COACH: Rob Dearborn, 3rd season
LAST SEASON: 7-3; 3rd in league, 3-2
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorpark has just five returning starters, including senior cornerbacks Chung Ho (5-foot-11, 150 pounds), who intercepted seven passes last year, and Toussaint Towdrill (5-11, 160), an all-league selection. Outside linebacker-guard Sam Cummings (5-10, 185) also returns. Senior linebacker Doug Frasco (6-1, 185) likely will get a shot at tight end as well. Senior Anthony Bravo (5-11, 190) will snap the ball to junior quarterback Ryan Huisenga (5-11, 155), who saw very little action behind starter Robert Hernandez last year. Sophomore Richard Hernandez (5-10, 150) might provide competition for the position.
OUTLOOK: “Our big goal is not to go backward this year,” said Dearborn, whose team outscored opponents, 257-135, last season. “We are at the top of the hill and we could go either way.”
COACH: Dick Billingsley, 1st season
LAST SEASON: 6-4; 4th in league, 2-3
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Billingsley will try to restore order to a program that Coach Ron Veres left abruptly near the start of last season. Billingsley, a co-coach at Beverly Hills for nine years and head coach at Culver City for five, is expecting great things from senior quarterback Mike Stern (6-1, 185). “He’s an extremely dedicated athlete--very coachable and very talented,” Billingsley said. Stern, who also will start at rover, passed for 848 yards and five touchdowns as a junior but threw 14 interceptions. Senior Brendan Bickley (5-9, 160) will start at tailback. Juniors Jeff Gibbons (5-10, 155) and David Shaw (6-0, 180) also will add offensive punch at wide receiver and fullback. Returning to the defensive squad are all-league linebacker Zach Siciliano (6-0, 192) and tackle Chris Kelley (6-1, 185). Billingsley is banking on junior Mike Banks (6-2, 205) to make an impact at center and defensive tackle.
OUTLOOK: “We will be battling Carpinteria and Moorpark for the championship,” Billingsley said. “We have a new offense and defense and we’re going to do things a little differently than we have done in the past years. We run a triple option and we will throw quite a bit.”
COACH: Jon Mack, 1st season
LAST SEASON: 1-9; 6th in league, 0-5
PLAYERS TO WATCH: After taking over a program without even one returning varsity player, Mack and his staff went knocking on classroom doors last spring to get players to come out for the team. It worked. Mack welcomed 53 candidates in May and said “forty winners have survived.” Among them are senior captains Robert Reyburn (6-5, 245), Don Edwards (6-0, 175) and Carlos Rodriguez (6-0, 185). Reyburn will anchor the offensive line, Edwards will start at wide receiver and Rodriguez, who bench-presses 270 pounds and is called a “ferocious hitter” by Mack, will play inside linebacker. Junior Toby Noblin (5-10, 170) will run the ball and Pete Houston (5-10, 160) is the quarterback. According to Mack, Houston, a straight-A’s student and junior-class president, is “a roll-out, option, drop-back kind of guy,” who is coming along nicely. Jeff Onstot (5-11, 175) will call the defense from free safety. Mack had the team lift weights through the summer and attend a weeklong, on-campus camp last month to get ready for action. “We have a long road to go, but we want to be as good as we can be,” he said.
OUTLOOK: St. Bonaventure faces no small task; the Seraphs were outscored, 373-121, last season. “We have the work ethic of a Division I powerhouse,” Mack said. “We have a tremendous desire to be successful. Our football team will be one of the best in the area. The whole town is excited about St. Bonaventure football.”