George Pascoe felt his Marina High football team was on the right track last year. It might not have carried over into the win column, but he saw progress.
During the past few months, the second-year head coach of the Vikings said he has seen his squad come together and improve, and hopes that enthusiasm translates to bigger things this fall.
"I feel we closed the game and made people work harder," said Pascoe, whose squad finished 1-8-1 last year. "This is the year."
Marina heads into the 2012 season with 15 returning starters, but will have to replace all-league running back Alex Waked, who Pascoe said last year accounted for half of the team's offense. The Vikings do return Sunset League first-team players in two-way linemen Izak Faoa and Casey Coffman, plus second-team all-league senior running back/defensive back Eli Cabaccang.
One thing Marina will be looking to do in 2012 is end a long drought: Pascoe said the Vikings haven't won a league game in seven years.
CIF Division: Southwest
Head coach: George Pascoe (third year)
Coaching Staff: Dan Falkenstein (defensive coordinator/secondary); Josh Huber (offensive coordinator/wide receivers); Matt Brennan (quarterbacks); Turill Engelman (running backs); Andrew Sweet (offensive/defensive lines); Anthony McLawyer (linebackers); Conner King (defensive ends).
Start of Fall Camp: Aug. 6
2011 record: 1-8-1
2011 league finish: Sixth place
2011 CIF results: Did not qualify
Returning starters: 7 offense/8 defense
Type of offense: Multiple/shot gun
Type of defense: 4/3
Players returning with honors: Izak Faoa (OL/DL, first-team all-league, Sr.); Eli Cabaccang (RB/DB, second-team all-league, Sr.); Casey Coffman (OL/DL, honorable mention, Sr.).
Players to watch: Dominic Surace (OL/DL, Sr.); Izak Faoa (OL/DL, Sr.); Casey Coffman (OL/DL, Sr.); Eli Cabaccang (RB/DB, Sr.); Tucker Olivito (FB/LB, Sr.); James Meyers (TE/LB, Jr.); Scott Phillips (WR/DB, Jr.); Clay Fischer (WR/DB, Jr.).
Coach's outlook: "The kids really grew together as a team this summer," Pascoe said. "Really working together to improve. Chemistry can't be overlooked.
Scrimmage: 9 a.m. Saturday at Capistrano Valley
Aug. 24: El Rancho, 7 p.m. (Westminster High)
Aug. 31: Kennedy, 7 p.m. (Westminster High)
Sept. 7: at Westminster, 7 p.m. (Westminster High)
Sept. 14: at San Juan Hills, 7 p.m. (San Juan Hills High)
Sept. 21: Sherman Oaks CES, 7 p.m. (Westminster High)
Oct. 4: at *Los Alamitos, 7 p.m. (Veterans Stadium)
Oct. 12: *Huntington Beach, 7 p.m. (Westminster High)
Oct. 19: at *Edison, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Oct. 25: at *Newport Harbor, 7 p.m. (Newport Harbor High)
Nov. 2: *Fountain Valley (Westminster High)
(*denotes league game)