amazing schools,” Artopoeus said. “I really enjoyed all the campuses, the football programs are good. I’m trying to do my best in my senior year to end up at one of those schools.” The 6-foot-3, 220 pound Artopoeus sees himself playing tight end at the next level. “It’s definitely tight end, the only reason I’m playing the ‘X’ this year is personnel-wise, I’m the only returning

receiver,” Artopoeus said. “Everybody is talking to me about tight end, but they also said playing ‘X’ this year won’t hurt me. I’m just going to enjoy my senior year and hope for the best.” As for Burg, Dartmouth, Princeton, Cornell and Brown have all checked in on the defensive and offensive force. Burg says he expects to make the biggest impact on defense this year for Righetti. “I might move from rushing the passer to maybe when we go against the more runheavy teams I’ll drop back to linebacker,” Burg said. “On offense I line up in the slot on certain plays and come back down to play the quick guard. It’s just really wherever they need me to help the team.”

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Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A15

Righetti senior Zach Burg has gained the attention of a number of Ivy League schools. Dartmouth, Brown, Cornell and Princeton have all checked in on the verstatile player who can make plays on either side of the field for the Warriors.

happen in the matchup with the Warriors and the Knights. “With all these rivalry games around this area, it’s always a toss-up, no matter if one team is 0-9 and the other is 9-0,” Artopoeus said. “It’s going to be neck-andneck the entire way, all bets are off and it’s going to be a close game.” Burg said the expectations for this team aren’t just about league wins or titles. “Every year the goal is to win a championship,” he said. “But I think we’re more trying to put the focus away from titles. The goal is to constantly get better. Maybe in the past we’ve kind of had a tendency to let up throughout the season a little bit and kind of drop off. We just want to keep getting better week-byweek.”


ARROYO GRANDE HIGH SCHOOL EAGLES Kenny Cress

2015 SCHEDULE

KCRESS@LE ECE NTRA LCOASTNEWS.COM‌

AUG. 28

T

A16 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

here isn’t much Tom Goossen hasn’t seen as a football coach. “I’ve been coaching football for 43 years,” Goossen said as he was about to start his ninth year as Arroyo Grande head football coach. Goossen was a long-time assistant in the Arroyo Grande program to Jon Huss. He took over as head coach after Huss retired in 2006. “I first started coaching football when I was 17,” Goossen said. “When I went to Notre Dame Sherman Oaks I helped coach the freshman team there when I was a senior, just before I turned 18. “Then I went over to Glendale Hoover and coached the linebackers.” Goossen has seen several offensive formations come and go as the dominant ones and now, “It seems like we’re almost back to the single wing, with the quarterback more as a running back. Nothing much in football is new; it just gets recycled.” One thing that has likely stood out for Goossen has nothing to do with what happens between the sidelines on the gridiron but was probably noticed by many; the Eagles landed the top pre-season ranking in the CIF Southern Section’s Northern Division, according to MaxPreps. Sawyer May was a steady sophomore quarterback for the Eagles during a 2014 in which the Eagles earned a PAC 5 League cochampionship and finished 10-3 overall. The Eagles went out in the Northern Division semifinals. May didn’t run much that year, but he did throw for 2,134 yards. The Eagles have anchors everywhere on the field. The bulk of their solid offensive and defensive lines returns. So does standout senior running back-receiver-return man Alex Cecchi. Bradley Mickey racked up 918 all-purpose yards last year as a wide receiver-running back. He was also the PAC 5’s Defensive Back of the Year last season. Mickey picked off 10 passes last year, and returned two interceptions for scores in Arroyo Grande’s Northern Division semifinal loss to eventual division champion Paso Robles.

LOMPOC, 7 p.m.

SEPT. 4 @Bakersfield Independence, 7 p.m.

Frank Cowan, Contributor‌

Arroyo Grande’s Benny Willkomm, Josh Day and Joey De La Rosa will help lead an Arroyo Grande team that went 10-3 last season and made the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. The Eagles start their 2015 campaign Friday night against Lompoc.

