1996 RECORD: 4-6 overall, 1-4 in league
COACH: Bill Denny (8-23 at school)
RETURNING STARTERS: 7 on offense, 3 on defense
Nick Briggs, TE, 6-4, 215, Sr.; Scott Carr, LB/FB, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Mike Chavis, TB/DB, 6-0, 190, Sr.; Dustin Crane, WR/DB, 5-9, 165, Jr.; Rick Farino, OL/DL, 6-4, 280, Sr.; Jake Fitch, QB, 5-10, 175, Sr.; Nick Gilliam, K/WR, 5-9, 170, Sr.; David Gutierrez, OLB, 5-10, 205, Sr.; Steve Reindl, DL/OL, 6-3, 262, Jr.; Jared Ritter, DL/OL, 6-4, 250, Sr.
Dan Bowling, TB/DB, 6-0, 175, Jr.; Billy Brummel, TE/LB, 6-0, 195, Jr.; Joe Cericola, C, 6-2, 225, Sr.; Stephen Glassford, DL/OL, 6-2, 200, Jr.; Anthony Nipps, OL/LB, 6-1, 210, Jr.; Joey Reid, WR/DB, 6-1, 175, Jr.; Bobby Young, QB/LB, 6-0, 175, Jr.; Justin Shultz, DB/WR, 6-1, 175, So.
The Diablos hope to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1994. They appear to have the offense to take them there. Fitch returns after passing for 881 yards and seven touchdowns last season . . . all with a bad shoulder that has since healed. The offensive line has size and strength, led by Farino, Reindl and Ritter, who has orally committed to San Diego State. Chavis and Bowling give the Diablos speed at running back and Crane and Gilliam are speedy wideouts. If the offense doesn’t move the ball far, Gilliam can kick field goals. He made a 52-yarder last season. Carr, a two-year all-league selection, leads an inexperienced defense along with Ritter. “We have a lot of guys playing both ways,” Denny said. “But we have enough depth to give them breathers.” The junior class will provide a lift after finishing 9-1 last season as a sophomore squad with the only loss coming against El Toro’s JV team. Juniors Reid, Young, Nipps and Brummell should contribute immediately.
Sept. 11 vs. Santa Ana at Santa Ana Stadium; 19 vs. Aliso Niguel; 25 vs. El Toro.
Oct. 3 vs. Sunny Hills; 11 vs. Century at Santa Ana Stadium; 17 at Trabuco Hills; 24 vs. Mater Dei; 31 at San Clemente.
Nov. 7 vs. Dana Hills; 14 at Capistrano Valley.