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Football Preview

The Bulletin-Thursday, September 1, 2016

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE EU eyes postseason with improved line, overall experience B y JO N AMAR JACINTO T h e Bu lletin

It’s now or never for East Union’s battlehardened seniors. Two years ago, head coach Willie Herrera brought up seven sophomores to join three others already on the varsity to fill starting spots that opened up because of injuries. The Lancers wound up 3-7 but banked on that experience to pay off the following year. A 3-0 start capped by a noteworthy win over Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff qualifier Gregori caught the attention of their Valley Oak League opponents to come. East Union finished 3-7 yet again. The Lancers want nothing more than to end their streak of five losing seasons and return to the postseason for the first time since 2010. “There couldn’t be any more urgency than I have now,” said quarterback Jack Weaver, one of eight third-year starters. “I’ve tried to make a mark these last two years and I want to make this year memorable. I want to make sure I leave it all on the field. “I want to prove to this town and to the league what we are. I don’t want us to leave any doubts in anyone’s minds.” Herrera has a great deal of faith in his quarterback to lead the shotgun wing offense, but if East Union wants to be competitive in the Valley Oak League it will need improved line play and defense. “I want us to have an edge and I believe this team truly has that,” Herrera said. “They have to want to be physical. The blueprint to be successful in this league is that you have to have good o-line and a good d-line, and you have to have depth there as well.” Martin Garcia, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound left tackle, and center Andy Parcells (6-3, 225) are third-year starters. Joining them are juniors Nick Sims at right guard, Jaysen Reindel at right tackle and defensive standout Joseph Reynaga at left guard. The 6-2, 245-pound Reindel is better known for his accomplishments in the winter during the wrestling season. “Reindel brings some grit,” Herrera said. “All of our linemen are wrestlers; he’s just the most decorated. Those guys are tough-nosed and they understand the one-on-one individual battles in the trenches.” On the other side of scrimmage, Reynaga — an All-VOL first-team selection as a sophomore — stars at inside linebacker in the 3-4 front. Pete Roblero, Ceasar Vaca, Andrew Elias and 6-2, 290-pound senior Stephan Demello will be rotate with Garcia, Parcells and Reindel. “If you can shut down the run game in league you have a really good chance to be successful,” Herrera said. “It’s nice to finally have some beef up there.” The defense gave up an average of 33.6 points last season. Free safety Angel Sena, another third-year player, believes that the experienced secondary can limit the big plays Fellow safety Isaiah Cormier is also in his third varsity season. “We’re a lot tougher,” Sena said. “Everyone pursues to the ball and everyone hits. “My sophomore year it was a little scary at first,” he added. “Now everything comes a lot slower now. There’s no intimidation at all. We’re ready for any challenge.” Weaver lost his top two targets to graduation in 6-2 receiver Austin Miller (42 catches, 788 yards, eight touchdowns) and 6-3, 215-pound tight end Baily Simons (18-504-8), but he has more weapons this year. Isaiah Sholund, a 5-7, 210-pound running back Herrera describes as a “bowling ball,” has separated himself in an otherwise crowded backfield that includes Sena. Matthew Pilkay — the sophomore team’s QB last season — blossomed at wide receiver over the summer, and much is expected from senior Jake Harries after injuries stunted his junior season. “Each guy has their own strength,” Herrera said. “I have all the confidence in our starters and even our guys backing them up — there is not a whole lot of drop-off athletically. We have some size mixed in there, too. “As a defense you pick out who the best player is and you want to try and neutralize that guy. With what we have, it’s going to be hard to single out somebody, and if they do that one of our other guys will step up.” The pieces are in place for Weaver and the Lancers to have a big season, and with a sophomore class that celebrated undefeated 2015 campaign the future also looks promising. But for Weaver, the future is now. “We want to be that class that got us back to the playoffs,” Weaver said. “We want to leave that legacy.”

ROSTER No. Player 1 Andrew Sena Isaiah Cormier 3 4 Jake Harries 5 Matthew Pilkay 6 Mason James Angel Sena 8 9 Jack Weaver 10 Blake Greenlee 11 Daniel Reed 12 Anthony Cook Mario Zuniga 14 16 Arnulfo Ruiz 18 Daniel Ochoa Ruben Gallegos 19 20 Tony Martinez 21 Adrian Sauceda 22 Jesse Anzar Emanuel Knight 23 24 Mae Mae Beerman 26 Devonta Scott 28 Miguel Lopez Daniel Savage 29 31 Ronny Smith 33 Patrick Sholund 34 Isaiah Sholund 36 Will Ercker Gabe Prado 41 42 Padilla Cruz 43 Cade Smith Alex Kukor 47 50 Andy Parcells 53 Sammy Rodriguez 54 Andrew Elias Joseph Reynaga 55 56 Angel Navarro 58 Ryan Austin 59 Pete Roblero Nick Sims 62 63 Garret Simons 64 Andrew Villanueva 65 Stephan Demello Jaysen Reindel 66 72 Jose Vargas 74 Issiah Lacangalacang 77 Ceasar Vaca Orlando Piddock 78 79 Martin Garcia 95 Fernando Rodriguez


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TOP PHOTO: Lineman Martin Garcia creates a hole for the ball carrier as East Union works on its offense. Angel Sena tracks the ball before going horizontal during a drill for the receivers. MIDDLE PHOTO: Quarterback Jack Weaver winds up to make a pass on the run as offensive coordinator Jason Stock looks on. BOTTOM PHOTO: Andrew Sena tracks the ball before going horizontal during a drill for the receivers.

COACHES Willie Herrera (head coach, 6th year), Jason Stock (OC/RB), Eddie Koeller (WR), Jesse Guerrero (OL), Eleazar Salcedo (DL), Barry Kieth (D), Daniel Taylor (QB), Carlos Herrera (LB), Don Duenas (LB), Kris Hensley (DB), Mike Khulenz (DB), Mike Decker (OL), Steve Berchtold (DL), Frank Johnson (K).

SCHEDULE Sept. 2 at Ceres, 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Johansen, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 vs. West, 7 p.m. Sept. 23 vs. Lathrop, 7:15 p.m. Sept. 30 at Sierra, 7 p.m. Oct. 7 vs. Weston Ranch, 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Oakdale, 7 p.m. Oct. 21 vs. Kimball, 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at Central Catholic, 7 p.m. Nov. 4 vs. Manteca, 7 p.m.


GO LANCERS! Best of luck for a great 2016 season!

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