1997 RECORD: 2-7-1 overall, 0-4-1 in league
COACH: Frank Mazzotta (0-0 at school)
RETURNING STARTERS: 6 on offense, 6 on defense
Marcus Arrendondo, TE/DL, 6-1, 245, Jr; Ryan Hall, QB, 6-2, 200, Sr.; Josh Herrera, RB/DB, 6-1, 175, Jr.; Mario Neaves, OL/DL, 6-0, 240; Adam Provence, WR/S, 6-1, 180, Sr.; Paul Sidoti, OL/DL, 6-2, 260, Sr.; Dale Sutton, TE/LB, 6-0, 175, Sr.
Clint Dato, OL/DL, 6-4, 285, Jr.
No Freeway team was more disappointing last year than the Highlanders, especially after winning seven of 10 games (but still missing the playoffs) in 1996. "Philosophical differences" led to Coach Rick Milhizer's resignation. Mazzotta is new to La Habra but not to coaching. He spent the last three years running Lakewood Artesia's program--making the playoffs all three years--and his father, Frank Sr., coaches at Cerritos College. Mazzotta does not have an big infusion of fresh talent, but he does have 21 returning lettermen to work with. He said he wants to emphasize the running game to relieve pressure on Hall, who replaces the graduated Robert Morales at quarterback. In surveying the talent, Mazzotta feels Herrera (530 yards rushing, 290 yards receiving, six TDs), a second-team all-league selection, is developing into a top-flight back and could eventually be the league's best runner. A year's experience should also have helped Sutton (21 catches, 258 yards, one TD). The defense will miss all-league linebacker Kevin Hastin, and second-team all-league defensive back Josh White, both of whom graduated. Mazzotta's biggest task, though, is convincing the Highlanders they can be as good as they were two years ago.
Sept. 11 at Cerritos Valley Christian; 18 vs. El Dorado at Valencia HS; 25 vs. Whittier California.
Oct. 2 vs. Norwalk Warren; 8 vs. Whittier La Serna at California HS; 16 vs. Troy at Fullerton HS; 23 vs. Fullerton; 30 vs. Sunny Hills.
Nov. 6 at Buena Park; 13 vs. Sonora.