Last year: 11-1
Coach: Paul Van Nostrand, 1st year
League: Metro Mesa
Key players: Rey Osuna (LB), Connal Brown (LB), Dylan Jensen (OL), Victor Ramirez (DL), Jordan Fagan (OL), Angel Garcia (K), Trevor Casillas (RB), Benny Rodriguez (RB), Greg Goff (WR), Adam Kavashny (OL).
Scouting report: While this is his debut at Olympian, Van Nostrand has been a head coach at Castle Park and he was a longtime assistant to the legendary Gil Warren, so the Eagles should know what to expect. The key players are Osuna, a 5-9, 190-pound linebacker, and Fagan, a 6-5, 275-pound monster on the line. It will be Van Nostrand’s task to find replacements for 1,000-yard passer Chris Humphery, 1,000-yard rusher Andrell Snowden and 750-yard receiver Sergio Bailey, all of whom were part of a senior-laden team that did not lose a game until the Division III semifinals against eventual champion Lincoln. But just six starters return from that team and, with their success the last few years, the Eagles now find themselves in Division I. You can bet they have circled the Sept. 20 rematch at Lincoln on their calendar, but before that they have games against Western League contender Point Loma, small-school power Francis Parker and North County stalwart El Camino. Beyond that gauntlet, the Metro Mesa League appears very strong this season, so it should act as good prep for the playoffs.