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2016 Citrus League preview

08/18/2016, 10:30am PDT
By Terry Monahan

Borrego Springs, Julian, Ocean View Christian, San Pasqual Academy, St. Joseph, Warner


San Pasqual Academy plans to concentrate on its ground game early in the season.

BORREGO SPRINGS

Last year: 4-5

Coach: Tim White, 1st year

Division: 8-man

Key players: Alex Morris (TE-DB), Adan Delgadillo (OL-NG), Abraham Vega (OL-DL), Jesus Ornelas (QB-DB), Alexis Delgado (S), Andrew Morris (RB), Justin Lopez (FB-LB), Oscar Fuentes (ILB), Alexys Padilla (DB), Lucas Morales (OL-DL).

Scouting report: After going 10-0 in 2014, the Rams staggered last year. White came over from rival Julian as the new coach. Alex Morris averaged nearly eight tackles a game last year, earning second-team all-league honors for the second time. Same for Delgado, who had 42 tackles. More is being asked of Ornelas this season at quarterback. Andrew Morris rushed for more than 1,000 yards at West Shores two years ago.

JULIAN

Last year: 2-8

Coach: Scott Munson, 1st year

Division: 8-man

Key players: Anthony Romano (RB-LB), Jose Ramirez (RB), Alex Carson (OL-DL), Shane Cranfield (QB), Will Hatch (RB-WR), Jeremy Flores (OL-DL), Marshall Marriott (OL-DL), Caleb Biliunas (WR-CB), Joey Romano (OL-DL), Gage Baay (TE-DE).

Scouting report: Munson’s plan is to lean on the offensive line and the ground game before the passing attack. “Normally, we run the ball at Julian because we get a lot of rain and wind to rely solely on the pass,” he said. That means plenty of work for running backs Romano, Ramirez and Hatch. There are just three seniors on this year’s team, so how quickly the Eagles mature will determine how the season unfolds.

OCEAN VIEW CHRISTIAN

Last year: 7-3

Coach: Ron Loewenthal, 7th year

Division: 8-man

Key players: Dylan Loewenthal (QB), Alan Rodriguez (OL-NG), Mike Smith (LB), Diego Mascerano (TE).

Scouting report: The defending league champions began by moving leading rusher Dylan Loewenthal to quarterback full-time this year. Smith, the team’s top defender last year, will have a big role along with Mascerano, who was the leading receiver on offense. Rodriguez is the lone returning offensive lineman, so that is an area of concern heading into the season opener.

SAN PASQUAL ACADEMY

Last year: 5-4

Coach: Mark Dederian, 1st year

Division: 8-man

Key players: Karson Wallace (QB-LB), Westley Bryant (RB-WR-LB), Curtis Record (OL-DL), Ezequiel Osorio (OL-DL).

Scouting report: The Dragons are rebuilding this season and start with Wallace and Bryant as the team’s lone seniors. Dederian, who was an assistant coach on staff the last five seasons, plans to concentrate on running the ball early on before opening up the passing attack.

ST. JOSEPH

Last year: 7-3

Coach: Tom Davis, 5th year

Division: 8-man

Key players: Devin Hila (OL), Anthony Grimard (OL), Benet Kerekes (DE-TE), Blase Kerekes (RB-LB), Noah Whitney (WB-LB).

Scouting report: Hila and Grimard anchor the strength of the team up front on offense. The Crusaders are rebuilding with a handful of young players who did not play football last fall. Blase Kerekes leads the ground game after rushing for more than 1,100 yards as a freshman in 2015. Benet Kerekes is a tough defender at end.

Independent

WARNER

Last year: 0-9

Coach: Ed Wean, 2nd year

Division: 8-man

Key players: Trevor Osuna (WR-DB), Parker Wassenaar (WR-DB), Wyatt Holt (WR-DB), Elijah Hall (QB-MLB), Ethan Rombal (OL-DL), Ruben Reyes (OL-DL), Brandon Flores (OL-DL), Cody Paipa (OL-DL).

Scouting report: The Wildcats left the Citrus League after last season to pursue a new path. Wean is counting on Hall to lead the offense behind the blocking of Rombal, Reyes, Flores and Paipa.

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