COACH: Randy Stage, 3rd season
LAST SEASON: 1-8-1; 6th in league, 0-5
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior quarterback Jason Chandler (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) leads a green offense that was turnover-prone last season. Chandler, who became the starter midway through the season, passed for 378 yards and one touchdown but threw eight interceptions. Jay Sumner (5-11, 170), a two-year starter at inside linebacker, also will play running back and is joined there by Randye Rand (6-0, 180). Juan Valencia (6-2, 180) returns and starts at tight end and linebacker. Joe Valento (5-10, 170) caught six passes for 89 yards in ’89 and will start at receiver and safety. Mike Lyneis (6-0, 160) and Trevor Dossen (5-11, 165) join Valento at receiver. Two-way tackles Frank Elenes (6-4, 250) and Larry Livengood (6-5, 260) saw limited action as juniors and lead the Burbank line corps. Brothers Frank (6-0, 205) and Steve Brenes (6-0, 190) will start at defensive end and linebacker, respectively. Del Cerna (6-2, 200), a transfer from Concord, Calif., will start at inside linebacker.
OUTLOOK: Burbank’s junior-varsity team was 5-5 last season, which should provide an infusion of talent to a squad whose leading rusher in 1989 gained 206 yards. Yet experience is a pressing problem. “We’re keeping (the offense) basic because we’re so young,” Stage said. “We’d like an offense that’s aggressive and doesn’t turn the ball over. We must have had 14 interceptions last season (actually 19). We’re going to try to cut it to 13.” A sense of humor won’t hurt.
COACH: Butch McElwee, 4th season
LAST SEASON: 3-8; tied for 3rd in league, 2-3
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Marco Esquivel (5-9, 160), a 15-year-old junior, becomes Burroughs’ second quarterback named Marco in the past three seasons. Marco Arcipresti started two years ago. “He’s a very intelligent player and he’s still growing,” McElwee said of Esquivel. “He has pretty good speed.” Eric Arciniega (6-0, 215), a two-year starter on the defensive line, will try his hand at fullback. Arciniega is “by far the best player on the team,” McElwee said. The rest of the running backs, Steve Garza (5-9, 145) and Ben Goldwasser (6-1, 190), also are new at the position. Burroughs has the nucleus of a good offensive line behind returning starters Brian Feola (6-1, 215) and Jason Bess (6-2, 225). Brad Pike (6-4, 215) has the size to stand out at tight end. Defensive backs include Tim Reiter (5-9, 150) and Vince Luizzi (6-4, 185). Luizzi’s brother, Bruce, now plays defensive back at USC. “He could be as good or better than Bruce if he keeps his head together,” McElwee said.
OUTLOOK: “We have some real good skill kids, but we don’t have much experience,” McElwee said. “It’s a good team, we’re just young. We need to be good teachers this year.” What Burroughs lacks in numbers--the roster will consist of about 40 players--it makes up for in speed. McElwee says he has a dozen players who can run the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds or less.
COACH: Mike Herrington, 2nd season
LAST SEASON: 10-2; first in league, 5-0
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Hart scored 427 points last year but no skill players return. “It might take us a while to get rolling,” said Herrington, whose team is ranked seventh in the Division III preseason poll. Junior Ryan Connors (5-11, 180), who led the sophomore team to a league title last season, has earned the starting nod at quarterback. “He’s got a real good arm and he’s progressed quite well in summer league,” Herrington said. Tucker Setterberg (6-1, 180), Jami Wolocko (5-10, 180) and Scott Blanchard (5-8, 165) are battling it out at tailback. Setterberg and Wolocko also return to start at linebacker and defensive back. George Kase (6-3, 220) has a school-record 18 career sacks as an end in addition to starting at tight end. Tim DeGroote (6-3, 260) is a Division I prospect at center and a returning Times All-Valley selection. Guard Brandon Best (6-3, 215) and tackle Eric Freund (6-5, 225) return in the offensive line. Doug Distaso (6-0, 180), Brian Bernier (5-10, 160) and Dane Ganshirt (5-8, 160) lead a group of untested receivers. Dan McKeon (5-8, 180) will play at inside linebacker. All-league kicker Brady Vilenski (48 of 51 point-after touchdowns) might be the best in the area.
OUTLOOK: Hart played well in summer-league competition, but, says Herrington, “Enough of that fake stuff. Let’s see what we can do when it counts.” A lack of experience will not stop Hart from airing it out. “We’ll still be throwing the ball as far as the stats go,” Herrington said. “But we want to be able to control the ball against some of the better teams.” With three returning offensive linemen, Hart might be afforded the opportunity to run and pass.