1997 RECORD: 2-7-1 overall, 0-4-1 in league
COACH: Tony Ciarelli (2-7-1 at school)
RETURNING STARTERS: 6 on offense, 5 on defense
Chris Gruville, OL, 6-3, 280, Sr.; Sam Lightbody, TE/DL, 6-9, 255, Sr.; Jeff Morrison, OL, 6-3, 235, Sr.; Adam Nyssen, WR/LB, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Brendon Rosen, OL, 6-3 1/2, 280, SR.; Zac Ryder, LB, 5-11, 205, Sr.; Shuan Shuck, RB/DB, 5-9, 175, Jr.; Damon Van Hoorebeke, RB/DB, 6-0, 180, Sr.
Mark Corrales, DL, 5-10, 195, Jr.; Jeff Emerson, QB, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Robert Hay, LB, 6-0, 205, Sr. Justin Keadle, TE/LB, 6-2, 190, So.; Kawika Mesa, DL, 5-9, 215, Sr.; Charlie Myer, DB, 5-9, 185, Sr.; Shawn Wallace, OL, 6-3, 235, Sr.
Ciarelli's first coaching season went about as expected; the Oilers struggled while he learned what it took to be successful in the Sunset League. The formula? Physical presence and five weeks of high-level intensity. It's the latter that is the biggest question facing Ciarelli and his staff. "Last year we had four games we could have won, but we couldn't hang in there during the last three to five minutes," Ciraelli said. The Oilers will have the size to compete. Lightbody is probably the county's biggest receiver, and Ciarelli hopes Nyssen can approach the production of graduated all-league wideout Eric Cabarera (53 catchs, 576 yards, seven TDs). Van Hoorebeke (712 yards, six TDs) will benefit from the return of Shuck, who missed much of last season because of a broken right hand. But Shuck gave a glimpse of his potential with a 185-yard performance against Los Alamitos. Emerson inherits the quarterback spot vacated by the graduated Jeff Lineberger (1,336 yards, 13 TDs). Huntington Beach is seeking its first postseason berth since 1993, but cannot tolerate a rash of injuries to the starters. "If anything brings us down, that would be it," Ciarelli said.
Sept. 11 at Downey; 17 vs. Torrance; 25 vs. Long Beach Millikan.
Oct. 2 at Paramount; 9 vs. Dana Hills; 15 vs. Fountain Valley; 22 vs. Esperanza at Valencia HS; 30 vs. Marina at Westminster HS.
Nov. 6 vs. Los Alamitos; 13 vs. Edison at Orange Coast College.