It was still several weeks away from the start of the 2012 prep football season, but in early July, the Edison High football team got a big boost when it completed summer ball by winning its own Bash at the Beach passing league tournament.
The Chargers went undefeated at the 16-team event and hope to use that summer finish as a springboard to a big fall. Head Coach Dave White has nine returning starters back from a 2011 team that last year went undefeated in claiming the Sunset League championship. He lost to graduation in June several talented pieces from last year's team, including the 2011 Sunset League MVP (quarterback Chase Favreau) and SL Defensive Lineman of the Year (Dehvon Brown), but has several all-league returning players back on the roster.
Stepping in to lead the team at quarterback this fall is strong-armed senior Alek Torgersen who had a big summer and guided the Chargers to the Bash at the Beach title. A talented running game brings balance to the offense.
White, who also serves as the team's offensive coordinator, begins his 27th year as head coach and is closing in on the 200-wins mark. He brings a career record at his alma mater of 197-103-3 into the season.
The Chargers, along with the rest of the Sunset League football teams, begin competing in the CIF Southwest Conference this fall. Sunset football teams previously competed in the Pac-5 Division.
CIF Division: Southwest
Head Coach: Dave White (27th year)
Coaching Staff: Rick Justice (defensive coordinator); Harry Schmidt (offensive line); Dave Grace (quarterbacks); Mike Walters (running backs/linebackers); Ryan Tombrello (defensive backs); John Donnelly (defensive line); Buddy Noble (defensive ends); Jesse Sapolu (offensive line); Marty Burns (offensive line); Don "Mo" Time (offensive line); Al Granado (offensive line); Dave Yonts (kickers);
Start of Fall Camp: Monday
2011 record: 8-3
2011 league finish: Champion (5-0)
2011 CIF results: Reached first-round Pac-5 Division
Returning starters: 4 offense/5 defense
Type of offense: Spread
Type of defense: 4-3
Key losses: Chase Favreau (QB, 2011 Sunset League MVP); Alex Kircher (OL, all-league); Dehvon Brown (2011 Sunset League Defensive Lineman of the Year); Bryce Campbell (LB, all-league).
Players returning with honors: Garrett Garcia (DE, first-team all-league, Sr.); Jeremiah Frost (OL, first-team all-league, Sr.); Elijah Herrera, (RB, second-team all-league, Sr.); Zach Donnelly (DL, second-team all-league, Sr.); Donald Rice (LB, second-team all-league, Sr.).
Players to watch: Derek Baljeu (DE/FB, Sr.); Marquis Ross (RB, Sr.); Tico Fuga (OL/DL, Jr.); Trenton Aschoff (TE/LB, Sr.); Trevor Borkowski (WR/FS, Sr.); Dylan Luther (SS, Sr.); Jeremy Maxwell (WR/C, Jr.); Kiante Goudeau (WR/C, Jr.); Alek Torgersen (QB, Sr.); Alejandro Perez (LB, Sr.); Robert Reyes (FB, Sr.); Marcus Stepancich (WR, Sr.).
Coach's outlook: "Even though we lost a lot of very good players from last year's team, I believe we will be a very good team," White said. "We are big and strong on offense, and strong and quick on defense. Our inexperience is off-set by our hard work and athleticism. We should be a balanced offense and a 'bend but don't break' defense.
"Our league (Sunset) is tough with a lot of parity, so it will be tough to go 5-0. However, we will work very hard to defend our title. We are proud to have won the Sunset League eight out of the last 11 years."
Season opener: Aug. 31, at Los Angeles Garfield, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31: at Los Angeles Garfield, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6: vs. Villa Park, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Sept. 14: at Servite, 7:30 p.m. (Cerritos College)
Sept. 21: vs. Mater Dei, 7 p.m. (Orange Coast College)
Sept. 28: at San Clemente, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: *Newport Harbor, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Oct. 11: at *Los Alamitos, 7 p.m. (Veterans Stadium)
Oct. 19: vs. *Marina, 7 p.m. (homecoming, Huntington Beach High)
Oct. 26: vs. *Fountain Valley, 7 p.m. (Orange Coast College)
Nov. 2: vs. *Huntington Beach, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
(*denotes league game)