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2014 Avocado West League preview

08/17/2014, 7:00am PDT
By John Maffei

Carlsbad, El Camino, La Costa Canyon, Oceanside, Torrey Pines


El Camino quarterback Sergio Lopez scrambles against Oceanside.

CARLSBAD

Last year: 9-3

Coach: Thadd MacNeal, 4th year

Division: I

Key players: Dylan Rutledge (TB), Garrison Young (OL-DT), Will Burke (OT), Chris Spiering (WR), Jackson Whitteker (QB), Shea Morales (QB), Kellen Peet (WR), Cameron Chapman (OLB), Christian Lehman (ILB), Ray Ligon (ILB), Troy Cassidy (OLB), Drew Derrickson (DB).

Scouting report: Rutledge, a first-team all-leaguer, had 1,030 yards rushing and receiving last season. Whitteker, who was a backup, and Morales, a junior, are battling for the QB job. Both looked good in the summer. The speedy Spiering, the league 200-meter champ, caught 16 passes for 345 yards a year ago. Peet, a jumping-jack volleyball player, could be a surprise. Young (6-2, 280) and Burke (6-4, 265) are the big men on the lines. The LB corps is set with veterans Chapman, Lehman, Ligon and Cassidy. Korey Warren, a transfer from Army-Navy, should help by midseason. Derrickson is a returning all-leaguer in the secondary. Collin Riccitelli should be a weapon kicking the ball. Young and Ligon, the team’s big hitter, are the captains. The JV team was 9-1.

Schedule

Aug. 29: at Temecula Great Oak, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: Lincoln, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: Santa Fe Christian, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: Vista, 7 p.m.

Sept. 26: at Rancho Bernardo, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10: at Torrey Pines, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17: La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24: Oceanside, 7 p.m.

Oct. 31: El Camino, 7 p.m.

Nov. 7: at Ramona, 7 p.m.

EL CAMINO

Last year: 5-7

Coach: John Roberts, 1st year

Division: I

Key players: Chris Grimes (WR), C.J. Simmons (DB), D.J. Ingram (DL), Anthony Taele (TE-DL), Connor Kish (OL-DL), Kevin Kish (OL-DL), Eric Wilson (DB), Spencer Katoanga (LB), Sergio Lopez (QB), Derek Fernandez (LB).

Scouting report: The Wildcats, who return 21 lettermen and 14 starters — eight on defense — are looking for a fresh start under a new coach. Lopez, a strong leader, returns at QB with a year of maturity. He had a fine summer season. The team has a talented group of runners and receivers, but most are young and inexperienced. Taele (6-2, 240) is a big target at TE and is the team’s most-recruited player. The Kish twins Connor and Kevin (both 6-3, 270) anchor both sides of the line, making that a team strength. The defensive secondary boasts returning all-leaguers Wilson, Simmons and Grimes along with all-league LB Fernandez.

Schedule

Aug. 29: Point Loma, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: at Mira Mesa, 7 p.m.

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

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

Oct. 3: San Pasqual, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10: La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17: Vista, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24: Torrey Pines, 7 p.m.

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

Nov. 7: Oceanside, 7 p.m.

LA COSTA CANYON

Last year: 7-4

Coach: Sean Sovacool, 4th year

Division: I

Key players: Elijah Wofford (OL), Ryan Becker (OL), Bruce Schram (OL), Garrett Mercado (WR), Cade Jackson (TB), Duke Mackle (QB), Chandler Wachholtz (LB), AJ Hofstetter (DE), James Vanderpool (DE).

Scouting report: The Mavericks return 12 starters — seven on offense. That includes three linemen who played every game last season — Becker, the highly recruited Wofford and Schram. Mackle, a wrestler, and Tanner Clark, a sophomore, who will also play WR, are the QBs. Jackson, who rushed for 600 yards as a sophomore, is the top runner. The speedy Mercado and Jake Cesear are the top receivers. In the 3-3-5 defense, Hofstetter and Vanderpool, who had 40 tackles, anchor the front. Wachholtz had 77 tackles. LB Tommy Carey is back after missing last year with an injury. The JV went 9-1.

Schedule

Aug. 29: Corona Del Mar at Cathedral Catholic, 5 p.m.

Sept. 5: Trabuco Hills, 7 p.m.

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

Sept. 19: Rancho Bernardo, 7 p.m.

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

Oct. 10: El Camino, 7 p.m.

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

Oct. 24: at Westview, 7 p.m.

Oct. 31: Oceanside, 7 p.m.

Nov. 7: at Torrey Pines, 7 p.m.

OCEANSIDE

Last year: 10-3

Coach: John Carroll, 26th year

Division: I

Key players: Tommy Woo (DE), Matt Romero (QB), Johnny Arzola (Slot), Josh Bernard (RB-LB), Christian Cronk (OL-DL), Amadeo West (OL-DE), Cedric Bigge-Duren (OL-DL), Malavai Taylor (WR-DB), Jordan Miller (WR-DB), Davione Taylor (Slot), Isaia Paopao (WR-DB), Niko Mageo (RB-LB).

Scouting report: Romero threw for 2,299 yards and it was considered a so-so season because of 14 interceptions. He grew and improved dramatically over the summer. His cast must all step from behind the scenes. Arzola had 16 catches a year ago, Bernard rushed for 277 yards and had 53 tackles. Mageo rushed for 187 yards. Woo could be a monster on defense. Miller has already committed to Washington. Taylor had 31 tackles. Paopao blossomed in the team’s summer tournaments. Add Cronk and Bigge-Duren to both lines and the Pirates have the makings of a real good team. As always, depth — especially on the lines — could be a problem.

Schedule

Aug. 29: St. Augustine, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: Mission Viejo, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12: at Temecula Chaparral, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: at San Pasqual, 7 p.m.

Sept. 26: at Rancho Buena Vista, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10: Mission Hills, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17: Torrey Pines, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24: Carlsbad, 7 p.m.

Oct. 31: at La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m.

Nov. 7: at El Camino, 7 p.m.

TORREY PINES

Last year: 6-5

Coach: Ron Gladnick, 1st year

Division: I

Key players: Sandy Plashkes (QB), Jack Bailey (WR), Christian Gange (RB), Joey DeMarco (OT-DE), Brian Wahl (OT), Roland Wheeler (LB), Matt Feeler (LB), Harrison Cohen (LB), Mason O’Rosky (LB), Steven Mason (TE-DE).

Scouting report: The Falcons were “wings and things” last year. Gladnick, who comes over from Clairemont, has dropped the “things” so TP — which has 11 returning starters — will be strictly a wing-T team again. Super-athletic Bailey, who has committed to San Diego State, caught 16 balls for 382 yards last season and is a key on offense. Plashkes, who has waited his turn, is the QB. Gange, who had 673 yards total offense, is the top runner along with Quinn Morimoto, who is coming off an ACL injury. Mason (6-6, 245) is drawing the attention of college recruiters. Wahl (6-3, 260) and DeMarco (6-5, 240) anchor the offensive line. Feeler, who broke his neck in a car accident after last season, is back and ready to play. Wheeler, Cohen and O’Rosky give the Falcons a solid LB corps.

Schedule

Aug 29: Pleasant Valley (Utah), 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: at Mission Hills, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: at Cathedral Catholic, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: Westview, 7 p.m.

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

Oct. 10: Carlsbad, 7 p.m.

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

Oct. 24: at El Camino, 7 p.m.

Oct. 31: Mt. Carmel, 7 p.m.

Nov. 7: La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m.

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