Hard-running fullback Joey De La Rosa also returns. The six-foot, 225-pound senior was a go-to guy for the Eagles when they needed yardage in clutch situations last year. Cecchi and De La Rosa were both All-League in 2014. Arroyo Grande’s passing game took a hit. Jack Hogeboom, a breakaway wide receiver for the Eagles as a sophomore last year, will not return. His father, former Lucia Mar Unified School District Superintendent Jim Hogeboom, left to take a similar job in Northern California. “I said to Jack, ‘It’s fine if your father leaves, but do you have to go too?,’” Goossen quipped. Returning All-PAC 5 League defensive back Benny Willkomm figures to help lead the secondary. Willkomm is a 5-7, 135-pound senior. Senior Cole Cunningham, a 6-0, 198-pound defensive lineman who figures to help lead the Arroyo Grande defensive front, returns as well. The Eagles will have to contend with 2014 PAC 5 co-champs Paso Robles and Atascadero. Paso Robles is second in the Northern Division pre-season rankings. Atascadero is fifth. Among others, Paso Robles has prolific senior quarterback Justin Davis and junior running back Christian Erickson back. Davis threw for 2,619 yards and 32 touchdowns last year for a Paso Robles team that beat Newbury Park 13-10 for the Northern

PROJECTED STARTERS

Base defense: Stack.

CAMARILLO,

Returning starters: Offense — 7. Defense — 8.

7 p.m.

SEPT. 18 @Pioneer Valley, 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25 ST. JOSEPH,

DEFENSE

7 p.m.

OCT. 2 @Nipomo, 7 p.m.

OCT. 9

DB: Benny Willkomm**, Alex Cecchi**, Bradley Mickey**.

PASO ROBLES,

OFFENSE

7 p.m.*

OL: Josh Day** Josh Domako*, Sebastian Holtschulte*, Isaiah White**, Caleb White, Brandon DeLong*.

OCT. 16

TE: Jonah Collette*, Josh Alton. QB: Sawyer May**. RB: Joey De La Rosa**, Alex Cecchi**, Jeremiah Wright*, Matt Sill* .

BYE.

OCT. 23 @Righetti, 7 p.m.*

WR: Bradley Mickey**

OCT. 30

* – Played varsity in 2014.

@Atascadero,

** — Named to All-PAC 5 League in 2014

7 p.m.*

NOV. 6 Division title last year. Erickson, despite missing the Bearcats’ last six games with an injury, ran for 1,377 yards and 16 touchdowns. Erickson rushed for 100 yards or more in all but one of the nine games he played in.

Base offense: Spread.

SEPT. 11

DL: Daniel Shiraishi*, Isaiah White*, Cole Cunningham**. LB: Sam Ness*, Kevin Lewis*, Joey De La Rosa*, Jack Ventura*, Matt Sill*, Landon Carter*, Ricky Amezcua*.

WHAT TO KNOW

SAN LUIS OBISPO 7 p.m.* * — PAC 5 League game. Home games in CAPS.

Head coach: Tom Goossen, 9th year, 52-31 career record, 1 CIF-SS Western Division championship, 2011, 1 PAC 7 League title, 2011, 1 co-PAC 7 championship, 2012, 1 tri-PAC 5 championship, 2014. Top returner on offense: Bradley Mickey, WR, 53 catches, 582 yards, 5 touchdowns, 45 rushes for 336 yards, 2 touchdowns in 2014. Top returner on defense: Cole Cunningham, DL, 45 solo tackles, 37 assists, nine tackles for loss in 2014. Key losses: Cole Ramey, K-P, Ryan Teixeira, LB, Jordan Harrigan, RB-DB, Thomas Fuentez, LB, Jack Hogeboom, WR. Top returners: Bradley Mickey, 5-10, 170, Sr. WR-RB-DB; Josh Day, 6-1, 250, Sr. OL; Cole Cunningham, 6-1, 210, OL. Top newcomers: Josh Alton, TE, Caleb White, DL.


NIPOMO HIGH SCHOOL TITANS WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: Pro set, spread. Base defense: 4-2. Returning starters: Offense — 4. Defense — 7. Head coach: Tony Dodge, first year. Top returner on offense: Ely-jah Pu’a, C. Top returner on defense: Terry Wambolt, MLB, 54 solo tackles, 116 assists, eight tackles for loss in 2014. Key losses: Brandon Hettenhouser, WR, Matt Albright, QB, Nick Kimball, WR-CB-K, Chris Owens, RB, Peyton Witcher, FS.

Top newcomers: n/a.

