COACH: Dave Carson, 1st year

LAST SEASON: 11-2, 1st in league, 5-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Former Coach Rick Scott, who coaches at Buena, left a tough act to follow. Hart won four consecutive league titles with a sophisticated pass offense, but Carson, the former Burbank coach, must find a new quarterback to replace Times All-Valley selection Darren Renfro. Junior quarterback Chad Fotheringham (6-4, 165), who attempted only 2 passes last year as a backup, will share the position with Rob Westervelt (6-2, 180). Westervelt passed for 2,804 and 39 touchdowns for Hart’s undefeated sophomore team. Tight end Brian Allen (6-4, 215), who should emerge as one of the Valley-area’s most recruited seniors, had 44 receptions for 726 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. Senior receivers Jamie Carroll (5-10, 170, 1 reception) and Cameron Smythe (6-2, 180, 8 receptions) also will start. Junior tailback Howard Blackwell rushed for 124 yards in his only varsity appearance last year. Senior Elliott Graeber (5-11, 180, 122 yards rushing) returns at fullback. Tackle Keith Kershaw (6-1, 225) is the only returing starter on the line. Blackwell, Carroll and senior Rick Kempf head the defensive secondary. Tracy Sanders (5-10, 185) Scott Renfro (5-11, 185) and Tony Adelini (6-0, 210), along with Allen and Graeber, provide strength at linebacker.


OUTLOOK: Hart’s season shows all the promise of a first down on the opponents’ 2-yard line. “I think we’re going to be a really good football team,” Carson said. “If we platoon enough--and I think we can--we’re going to be damn tough to beat.”


COACH: Butch McElwee, 2nd year

LAST SEASON: 12-2, 2nd in league, 4-1


PLAYERS TO WATCH: Gone from last year is quarterback Jeff Barrett, the Indians’ career passing leader, and nearly all of his receivers. But new quarterback Marco Arcipreste (5-11, 175) should emerge as “one of the best quarterbacks in the Valley,” McElwee said. Placekicker Tommy Phillips, who booted 45 extra points and 4 field goals last season, will double as a wide receiver. Seniors Phil Kaloustian, Steve Hubbell and Jose Beltran all have good speed. Tight ends Tony MacCaughtry and Cliff Parker, the punter, also will be primary targets. Senior Kevin Monaco (6-0, 205), an all-league defensive end, is the new fullback. Andre Banks (5-10, 160), a transfer from Sylmar, and senior Chris Valento (5-11, 160) are battling for the tailback position. All-league guard Keith Moffatt (6-1, 235) and tackle Jose Calzadilla (6-2, 245) are returning starters. Several players are gone from the Valley’s No. 1 ranked defense. Sophomore nose guard Eric Arciniega (6-2, 220) is impressive, McElwee said. Defensive back Brett Goeringer is the only returning starter.

OUTLOOK: Burroughs, which reached the Northwestern Conference final last year, might not be as depleted as some believe. Said McElwee: “We’ll be a dark horse, but I look at us as being right up there with Hart again.”


COACH: Randy Stage, 1st year


LAST SEASON: 0-10; 6th in league, 0-5

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Experience is the Bulldogs’ greatest attribute. Eight seniors return on offense, but tailback Gabe Jimenez, Burbank’s career rushing leader, has graduated. Tarin Cardenaz (229 yards rushing last season) will start at tailback and should be the offense’s major weapon. Quarterback Anthony Valento, who completed 13 of 21 passes as a backup last year, will start. Beefy Bill Charles (6-1, 210) is the fullback. Wide receivers Jim Caferty and Dan Shaw, both varsity basketball players, are “pretty quick,” Stage said. Guards Cory Kessinger and Anthony Koulax and tackle John Cotti also return. Inside linebackers John Youn (6-1, 240), a first-team all-league selection last season, and Tony Spatola (5-11, 200), a second-team selection, form the heart of the defense. Senior Chad Peltier and junior Greg Blishak join Cardenaz, an all-league defensive back, in the secondary. Brothers Eugene and Adam Saldana will share placekicking duties.

OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs have ample motivation: Last year they were stripped of six wins--and a possible playoff berth--for using an academically ineligible player. But optimism will carry Burbank only so far. “Hart and Burroughs are who you’re going to pay attention to,” Stage said. “But I think we’ll do very well.”