1997 RECORD: 13-1 overall, 5-0 in league
COACH: Bruce Ingalls (0-0 at school)
RETURNING STARTERS: 1 on offense, 2 on defense
Dustin Adams, SS, 6-0, 180, Sr.; Blake Curci, DE, 6-4, 220, Sr.; Jeff Fischer, DB, 5-10, 170, Sr.; Ryan Johnson, RB, 6-1, 210, Sr.; Justin McClean, OL/DL, 6-0, 260, Sr.; Kris Scher, OL/DL, 6-1, 220, Sr.
Tyler Bengard, LB, 6-3, 200, Sr.; Brandon Champlin, QB, 6-1, 175 Jr.; Norris Dixon, DL, 6-1, 250, Jr.; Justin Hallenbeck, WR/DB, 5-7, 155, So.; Tim Kemp, C, 6-1, 215, Sr.; Brandon Lamas, DE, 6-1, 230, Jr.; Derek Stevens, S, 6-0, 170, Sr.
Even though Laguna Hills doesn’t look anything like the team that won a Southern Section Division VIII title last year, it’s still the favorite to win league. The Hawks have a new coach and must replace 18 starters, a transition that would probably set back most high school teams, but not Laguna Hills. Ingalls, who was the Hawks’ defensive coordinator for 12 years, was a late hire after Steve Bresnahan resigned last spring. Out of necessity, Johnson moves from tight end to running back and is the lone returner for Laguna Hills’ offense, which averaged just over 39 points per game last season. Fischer, a first-team all-league defensive back, and Curci will be mainstays for the defense, which lacks experience but possesses plenty of team speed. The Hawks have several hefty linemen to fill the holes, including Dixon, a transfer from Savanna. After opening on the road, the Hawks play six consecutive games on their home field at Mission Viejo High School. A key game for Laguna Hills will be Nov. 5 against Aliso Niguel.
Sept. 11 vs. Jurupa Valley at Riverside Rubidoux HS; 18 vs. Trabuco Hills at Mission Viejo HS; 25 at Mission Viejo.
Oct. 2 vs. Carlsbad at Mission Viejo HS; 9 vs. El Toro at Mission Viejo HS; Oct. 16 vs. University at Mission Viejo HS; 22 vs. Laguna Beach at Mission Viejo HS; 30 vs. Costa Mesa at Orange Coast
Nov. 5 vs. Aliso Niguel at Mission Viejo HS; 12 vs. Estancia at Newport Harbor HS.