Daniel Dreifuss, Staff‌

Nipomo’s David Leon, Ely-jah Pu’a, Terry Wambolt and Clemente Ramsical, from left to right, are some of the players Nipomo will look to coming off a historic 2014 season. The Titans went 10-4 and won the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division title last year, the school’s very first CIF title in any sport.

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE DL: David Leon, Andrew Hutchison, Nathan Cruz. LB: Terry Wambolt*, Clemente Ramiscal*. DB: Jimmy Pineo*, Spencer Pool, Michael Jordan, Jett Rugg.

OFFENSE OL: Ely-jah Pu’a*, Robert Moran, Andrew Hutchison. QB: Rick Gaussoin, Gavin Hall. RB: Antonio Navarro, Michael Jordan. WR: Jimmy Pineo, Jett Rugg, Lukas Kolesar. Coach Tony Dodge

* — Named to All-Northern League in 2014.

Kenny Cress KC R ESS @ LE EC E N T R A LCOAST N EWS.CO M‌

N

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

ipomo High School football was a community happening in 2014. Excitement about the team kept growing, and finally Nipomo capped a 10-4 season under veteran coach Russ Edwards with a 22-19 win over Redlands Arrowhead Christian in front of a packed house at Nipomo for the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division championship. That team became the first Nipomo squad to earn a CIF championship. Firstyear head coach Tony Dodge is likely already dealing with a lot of excitement

surrounding his 2015 squad. The Titans are top-ranked in the preseason Northwest Division rankings even though every member of the starting backfield, as well as the prolific receiving corps, from the 2014 team graduated. “We have four offensive starters returning,” said Dodge. Edwards, who is Nipomo’s athletic director, remains with the football team. He is the offensive coordinator. Nipomo will stick with the spread formation the Titans used on offense last year. Dodge was in on the fun big time in 2014 when, before they won the divisional championship, the Titans earned a threeway share of the Northern League title with Morro Bay and Templeton. “I was See NIPOMO, 18

Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A17

Top returners: Ely-jah Pu’a, 5-11, 270, Sr. C-NG; Terry Wambolt, 5-8, 140, Sr. MLB; Jimmy Pineo, 6-4, 180, Jr. WR-DB; David Leon, 6-0, 240, Sr. FB-DL.


2015 SCHEDULE AUG. 28

OCT. 9

PIONEER VALLEY 7 p.m.

@ Morro Bay 7 p.m.*

SEPT. 4 @ Lompoc 7 p.m.

SEPT. 11 @ Carpinteria 7 p.m.

SEPT. 18 @ Santa Ynez 7 p.m.

SEPT. 25

OCT. 16 SANTA MARIA 7 p.m.*

OCT. 23 MISSION PREP 7 p.m.*

OCT. 30 @ Templeton 7 p.m.*

ATASCADERO 7 p.m.

NOV. 6

OCT. 2

* — Northern League game.

ARROYO GRANDE 7 p.m.

BYE.

Home games in CAPS.

Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

Nipomo’s David Leon, Terry Wambolt and Clemente Ramiscal figure to be playmakers on Nipomo’s defense in 2015. Wambolt had a record-breaking junior season for the Titans in 2014, finishing the year with a school record 170 total tackles, helping the Titans win the Northwest Division title with a win over Arrowhead Christian on Dec. 6, 2014.

A18 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

Nipomo From Page 17

the associate head coach and defensive coordinator,” Dodge said. “I was an assistant coach for two years,” before becoming the head coach at Nipomo, Dodge said. “I was the defensive coordinator in 2012. I took the year off in 2013 because of my first child.” Dodge began his coaching career in Orange County, first at Fountain Valley High School, and then at Golden West College.

From there, Dodge went to Corona del Mar and Garden Grove. He was the defensive coordinator at both high schools. This year, Dodge’cupboard on defense is more full than it is on offense. “We have seven starters back on defense,” said Dodge. One of them is dynamic middle linebacker Terry Wambolt. Listed at 140 pounds in the Nipomo game program last year, Wambolt made 54 solo tackles, was in on 116 more and earned All-Northern League recognition. Dodge also welcomed

back Jimmy Pineo. He was an All-Northern League and All-San Luis Obispo County selection as a sophomore defensive back last year. Linebacker-defensive back Clemente Ramiscal made some timely interceptions for the Titans last season. He returns. So does David Leon, who Dodge is counting on to help anchor the defensive line and help with the rushing load at fullback. “We have several guys who we think are capable of stepping in at fullback to give David a break,” said Dodge. Dodge and the rest

of the Titans’ contingent bid a fond farewell to quarterback Matt Albright and his dynamic receiving corps, which included Lee Central Coast Newspapers All-Area MVP Nick Kimball, at graduation. Gavin Hall, Albright’s backup last year, will have the role of trying to help fill the considerable void left by Albright’s departure, Dodge said. Albright threw for 3,024 yards and 33 touchdowns last year. Nipomo will host Pioneer Valley Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. in its season opener.

