A year ago, the Huntington Beach High football program was about to embark on one of its more successful campaigns in history. It was a season that included a strong run toward the Sunset League title, which ended in a second-place finish, and a win in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.
This fall, the Oilers are aiming for more.
Huntington ventures into the 2012 season missing several potent playmakers off a 9-3 team, one that came within a game of capturing a league title and defeated Loyola in postseason play. Eric Lo begins his sixth year as head coach with a returning cast that includes three starters on both sides of the ball.
CIF Division: Southwest
Head coach: Eric Lo (sixth year; 32-23)
Coaching Staff: Brett Brown, Jeff Anger, Diego Segura, Matt White, Greg Olquin, Kaz Bilinski, Drew Sarachman, Jim Houston, Justin Howe, Dean Eddy, John Thoma, Matt Zeller, Alex Alagata.
2011 record: 9-3
2011 league finish: Second (4-1)
2011 CIF results: Reached second round of Pac-5 playoffs
Returning starters: 3 offense/3 defense
Type of offense: Spread
Type of defense: 3-3-5
Players returning with honors: Jeff Wiederkehr (MLB, second team all-league, Sr.); Sebastian DeMartini (T, second team all-league, Sr.); John Vis (DE, second team all-league, Sr.); Beau Blackwell (T, second team all-league, Sr.).
Players to watch: Kai Ross (QB/CB, Jr.); Lee Durant (RB, Jr.); Wyatt Marlow (WR, Sr.); Maurice Barber (WR, Jr.); Matt Tavakoli (LB, Jr.); Jacob Smith (LB, Jr.); Trevor Jackson (WR/CB, Sr.).
Coach's outlook: "Looking forward to a great year," Lo said. "We are young, but we have some good football players. I'm very excited about seeing how we compete."
Thursday: at El Toro, 7 p.m. (Trabuco Hills High)
Aug. 31: Magnolia, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Sept. 7: JSerra, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Sept. 13: at Trabuco Hills, 7 p.m. (Trabuco Hills High)
Sept. 21: Westminster, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Oct. 5: *Fountain Valley, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Oct. 12: at *Marina, 7 p.m. (Westminster High)
Oct. 19: at *Newport Harbor, 7 p.m. (Newport Harbor High)
Oct. 26: *Los Alamitos 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
Nov. 2: at *Edison, 7 p.m. (Huntington Beach High)
(*denotes league game)