COACH: Larry Edwards, 11th season
LAST SEASON: 1-9; 5th in league, 1-4
PLAYERS TO WATCH: It’s a numbers game at Calabasas this season, and the magic number is 18: the number of players on the team. One of just two returning starters is senior quarterback Ron Adelman (5-foot-11, 190 pounds), who also will play linebacker. The other returning starter is junior Cameron LaBranche (6-3, 195), a tight end who will double at linebacker. After that, there mostly are new faces. Edwards likes his running backs, especially senior Matt Burrow (5-9, 160), who is in his first year of football, and junior Iman Mohtishimi (5-5, 130). Junior Dave Christenson (5-11, 165) also will play running back. All three running backs will play defense for Edwards.
OUTLOOK: The lack of numbers stems from a tiny senior class of just 90 boys, Edwards said. But the freshman and sophomore classes are bulging. Fifty-five players from the lower two classes will play on the freshman and junior varsity teams. “While it’s a famine at the top, it’s a feast at the bottom,” he said.
COACH: Curtis Garner, 3rd season
LAST SEASON: 10-2; 2nd in Tri-Valley League, 4-1
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Garner and the Flashes are still angry over their move up from Division IX to Division VIII. But the rest of the Frontier League is more concerned with Fillmore’s returning players, especially All-Southern Section senior tailback Tory Cabral (6-0, 185), who gained 1,555 yards in 188 carries and scored 15 touchdowns as a junior. Art Sosa (5-9, 150) will be Fillmore’s quarterback after backing up Chad Van Winkle last season. Sosa threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Sosa, who will double as a defensive back, will throw to junior wide receiver-defensive back Rey Garnica (5-10, 155) and senior Steve Clinton (5-8, 145), a wide receiver-safety. Joining Cabral in the backfield is senior Anthony Chessani (6-0, 240), who missed his junior year. One sure starter at center and linebacker is senior Jason Rangel (6-0, 190).
OUTLOOK: It’s a new league and a new outlook for former Tri-Valley League entry Fillmore. The Flashes had the best season in school history in ’89 but face stiffer competition in the likes of Santa Clara and Santa Paula. Still, Garner says, “We’re going to be there when crunch time comes.”
COACH: Cliff Farrar, 4th season
LAST SEASON: 1-9; 6th in league, 0-5
PLAYERS TO WATCH: With 15 lettermen returning, the Rangers are loaded with experience. What Farrar likes most is a secondary with three seniors: Darin Rich (5-9, 170), John Trent (6-0, 175) and Scott Baron (5-9, 170). Three starters also return on the offensive line: junior tackle Matt Johnson (6-2, 210), senior tackle John Gatling (6-3, 260) and junior guard Jim Barrett (6-0, 175). They will block for another letterman: running back Brandon Garnsey (5-7, 155), whose strength is his quickness. Trent, senior Jaren Hoskins (5-9, 165) and sophomore Steve Saum (5-10, 165) are competing for the quarterback job. Mike Bowen and Bryan Salas, both 5-10, 165-pound seniors, are bookend receivers.
OUTLOOK: Nordhoff has yet to win a Frontier League game under Farrar, and he is determined that 1990 will bring an end to that streak. With so much experience, it is likely that the Rangers will win--at the very least--one league game.
COACH: Mike Tsoutsouvas, 6th season
LAST SEASON: 5-5; 4th in league, 2-3
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Despite a fourth-place finish last year, the Cardinals have the talent to make teams think twice. Leading a strong offense is senior quarterback Ben Fausset (6-0, 175), who threw for 1,898 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. Fausset has a favorite and proven target in senior Dustin Magdaleno (5-9, 160), an all-league tailback who caught 47 passes last season. Magdaleno, who rushed for 172 yards, should lead the team in rushing again. Fausset’s other receivers include Chris Gomez (5-10, 150), Art Marcelo (5-5, 130), Randy Skaggs (5-5, 130) and Ray Rodriguez (5-11, 175). Other returning starters include senior linebacker-fullback Freddie Torres (5-8, 160), whom Tsoutsouvas calls “the hardest hitter on the team.” Juan Enriquez (6-3, 220), a linebacker and offensive guard, and Brian Lister (6-2, 215), an offensive lineman-linebacker, add to the team’s depth.
OUTLOOK: Santa Paula could be a surprise contender for the league title. Tsoutsouvas said that last year’s team “never gelled the way we should have.” If the players come together this year, the Cardinals could give Santa Clara and Fillmore a run for the title.
COACH: Larry Lawrence, 2nd season
LAST SEASON: 10-3; 1st in league, 5-0
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Despite heavy losses to graduation among the skill-position players, last year’s league champion still figures to pack a punch. Leading the offense is senior tailback Paul Muro (6-0, 197), a wideout last year who is expected to continue to catch many passes. Joining Muro in the backfield is senior fullback Scott Tripp (5-9, 165). The quarterback position is unresolved. Lawrence has yet to choose between junior Chris Macias (6-0, 165) and junior Allen Lyles (6-2, 160). The team’s top receivers are senior Danny Lopez (5-9, 150), who played cornerback last year, junior slotback Greg Macen (5-10, 175) and senior tight end Chad Brooks (6-2, 190).
OUTLOOK: Other coaches are tabbing the Saints as a favorite in the league. All Lawrence will say is that he is pleased that longtime league giant Agoura has left for the Marmonte League. “We’re glad to get them out of there,” he said.