Nipomo’s Terry Wambolt, left, and Clemente Ramsical are expected to be big-time playmakers for the Titans’ defense in 2015. Both were named to the All-Los Padres League team last year. Wambolt led the area in tackles in his junior season with 170.


SANTA MARIA HIGH SCHOOL SAINTS WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: Multiple sets Base defense: 4-3. Returning starters: Offense — 6. Defense — 6. Head coach: Dan Ellington, first year. Previous five years at Pioneer Valley, 17-34 career record. Top returner on offense: Isaiah Bernal, QB. No 2014 stats available. Top returner on defense: James Wellington, DE. No 2014 stats available. Key losses: Juan Jiminez, FB, Dominique Garrett,

Kenny Cress KCRESS@LEECENTRALCOASTNEWS.COM‌

Francisco Villa, OL, David Lopez, DL, Eric Tadeo, DB. Top returners: Isaiah Bernal, 5-11, 180, Sr. QB; James Wellington, 6-1, 240 Jr. TE-DE; Luis Villa, Sr, OL-LB, 5-10, 205. Top newcomer: Raymond Santillan Sr., RB-DB.

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SEASON OUTLOOK‌

fter five years at the helm of the Pioneer Valley football team, Dan Ellington is coaching across town. Ellington’s first year as Santa Maria football coach gets underway at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 when the Saints play their season opener at Cabrillo. As for how it will feel as he sets foot on the visitor’s sideline when Santa Maria plays at Pioneer Valley Sept. 25, “It’s crossed my mind a few times,” Ellington said. “I’m sure I’ll get over it by kickoff. I coached at Righetti for eight years, from 1988-95, before I moved out

of town (and coached four years at Concord High School before moving back to the Santa Maria Valley), and I was coaching at Pioneer Valley when we played Righetti for the first time.” Ellington said he was a head freshman and junior varsity coach, and an assistant varsity coach, in the Righetti fooball program. He takes over a Santa Maria team that was 1-9 each of the last two years under Gabe Espinoza during Espinoza’s two-year stint as coach but seemed to be heading in the right direction then. Pioneer Valley made it to the post-season in 2014, the Panthers’ lone playoff appearance under See SAINTS, 20

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE DL: Oscar Gonzales*, Riccardo Elena*, Jonathan Evangelista*, Oscar Gonzalez*. LB: Luis Villa*, Jesus Pacheco*, Ricky Mendoza*. DB: Isaiah Garcia*, Robert Gomez*, Juan Contreras*, Raymond Santillan.

OFFENSE OL: Jonathon Garcia*, Luis Villa*, Miguel Ayala*, Jose Ramirez*, Elijah Fisher*. QB: Isaiah Bernal*. RB: Joseph Maycott*, Raymond Santillan. WR: Diego De La Cruz*, Angel Esparza*, James Wellington*. * — Played varsity in 2014.

Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A19

QB-WR-DB,

Daniel Dreifuss, Staff‌

Santa Maria’s Luis Villa, Juan Contrera, James Wellington, back row, left to right, and Raymond Santillan (58) will try to turn the Saints in the right direction as they enter their second year of play in the Northern League. Wellington has proven to be a weapon from the tight end position and will help new quarterback Isaiah Bernal move the Santa Maria offense down the field.


