COACH: Enrique Lopez, 2nd year
LAST SEASON: 3-7 overall; fifth place in Del Rey League, 1-4
THE PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Indians could have one of the area’s top quarterback/receiver combinations in Sean Casey and Travis Bargeman. Casey is potentially a top-level quarterback and Lopez has described Bargeman as “the best athlete in the entire school.” Bargeman has also been tabbed by rival coaches as one of the most gifted athletes in the entire league. Defensive back Troy Vigil is also talented. He earned All-Del Rey honors last season and also qualified for the Southern Section finals in the 100-meter dash. Senior linebacker David Casillas (6-3, 210) has major-college size and is coming off an all-league junior season. Larry Muir (5-10, 210) could prove to be one of the strongest linebackers in the Valley. He was named Alemany’s lifter of the year after squatting 500 pounds and benching 365. Senior cornerback Fabian Malbrew returns for his third varsity season. The Indians will depend on John Vallon, a senior transfer from Chaminade, to produce as running back. Lopez has been impressed with the aggressive play of Kirk Stewart during preseason workouts. Lopez is looking for a big season from the junior linebacker.
OUTLOOK: “I’d say 90% of our team is seniors,” Lopez said. “I’m looking for them to step in and really take care of business.” Alemany returns 11 starters--five on offense, six on defense.
COACH: Bill Redell, 1st year
LAST SEASON: 0-9-1 overall; sixth place in Del Rey League, 0-5
THE PLAYERS TO WATCH: Redell, who guided the Celts to a league championship in 1982, returns after a two-year absence. Since he left, Crespi has failed to win a league game and suffered through its worst record ever (0-9-1) last season. The coach’s son, Randy Redell (6-0, 185), a quarterback, is listed by Street and Smith’s Official 1985 College Football Yearbook as a “senior to watch.” Another player worth keeping an eye on is senior tackle Bob Barberie. At 6-4, 235 pounds, he has the size and talent to be a premier player. The development of junior tight ends Sean Howard and John Carpenter could be the key to the Celts’ success. Redell’s favorite target might turn out to be junior wide receiver Tim Knowd (6-3, 185). He caught 54 passes for more than 900 yards on the sophomore team last season. Seniors Rich Gebele and Mike McAndrews will join Barberie to help give the Celts experience on the offensive line. John Budge played defensive back last year, but has been moved to tailback. Jeff Marconet gained 210 yards as fullback last year. He will be Budge’s running mate. On defense, Crespi will be led by linebacker Fred Gonnello and strong safety Greg Cummings, both seniors.
OUTLOOK: The Celts return more starters than any other Del Rey League team: eight on offense, eight on defense. “Our goal now is to instill some confidence in the kids,” Bill Redell said. “They’ve been 3-16-1 over the last two seasons. The first step is to teach them how to win.”
COACH: Steve Grady, 10th year
LAST SEASON: 8-3 overall; second place in Del Rey League, 4-1
THE PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Cubs are already pushing senior quarterback Dan O’Neil for postseason honors. He is listed in their media guide as “one of the top QBs in the state.” O’Neil (6-3, 197) started three games last season, completing 57% of his passes for 523 yards. In Loyola’s 28-20 first-round playoff loss to Marina last year, he threw for 250 yards in the first half. If the Cubs are to regain the league championship form of 1983, they will need another big year from senior defensive back Bernard Brown, who intercepted five passes and earned all-league honors as a junior. He was an integral part of a stingy defense that posted six shutouts in ’84. Seven members of that defense have graduated, including All-Southern Section defensive end Donald Evans. Loyola will be looking forward to the return of senior running back Mark Eastwick (6-0, 210), who missed the final half of ’84 with an injury. While he was healthy, he gained 318 yards and scored five touchdowns. The Cubs have an intimidating offensive line, which averages 6-2, 208. Joe Fahmy (6-4, 234), a senior tackle, is the biggest and most most imposing member of that line. The defensive line should be led by returner Pierre Bourgeix.
OUTLOOK: “We’re bigger, stronger and more experienced than we were last year at this time,” Grady said. “If this group plays with the same intensity and desire as last season’s, who knows how far we can go?”
