Thousand Oaks, Burroughs Travel for Football Openers
Valley-area high school football kicks off tonight with Thousand Oaks traveling to Chino and Burroughs visiting St. Francis. Both games begin at 7:30.
Thousand Oaks will be missing two-way starter Lance Burch, who underwent surgery on his right knee Sunday and is lost for the season. Burch, a senior middle linebacker and center, sustained the same type of injury Lancer standout Spencer Smith did in 1986. Smith, a two-way lineman, missed his senior season but is now a starter as a redshirt freshman at San Jose State.
“The team has to respond to the loss of Lance the way it did two years ago when we lost Spencer,” Coach Bob Richards said. Thousand Oaks was 11-2 and won the Marmonte League title in 1986. The Lancers were 12-1-1 and Coastal Conference champions last season.
Chuck Shin will replace Burch on offense and Lance Martin will move from outside linebacker to Burch’s spot in the middle. Nick Ochoa will start at outside linebacker. Also injured is kicker-wide receiver John Mogler, who fractured a finger on his left hand and will be reduced to kicking duties this week.
Eight starters return from Chino’s 10-2 team, including All-Hacienda League quarterback Gary Goodwin, who passed for 1,338 yards. Split end Chad Beckman, also an all-league selection, caught 38 passes in eight games.
The Cowboys have since moved up to the Baseline League, which is in Division IV. Chino lost in the second round of the Southeastern Conference (Division VI) playoffs last season.
Running back Brian Williams, Chino’s Pomona Valley Player of the Year as a sophomore, is ineligible for disciplinary reasons. Shawn Hampton and Art Briones will split time in his place.
Burroughs defeated St. Francis, 42-28, in last season’s opener, but the Indians have lost several key players, including quarterback Jeff Barrett, Burroughs’ career passing leader. But Coach Butch McElwee insists he has a qualified replacement in senior Marco Arcipreste.
“He’s got a better arm than Barrett and he’s stronger,” McElwee said.
St. Francis, which finished third in the Del Rey League last year, is led by senior quarterback Eric Hagge, who replaces Bill Morris, the league’s Back of the Year.