Saints

A20 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

From Page 19

Ellington. Pioneer Valley went out in the first round. The Panthers just missed qualifying for the post-season in 2011. Ellington began his second year as a special education teacher at Santa Maria when school resumed for the fall semester. His biggest concern for his first Santa Maria team is numbers. “We have 38 guys on the varsity,” Ellington said when he spoke recently. “I would like us to be in the mid 40’s.” No more varsity players would mean “we have to be injury-free the entire year, and that’s hard to do,” said Ellington. “That’s where we’re at, unfortunately.” Luis Villa and James Wellington are particularly solid returnees Ellington has. Villa has been a productive offensive tackle and middle linebacker. Wellington, a big-play threat as well as a formidable blocker, was an All-Northern League tight end in 2014. He is also a standout at defensive end. Santa Maria will have to do without graduated all-league fullback Juan Jiminez. As for his new team’s size up front, “As far as the teams in our league, we match up in size,” Ellington said. “If we stay healthy, size-wise we’ll be fine.” Santa Maria will again play in the revised Northern League, which debuted last year. Northern League member Nipomo won the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division championship in 2014. Nipomo, Morro Bay and Templeton shared the league championship last year. Defending champion Nipomo and Morro Bay are 1-2 in the pre-season CIF Southern Section Northwest Division rankings. Graduation hit the Titans hard in the offensive skill positions. They lost all of their 2014 starters there. Morro Bay has just three offensive starters and one defensive starter returning, although the incumbent at quarterback, senior Isaac Manuputy, is back. Templeton, which is rated ninth in the preseason divisional rankings, has 10 defensive starters back.

2015 schedule Aug. 28

Oct. 9

@ Cabrillo 7 p.m.

BYE.

Sept. 4 SANTA BARBARA 7 p.m.

Sept. 11 BYE.

Sept. 18 RIGHETTI 7 p.m.

Sept. 25 @ Pioneer Valley 7 p.m.

Oct. 2 ST. JOSEPH 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 @ Nipomo 7 p.m.*

Oct. 23 MORRO BAY 7 p.m.*

Oct. 30 MISSION PREP 7 p.m.*

Nov. 6 @ Templeton 7 p.m.*

Santa Maria senior Luis Villa is determined to get the Saints headed in the right direction this year. The Saints open the season Friday with a game at Cabrillo at 7 p.m. Daniel Dreifuss photos, Staff‌

* — Northern League game. Home games in CAPS.

Santa Maria’s Raymond Santillan will likely garner some carries out of the backfield for the Saints this season. Santa Maria plays Cabrillo Friday in a non-league game, then hosts Santa Barbara on Sept. 4 and Righetti on Sept. 11. The Saints’ first Northern League game is at Nipomo on Oct. 16.


ORCUTT ACADEMY SPARTANS Kenny Cress KCRESS @L EEC ENTRALCOASTN EWS. COM‌

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SEASON OUTLOOK‌

2015 SCHEDULE AUG. 28 @ Fresno Christian, 7 p.m.

SEPT. 4 PALOS VERDES PENINSULA CHADWICK, 7 p.m. at Pioneer Valley.

SEPT. 12 @ Alpaugh, 2 p.m.

SEPT. 25 COAST UNION, 7 p.m. at Santa Maria.

OCT. 3 CATE, 7 p.m. at Pioneer Valley.

OCT. 10 @ Ojai Villanova Prep 2 p.m.

OCT. 17 @ Laguna Blanca, 2 p.m.

OCT. 30 OJAI THACHER, 7 p.m. at Righetti. Freelance schedule.

Frank Cowan, Contributor‌

Orcutt Academy’s Isaiah Oropeza, Alex Andrade, Darin Miller and Javier Sanchez, from left to right, helped the Spartans go 8-3 in the 2014 season. They’re back for the 2015 season, which the 8-man Spartans begin with a game at Fresno Christian on Friday.

both of whom played at running back, wide receiver and cornerback as well as some at quarterback behind starter Darin Miller, they do have Miller back. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore passed for 636 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He rushed for 409 yards and six scores. “He’s the best quarterback in the county,” said Payne. “Without a doubt.” Isaiah Oropeza also returns. Oropeza averaged 6.3 yards a carry and scored four rushing touchdowns last year. He caught nine passes for 157 yards and

three scores. The Spartans lost two-way lineman Wyatt Copeland to graduation. “He was a beast,” said Payne. “He was injured and missed our last four or five games.” Payne said ruefully, “That definitely hurt us against Avalon.” Orcutt Academy will have some anchors on defense, including Oropeza at middle linebacker, sophomore Alex Andrade at defensive tackle and senior Javier Sanchez at outside linebacker. Andrade is a guard on offense. Sanchez is a running back.

WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: Direct snap, split backs. Base defense: 3-3 stack.

13 touchdowns, 409 yards rushing, six touchdowns in 2014.

