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2014 Central League preview

08/20/2014, 11:15am PDT
By Alex Riggins, Special to the U-T

Christian, Clairemont, Coronado, University City


David Todd Jeremiah is carrying on his family's quarterback legacy at Christian.

CHRISTIAN

Last year: 12-1

Coach: Matt Oliver, 15th year

Division: III

Key players: David Todd Jeremiah (QB), Adrian Petty (RB-DB), Trevor Howell (WR-DB), Joey Morones (RB-LB), Nick Sexton (WR-DB), Chad Humphries (TE-LB), JD Parker (WR-DB), Cody Kirwan (LB-DE), Kyle Thompson (K-P).

Scouting report: The Patriots lost a ton of players from their Division III championship team, but this season should be more of a reloading year than rebuilding. Jeremiah will try to live up to his family’s quarterbacking legacy at the school where his father and uncle starred. He’ll have plenty of weapons to throw to with the lightning-fast trio of Howell, Sexton and Helix transfer Petty. “We have a lot of team speed,” Oliver said. “This is the fastest team we’ve ever had.” Depth will be an issue, as will the defense. Oliver said he knows this team will score points, and the addition of Thompson from Santana will solidify the special teams, but the Patriots’ season will hinge on the success of the defense.

Schedule

Aug. 29: at Mission Prep, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: West Hills at Granite Hills, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: at El Cajon Valley, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: Ontario Christian at Granite Hills, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27: Mission Bay at Granite Hills, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10: Coronado at Granite Hills, 7 p.m.

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

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

Oct. 31: at University City, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 7: Santa Fe Christian at Granite Hills, 4 p.m.

CLAIREMONT

Last year: 5-7

Coach: Joe Kim, 1st year

Division: IV

Key players: RJ McCoy (QB), Alex Beaubien (RB-DB), Alessandro Baldassare (RB-LB), Reef Hosch (WR-RB-DB), Ian Mason (TE-DE).

Scouting report: The Chieftains return plenty of players — but not head coach Ron Gladnick, now at Torrey Pines — from last year’s team that won a playoff game for the first time in 13 seasons. Longtime Clairemont assistant Kim will add some wrinkles to last season’s wing-T offense that should see the Chieftains throwing the ball more. McCoy is 6-feet-4 and throws well and is a quiet leader in the locker room. The top four rushers from last season return, including Beaubien and Baldassare, but they’ll be running behind four new offensive linemen. Kim hopes that building on what Gladnick established will help the transition go smoothly in his first year. “We’ll have a similar philosophy, we’ll be hard-nosed and outstanding on defense,” Kim said. “We believe we can win a league title and CIF championship this year.”

Schedule

Aug. 29: Bishop’s, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: at Mar Vista, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: Montgomery, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: at Castle Park, 7 p.m.

Sept. 26: at La Jolla, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3: SD Southwest, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10: University City, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 17: Coronado, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 24: Christian, 7 p.m.

Oct. 31: Kearny, 7 p.m.

CORONADO

Last year: 2-8

Coach: Tony Isabella, 4th year

Division: IV

Key players: Juan Gonzalez (OL-DE-LB), Ian Thorleifson (QB), Chris Haas (RB-DB), Nick Horton (RB-DB), Adam McNeil (OL-DL).

Scouting report: The Islanders lost almost every impact player from last season’s roster, including the three quarterbacks who played, the top four rushers and eight of the top 10 tacklers. Their best returning player quit to focus on basketball, leaving them with one player who caught a pass last season. Those losses might not be so bad, considering the Islanders won just two games. “Defensively we weren’t bad, we just couldn’t produce on offense,” Isabella said. Thorleifson, a junior expected to emerge from a three-way battle, will likely be in charge of making sure the offense clicks. Haas and Horton should have holes to run through thanks to Gonzalez and McNeil. Despite their inexperience, the Islanders have more than 30 juniors and seniors and could surprise some opponents.

Schedule

Aug. 29: at EC Southwest, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5: at SD Southwest, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: Crawford, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 19: at Bishop’s, 7 p.m.

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

Oct. 3: La Jolla, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: at Christian, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17: at Clairemont, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 24: University City, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 7: Mission Bay, 6:30 p.m.

UNIVERSITY CITY

Last year: 4-7

Coach: Charles James, 2nd year

Division: IV

Key players: Drake Aguon (QB), Anthony Davis (TE), Dominic Lewis (RB-DB), Jake Gunberg (OL-LB), Jordan Tatro (WR-SS), Eddie Gonzalez (LB).

Scouting report: The Centurions are young but return some key pieces from last year’s team that won a playoff game for the first time in school history. Aguon, a junior whom James called the smartest player he’s ever coached, worked with a quarterback trainer during the offseason and the results showed at summer passing tournaments. Lewis will carry the heaviest load in the backfield and Davis is a big target with tight end size and wide receiver speed. Tatro is a hard-hitting strong safety behind two stout linebackers in Gunberg and Gonzalez. “Our goal is to be over .500 in the regular season, make the playoffs and go further than last year,” James said. “We really believe we can get to CIF this year.”

Schedule

Aug. 29: at Fallbrook, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: Kearny, 6:30 p.m.

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

Sept. 26: San Diego, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 3: Serra, 6:30 p.m.

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

Oct. 17: Bishop’s, 6:30 p.m.

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

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

Nov. 7: El Cajon Valley, 6:30 p.m.

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