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2014 Western League preview

08/19/2014, 11:15am PDT
By Kirk Kenney

Kearny, La Jolla, Madison, Mission Bay, Point Loma


Kearny receiver Anfernee Hamilton struggles for extra yards.

KEARNY

Last year: 1-9

Coach: Kenny Nears, 5th year

Division: IV

Key players: Danny Samaniego (C-LB), Robert Eatmon (RB-DL), Jordan Cole (OL-DL), Josiah Sao (OL-DL), Kimani Love (WR-DB), Anfernee Hamilton (QB-WR-DB), Abraham Rodriguez (RB-LB), Jeremiah Jorden (WR-LB).

Scouting report: Kearny, like Mission Bay, plays all of its games on the road this season while a new football stadium is constructed. Nears believes it is the start of a new beginning. Getting there may be a bit of a challenge because the Komets are coming off a one-win season and face a difficult league schedule. The running game should be a strength and there is talent at the other skill positions. But they will be operating behind an undersized offensive line. Varsity numbers are down, so staying healthy will be essential.

Schedule

Aug. 29: Mater Dei Catholic at San Diego High, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 5: at Santana, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: at University City, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 26: at Monte Vista, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 3: at Lincoln, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: at Point Loma, 3 p.m.

Oct. 17: Mission Bay at Madison High, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 24: at Madison, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 31: at Clairemont, 7 p.m.

Nov. 7: at La Jolla, 6:30 p.m.

LA JOLLA

Last year: 5-7

Coach: Jason Carter, 2nd year

Division: III

Key players: Collin Rugg (QB), Brandon Bonham (WR), Carlton O’Neal (WR), Da’Jour Tims (WR-S), Reid Martin (TB), Michael Penny (OT), Grant Miller (DT), Vail Miesfeld (CB).

Scouting report: Carter expects a “huge, huge year” that will put the Vikings back in the thick of the playoff picture. Rugg is a potential 3,000-yard passer who guides a hurry-up offense with a goal of running 90 plays a game. Martin is a potential 1,000-yard back. Bonham has attracted attention from Pac-12 schools and O’Neal has Ivy League interest. The linebacking corps — Connor Walton, Anthony Stanley, Carter Simington and Tyler Eckermann — will lead the defense.

Schedule

Aug. 29: at La Jolla Country Day, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: Bishop’s, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: at Fallbrook, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: at West Hills, 7 p.m.

Sept. 26: Clairemont, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3: at Coronado, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 17: at Point Loma, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 24: at Mission Bay, 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 31: Madison, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 7: Kearny, 6:30 p.m.

MADISON

Last year: 9-2

Coach: Rick Jackson, 11th year

Division: I

Key players: Kareem Coles (QB), Isaiah Osborne (RB), Shaheed Madyun (WR), David Viena-Falo (OL-DL), Kameron Santos (FS), Marc Quinlin (WR), Clayton Jimerson (OL-DL), Foster Sutton (DE), Travis Hess (LB), Erick Buchanan (RB-WR).

Scouting report: The Warhawks have been elevated to Division I after several successful seasons. That success will be tested this year after the graduation of 24 seniors, including 16 starters. The talented Coles, who accounted for nearly 3,000 yards in total offense, returns to lead them. Osborne has 1,000-yard potential out of the backfield. Newcomers on both sides of the line need to step up. A defense with one returning starter — senior safety Santos — is unproven but athletic and should improve as the season unfolds.

Schedule

Aug. 29: El Capitan, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 5: St. Augustine, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 19: at Eastlake, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 26: at Bonita Vista, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3: at Mira Mesa, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: Mission Bay, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 17: at Olympian, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24: Kearny, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 31: at La Jolla, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 7: Point Loma, 6:30 p.m.

MISSION BAY

Last year: 12-2

Coach: Willie Matson, 10th year

Division: II

Key players: Derrick Clark (RB-S), Darryl Dave (RB-S), Jhavari Ransom (WB-C), Sammy Tesfay (QB), Isaiah Brown (RB-ILB), Eligha Lewis (DE), Luis Castillo (OL), Brandon Juba (OL), Michael Sanders (WR).

Scouting report: The Buccaneers finished as runners-up for the Division II championship last season, but they will be hard-pressed to repeat the feat this season after graduating 26 seniors — and 15 starters — from that team. The Bucs still have outstanding team speed and a number of outstanding skill players, but they lack experience and depth. Tesfay shows promise but is largely untested at QB. Mission Bay is in the midst of getting a new football stadium, which necessitates playing each game away from home this season.

Schedule

Aug. 29: at West Hills, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: at Horizon, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: at Patrick Henry, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 27: at Christian, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3: at San Diego, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: at Madison, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 17: vs. Kearny at Madison, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 24: La Jolla at University City High, 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 31: at Point Loma, 3 p.m.

Nov. 7: at Coronado, 6:30 p.m.

POINT LOMA

Last year: 5-6

Coach: Mike Hastings, 17th year

Division: I

Key players: Dan O’Beirne (LB), Tim O’Brien (OL-DL), Gavin Grady (QB), Jacob Virissimo (DE), Cole Kidd (DE), Jacob Ehm (FB), Seth Irby (C), Jaylen Griffin (RB), Romeo Epperly (HB), Jonathan Cook (CB).

Scouting report: The Pointers should rebound from a rare down year. Nearly half the team’s starters return. Success will hinge on last season’s second-stringers stepping up. They will continue to “ground and pound,” as Hastings says, with a strong backfield, though Grady will have a more prominent role after serving as more of a facilitator last season. Opening with El Camino and Ramona will let the Pointers know right where they stand.

Schedule

Aug. 29: at El Camino, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6: Ramona, 3 p.m.

Sept. 12: at Lincoln, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 19: Morse, 3 p.m.

Sept. 26: at Santana, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3: Scripps Ranch, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: Kearny, 3 p.m.

Oct. 17: La Jolla, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 31: Mission Bay, 3 p.m.

Nov. 7: at Madison, 6:30 p.m.

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