Head coach: Tony Payne, third season, 12-8 career record.

Top returner on defense: Isaiah Oropeza, MLB, 31 solo tackles, 59 assists, nine tackles for loss in 2014.

Top returner on offense: Darren Miller, QB, 636 yards passing,

Key losses: Louie Pinon, RB-QB-WR-CB, Jordon Sutton,

Returning starters: Offense — 5. Defense — 4.

Payne is banking on newcomers Billy Gonzalves and Dominic Nattel to make big contributions. “Billy is a junior tight end and linebacker,” said Payne. “He broke his collarbone last year and couldn’t play. Dominic is a freshman running back and linebacker who has been very impressive this summer.” Pinon and Sutton each scored two touchdowns for the West in the East-West 8-Man All-Star Game at Avalon recently. The West won 38-18. Payne was the offensive coordinator for the West.

PROJECTED STARTERS RB-QB-WR-CB, Wyatt Copeland, OL-DL. Top returners: Darren Miller, 6-3, 190, So. QB; Isaiah Oropeza, 5-9, 165, Sr. RB-MLB; Alex Andrade, 6-0, 200, So. OG-DT; Javier Sanchez, 5-7, 165, Sr. RB-OLB Top newcomers: Billy Gonzalves, Jr., 6-0, 165, TE-LB, Dominic Nattell, Fr., 5-6, 175, RB-LB.

DEFENSE DL: Alex Andrade*, Ross McMann*, Collin Olmstead, Mitch Carpenter. LB: Billy Gonsalves, Isaiah Oropeza*, Dylan Miller*, Darrin Miller*. DB: Javier Sanchez*, Jared Sutton*, Cole Carpenter, Ethan Betty.

OFFENSE OL: Alex Andrade*, Collin Olmstead, Justin Zepeda. QB: Darin Miller(. RB: Isaiah Oropeza*, Jared Sutton*, Dominic Nattel. WR: Cole Carpenter, Mitch Carpenter. * — Played varsity in 2014.

Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A21

Home games in CAPS.

rcutt Academy’s football players didn’t do a whole lot of passing league stuff this summer. They did do a lot of conditioning. “We didn’t take a whole lot of reps during the summer, but we did a lot of running, a lot of weight work,” third-year coach Tony Payne said shortly after the Spartans began fall workouts. “The boys are in excellent shape. I’m very happy with the commitment they made over the summer.” The Spartans bid a wistful farewell during graduation to Louie Pinon and Jordon Sutton. “Those two combined for more than 50 touchdowns,” during a 2014 in which the Spartans went 8-3 and made it into the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Large Schools Division 8-man Playoffs, said Payne. The Spartans beat Canoga Park Faith Baptist 31-26 in Orcutt Academy’s first football playoff game ever before falling to Avalon in the quarterfinals. Eventual champion Mojave defeated Avalon, which is located on Catalina Island, in the semis. Orcutt Academy played a freelance schedule during its first two years. The Spartans will do so again this year. They will open at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Fresno Christian. Though the Spartans will have to do without Pinon and Sutton,


VALLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY LIONS Kenny Cress KCRESS@LE ECE NT RALCOASTNEWS. COM‌

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A22 | August 2015 | Lee Central Coast Newspapers

SEASON OUTLOOK‌

ete Fortier will begin stint number three as Valley Christian Academy football coach will begin Sept. 5 with a 1 p.m. game at Alpaugh. Fortier said his total time coaching VCA football “has been around 17 years.” He guided the Lions to the 1997 CIF Southern Section Large Schools 8-Man championship. “That was an exciting game, 52-44,” said Fortier. “We beat one of the Lancaster schools. I don’t think they even have football anymore.” The Lions, who play in the Coast Valley League, have played in the Small Schools Division the past several years. They have qualified for the playoffs multiple times during that time. Fortier is back as football coach and athletic director after being away for the 2014-15 school year. Fortier was the VCA athletic director and coached multiple sports for several years before 2014. He guided the VCA girls basketball team to the CIF Southern Section Division 6 championship in 2014. His current football team was to begin workouts Aug. 10. “I’m anxious to get started,” Fortier said in late July. “I’m eager to see what we have going forward.” Fortier does know he has a solid quarterback returning, senior Christian Rhode. VCA teams have been traditionally run-oriented, but, “We have a quarterback who can throw, and I’d like to be 50-50 on offense this year,” said Fortier.