COACH: Kevin Rooney, 6th year
LAST SEASON: 4-6 overall; fourth place in Del Rey League, 2-3
THE PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Knights would have gone to the Southern Section playoffs last year if they hadn’t lost to St. Francis, 14-6, in the last game of the season. Gone from the 1984 team are All-Southern Section wide receiver Rocky Palomara and all-league quarterback Tom Schaefer. One key returner is defensive end/tight end John Perak, who is listed by Street and Smith’s Official 1985 College Football Yearbook as a “senior to watch.” As a junior, Perak (6-6, 230) was selected to the All-Del Rey team on both the offensive and defensive lines. Offensive and defensive lineman Tony Ricci (5-10, 210) received honorable mention to the all-league team last season as a junior. Rooney is hoping that what he saw from quarterback John Benz during the summer wasn’t a fluke. Benz (6-0, 170), a senior, impressed Rooney with his leadership ability and accuracy. Tailback Nate Milone showed promise last season, gaining 130 yards in an early-season game. But he hurt his ankle before league play began and was forced to sit out much of the remainder of the season. Seniors Ron Altbaum and Jerry Pondella should give the Knights experience at linebacker.
OUTLOOK: “There are a lot of keys for us to be successful,” Rooney said. “We need to play good defense and our offense is going to have to develop. For that to happen, we’ll need good quarterbacking (from John Benz).”
COACH: Terry Terrazone, 3rd year
LAST SEASON: 6-5 overall; third place in Del Rey League, 3-2
THE PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Golden Knights were hit hard by graduation, losing all of their offensive starters and six defensive starters. The loss of running back Allen Grant and tackle Dave Hallstrom hurt worst. Grant, who is now playing for Stanford, gained more than 1,400 yards last season on his way to receiving Del Rey League Most Valuable Back and All-Southern Section honors. Hallstrom, who is at UCLA, was an all-state selection. Terrazone expects senior Mike Betance to have an especially good 1985 campaign. As a junior, Betance was named All-Del Rey as a defensive end. This season, he is a candidate for quarterback bunt will retain his role on the defense. Julio Carballo will challenge him for quarterback duties. Vince Moss (6-2, 209) returns for an encore to his junior performance as an all-league defensive end. Mark Sanders, also a senior, enters his second year as a starting linebacker. Senior cornerback Brian Miller, a starter last season, will once again anchor the Knights’ secondary. Geoff Arrobio, whose father played for the New York Giants, played several games as a sophomore in 1984. He will start on both the offensive and defensive lines.
OUTLOOK: If history is any indication, St. Francis should once again contend for the Del Rey title. The Golden Knights have qualified for the Southern Section playoffs 21 of the past 25 seasons and have appeared in postseason play nine straight times.
St. John Bosco
COACH: Bill Friedrich, 4th year
LAST SEASON: 8-3-1 overall; first place in Del Rey League, 5-0
THE PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Braves have been devastated by graduation. Only four starters return from the Braves’ league championship team of a year ago. All-Southern Section quarterback Mike McMaster and nine other starters on offense are gone. Senior fullback Mike Rael, who has scored 11 touchdowns in his career, will begin his third year as a varsity starter. Friedrich believes that the defensive line will be the strongest aspect of the team. Like Rael, senior defensive end Nick Pantuso (6-4, 190) is entering his third year on the varsity. Jeff Schlicting (6-0, 185) started every game last season as the other defensive end, and Friedrich expects him to make major contributions this season. Pantuso and Schlicting will be joined on the line by returning starter Mike Cuicchi (6-0, 260) and Dave Torrez (6-2, 235). A successful title defense, however, may hinge on the development of McMaster’s replacement, junior quarterback Jim Sterner. The Braves already have a capable tailback in Oscar Mesa, who scored six TDs last season as a sophomore. Senior tackle Randy Rangel (6-0, 208) will help hold down the offensive line.
OUTLOOK: “We’re not a senior-dominated team,” Friedrich said. “We have a lot of inexperienced seniors and juniors. In order for us to be successful, we’ll have to get steady improvement and maturity out of them.” Football previews were compiled by Dave Desmond, Mike Hiserman, David Keck, Gary Klein, David Morgan, Jeanmarie Murphy, Derek Raser and Johannes Tesselaar.