LA CRESCENTA — Crescenta Valley High football Coach Paul Schilling has a quarterback competition to play out and eight first-year players to work into the mix as the Falcons forge through spring practices.
"We're trying to work out our personnel, trying to figure out who's where," Schilling said. "We've got a lot of young guys up. We're trying to figure it out personnel-wise and then just get going. After all the time in the weight room and all, it's just fun to get out here and run around."
But for all the unknown variables there still remains some constants from last year's team, which went 6-5 and qualified for the CIF playoffs.
The offensive line, anchored by returning seniors right guard Naz Erdoglyan and left guard Andrew Kiorkof, figures to be the team's main strength.
"Our offensive line is our best thing," said Schilling, whose team continues spring practices through June 8. "We've got two starters returning, they're our guys. We're going to probably try to do stuff through our offensive line. We always throw the ball, but we might try to pound it a little more this year than we did last year."
That position also appears to be set, as senior-to-be William Wang will be the primary ball carrier after backing up senior Marro Lee last fall.
"We look pretty strong up front," Kiorkof said. "Our running back can get around and we can definitely put some points on the board."
The quarterback position may well be decided over the summer, as a full slate of passing league engagements will give newcomers Ben Rees and Joe Torres ample opportunity to battle it out.
"We've got two guys and they're pretty even right now, so we'll just have to see," Schilling said. "That's why we do all the passing [league] stuff."
Defense figures to be another fallback as the offense finds its identity, as seniors-to-be Chad Eggertson and Jack Lutynski lead a group littered with returners. Schilling said the team's defensive approach doesn't figure to look much different form last year's once the fall rolls around. The basic 4-3 scheme will be intact and the team is just working on filling in the gaps during spring practices.
"The defense looks real good, we've got a good D-line going this year and our linebackers look real good," Eggertson said. "Our secondary's good. ...We look pretty solid on defense. We're full of seniors and experience.
"I really think, especially in these preseason games, our defense is going to come up big and from what we've already seen in passing tournaments, our defense is showing up big time right now."
Once spring activities break on June 8, a dead period will follow before the summer session begins on June 18.
"We're working pretty hard every day trying to get better," Kiorkof said. "We need to get these freshmen-to-be-sophomores into the rhythm and get everybody on the same page."
Said Eggertson: "Right now it's all about practice, getting ready for the fall and learning from our mistakes."