2015 SCHEDULE SEPT. 5 @Alpaugh 1 p.m.

SEPT. 11 OJAI VILLANOVA PREP 7 p.m. Frank Cowan photos, Contributor‌

Valley Christian Academy’s Noah Mayberry, Jacob Bouzard and Shawn Weldon, from left to right, will help power the Lions in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. VCA begins its 8-man season with the Sept. 5 game at Alpaugh.

Rhode has a strong arm, and he also hit some key medium-range passes for the Lions last year. Speedster Sebastian DeBernardi graduated, but Bryce Taft returns. He was one of the team’s top rushers last year. Noah Mayberry figures to be in the backfield along with Taft. Mayberry will also start at linebacker. As for VCA’s air game, Fortier thinks Rhode will have at least two solid options to throw to. “Aiden Heller is a good receiver, and I’m told Jack Barker has good hands,” Fortier said. Heller figures to be a starter at defensive back. Two-way 2014 starter Shawn Weldon returns. Weldon was an anchor on the offensive and defensive lines for the Lions last year. Jacob Bouzard also figures to be a two-way starter on VCA’s

three-man offensive and defensive lines this year. His current roster numbers “around 20 players,” said Fortier. “We’ve had as many as 38 players in the program. We had a junior varsity and a varsity that year. We’ve had as few as nine.” At press time, VCA had an eight-game schedule. The Coast Valley League consists of just four teams; VCA, Maricopa, Cuyama Valley and Cambriabased Coast Union. Cuyama Valley has been the team to beat in the CVL the past several years. “They lost some players, they’ll be down some, but they have some good players coming back,” said Fortier. As for his own team, “We have a lot of work to do before the season starts,” Fortier acknowledged.

SEPT. 25 SHANDON 7 p.m.*

OCT. 3 @Coalinga Faith Christian 7 p.m.

OCT. 9 TBA.

OCT. 16 COAST UNION, 7 p.m.*

OCT. 23 @Cuyama Valley (Richardson Park), 7 p.m.*

OCT. 30 Valley Christian Academy’s Christian Rohde will be the team’s starting quarterback this season.

WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: Multiple sets. Base defense: 4-2. Returning starters: Offense — n/a. Defense — n/a. Head coach: Pete Fortier, first year since 2013. Third stint as head coach. Career record n/a. 1 CIF Southern Section Large

@Maricopa, 7 p.m.” * — Coast Valley League game. Home games in CAPS.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Schools 8-man championship, 1997. Three Coast Valley League championships.

Key losses: Sebastian DeBernardi, RB-DB, Kyle Humann, WR-CB.

Top returner on offense: Bryce Taft, RB. No 2014 stats available.

Top returners: Christian Rhode, 5-5, 145, Sr. QB ; Bryce Taft, 5-7, 170, Sr. RB; Shawn Weldon, 5-9, 201, Sr. OL-DE; Noah Mayberry, 5-6, 185, Jr. FB-LB.

Top returner on defense: Shawn Weldon, DE. No 2014 stats available.

SEPT. 18 LEMOORE KINGS CHRISTIAN 7 p.m.

Top newcomers: n/a.

DEFENSE

OFFENSE

DL: Shawn Weldon, Jacob Bouzard, Jerod Schallen.

OL: Jacob Bouzard, Shawn Weldon, Tim Hansen.

LB: Bryce Taft, Noah Mayberry, Josh Norholm.

QB: Christian Rohde.

DB: Aiden Heller, Trenton Lane.

WR: Jack Barker, Aiden Heller.

RB: Noah Mayberry, Bryce Taft.


HANCOCK COLLEGE BULLDOGS Kenny Cress KC R ESS @ LE EC E N T R ALCOASTN EWS. CO M‌

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SEASON OUTLOOK‌

WHAT TO KNOW Base offense: Pro set. Base defense: 4-3. Returning starters: Offense — 5. Defense — 6. Head coach: Kris Dutra, 15th season, 82-63 career record, 1 bowl win (2011 Western State Conference Bowl). Top returner on offense: Curry Parham, QB, 1,334 yards passing, nine touchdowns, 175 yards rushing, two touchdowns in 2014.

