Quarterback Jordan Battaglia (center) calls out the play to his seven teammates as the San Diego Jewish 8-man squad prepares for the season. David Brooks
Last year: 3-4
Coach: Anthony Kandel, 1st year
Key players: Jordan Battaglia (QB), Sam Pidgeon (OL-DL), Isaac Shoshani (OL-TE-DL), Elliot Muller (WR-DB), Jose Zaga (RB-DB-LB).
Scouting report: The Lions make the move from full-team to 8-man this season, but they’re embracing the transition after initial skepticism. “Blocking, tackling, catching,” Kandel said. “It’s not a different game.” Battaglia, a sophomore, threw for 1,056 yards, 11 touchdowns and just three picks last year. “We’re going to put the ball in the air a ton this year,” Kandel said. “At least 30 to 40 times a game.” Muller should be the main target through the air while Zaga will carry the load on the ground. Kandel said the team is young and rebuilding, but he likes the players he has. “As a new coach I don’t know the players well, but we want to be competitive while growing and developing,” Kandel said. “And we want to put points on the board.”
Sept. 18: San Pasqual Academy, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 2: Noli Indian, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 24: St. Joseph, 2:15 p.m.
Oct. 30: at St. Michael’s Prep, 3:30
Nov. 6: at Vista Calvary Christian, TBA
Last year: 5-3
Coach: Brent Miller, 3rd year
Key players: Garrett Perez (QB), Joseph McDonald (LB-DB), Alex Buffini (LB-DB), John Linnehan (RB).
Scouting report: The Christian Life football team is made up of home-schooled students. The Eagles play 8-man football in the California Christian Independent Football League against other church and home-school teams from Southern California. Miller guided the Eagles through the league’s playoffs and into the championship game in his first year, but they missed the playoffs last season. This year the Eagles have a young and inexperienced roster. Perez is one of only three seniors and will start at quarterback. Miller said Linnehan makes up for his lack of size with speed and quickness. Miller said his team will compete, but knows it will be tough with many players who have never played football before. “We’ll be challenged with inexperience,” Miller said. “It will be a really challenging season, but that’s good for the boys.”