Virgen: Future appears bright for Sea Kings

The present state of the Corona del Mar High varsity football team appears just fine.

The Sea Kings have the second seed in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs. They play host to Los Amigos in a quarterfinal Friday at 7 p.m. at Jim Scott Stadium.

The future of the program also looks great, if a lower-level team's success is any indication.

CdM's freshman football team went 10-0 this past season. It was the first time the Sea Kings' frosh team went undefeated, Coach Jerry Jelnick said.

The Sea Kings, the Pacific Coast League champions, were dominant throughout the season. They outscored teams, 427-31, and posted five shutouts.

Their closest win was a 13-8 victory against Huntington Beach. They completed their perfect season with a 49-3 win over Beckman.

The key will be keeping the young group intact. If that happens, varsity coach Scott Meyer will have good reason to be optimistic about the future.

Not only is there talent coming up, but the young players also have the expectation of winning. They have other attributes, too.

"We had some outstanding leaders," Jelnick said. "We had a lot of guys who filled in spots when needed. They knew their roles."

Jelnick said the team had great practice habits and worked hard during each training session. And it wasn't just the starters.

Jelnick put a high priority on preparation. He challenged the scout team and told them to give the starters a good look of what was coming.

"We watched a lot of film," Jelnick said.

When the season ended, the CdM freshman team didn't want it to be over. The freshmen wanted to play an extra game against Mater Dei, which also went undefeated.

They had a hunger to win because they played so well together. Bo St. Geme led the offense as the quarterback.

"He did a nice job for us," Jelnick said of St. Geme, the younger brother of former CdM standout distance runner Annie St. Geme. "He ran the game well. He hit some big passes. He never put us in a hole. We wanted positive yardage on every play and it all started with him."

The Sea Kings were balanced on offense, as they also featured a strong running attack. Barrett Barbato possesses speed to beat defenders to the outside, while Huge Crance is a physical runner who could pick up yards between the tackles.

CdM was also strong on defense with Harrison Carter, Cole Martin, Parker Chase, Barbato, Hugh Crance and Hoyt Crance leading the way.

Jelnick sees a good future for the CdM football program. The junior varsity team went 8-2, 4-1 in league.

"Hopefully the future is great, but you could lose a lot of kids through the years," he said. "But there is a good core of kids there. Mix in the kids from last year and the year before and it looks really good. Hopefully everyone stays healthy. It's going to be some good times for CdM, hopefully."

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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