Key losses: Willie Iribarren, LB, Jonathon General, LB, Deonte Barnes, S, Logan Sprouse, WR-DB-P, Aaron Pringle, DL. Top returners: Curry Parham, 6-3, 244, So. QB, Kevon White, 6-1, 273, So. DL. Top newcomers: Jericho Worrell, So. RB, Chris Barganier, Fr., WR.

2015 SCHEDULE SEPT. 5

OCT. 17

SANTA ANA, 2 p.m.

CERRITOS, 2 p.m.*

SEPT. 12

OCT. 24

@ Santa Barbara, 4 p.m.

COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS, 2 p.m.*

SEPT. 19 CHAFFEY, 2 p.m.

SEPT. 26 @ Bakersfield, 6 p.m.*

OCT. 3 BYE.

OCT. 10

OCT. 31 @ Pasadena, 4 p.m.*

NOV. 7 VENTURA, 1 p.m.*

NOV. 14 @ Moorpark, 4 p.m.*

@ Long Beach, 6 p.m. * — Northern Conference game. All games on Saturday Home games in CAPS.

PROJECTED STARTERS DEFENSE

OFFENSE

DL: Kevon Perry, Seth Kena, Lawrence Chan.

OL: Dominic Morgan, Matthew Devane-Breaux, Emose Haukoulua.

LB: Shawndale Coffey, Joseph Catchart. DB: Elijah Holt, Rafael Arellano, Michael Jordano, Malik Pope.

QB: Curry Parham. RB: Jericho Worrell. WR: Malik Williams, Chris Barganier.

Lee Central Coast Newspapers |  August 2015 | A23

Top returner on defense: Kevon White, DL, 25 solo tackles, 22 assists, 12 tackles for loss in 2014.

Len Wood, Staff‌

Hancock College football players, Rafael Arellano, Kevon Perry and, back row, Isaiah Hill, Emose Haukoulua and Jericho Worrell are expected to lead Hancock this season. Arellano is a Lompoc High grad and was named the Lee Central Coast Newspapers All-Area MVP in 2012.

ericho Worrell was an All-District running back for Houston Eisenhower High School in 2012. Hancock College will count on that same kind of production from him in 2015. “He’s looking like he will be one of our main guys,” said veteran Hancock coach Kris Dutra. Dutra will begin his 15th season at the helm when the Bulldogs will take on Santa Ana at 2 p.m. Sept. 5. That game will take place on Hancock’s new on-campus field. In the past, Hancock played its home games at Righetti High School. Worrell gained 84 yards and ran for one touchdown in three games for Blinn College in Houston in 2013. “He transferred in too late to play,” in 2014, said Dutra. Worrell will try to step in as the lead Hancock running back. Dutra said Lauina Futi, Hancock’s rushing leader last year, is ineligible this year. The starting quarterback for the Hancock squad that finished 4-6 (3-3 in the National Division Northern Conference) in 2014, St. Joseph graduate Curry Parham, is back. So is AllConference defensive lineman Kevon Perry. Parham’s passing was erratic at times in the second half of the season, but he wound up completing 120 of his 235 passes. He threw for 1,334 yards, with nine touchdown passes and six interceptions. Perry made 25 solo tackles and

was in on 22 more in 2014. Dutra said some other prominent returnees include center Dominic Morgan and strong safety Rafael Arellano. Arellano was the Lee Central Coast Newspapers All-Area Team MVP when he was a senior at Lompoc High School. Arellano was in on 54 tackles last year, fifth-highest on the team. Morgan will help anchor an offensive line that has three returning regulars. In the secondary, Dutra is counting on Arroyo Grande graduate Elijah Holt and Righetti grad Malik Pope, as well as Arellano. Holt’s speed has frequently been on display. He was a hurdles champion and a bigplay threat as a kick returner in high school. Dutra said Malik Williams, a transfer from Merced College, figures to be a leading wide receiver for the Bulldogs. He is also counting on Chris Barganier, a freshman who graduated from St. Joseph, to help anchor the receiver corps. Barganier was the 2014-15 Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table Male Athlete of the Year. The Bulldogs will again play in the Southern California Football Association National Division’s Northern Conference. The Northern Conference includes Hancock, Cerritos, College of the Canyons, Pasadena, Ventura and Moorpark. The Southern California preseason top 10 rankings typically include several Northern Conference teams. Hancock’s defense will have to do without the graduated Willie Iribarren, a Lompoc graduate and All-Conference linebacker.


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