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High school quarterback exits create opportunities for backups

Incoming freshman quarterback Darius Curry of St. Bernard
Incoming freshman quarterback Darius Curry of St. Bernard will have several months to prepare for the first game of 2021 on Jan. 8.
(David Melendez)

Mission Viejo football coach Chad Johnson was looking forward to working with quarterback Peter Costelli for his senior year. Costelli was primed to use his speed and versatility to make the Diablos one of the best teams in the Southland. Then COVID-19 hit. Then the season was pushed back to January 2021.

Now it seems likely Costelli won’t be available to play for Mission Viejo. Johnson said Costelli intends to graduate by January and head to Utah to begin his college career.

That means the backups at Mission Viejo suddenly will have a chance to become a starter. Will Burns, last year a freshman starter who has baseball scholarship offers from UCLA and USC, will battle with last year’s JV quarterback, sophomore Kadin Semonza.

La Habra is looking for a starting quarterback after Jake Garcia left for Georgia hoping to play this fall before enrolling at USC. Mater Dei is not expected to have USC-bound Miller Moss after he had announced he transferred from Alemany.

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A Newport Harbor quarterback moved to Utah. Quarterbacks from Hart and St. Monica moved to Alabama and Colorado, respectively.

The other big trend to watch with the season being delayed is the rise of incoming freshmen. They will have four months to grow physically and mentally before the season begins, and lots of schools are expected to give them the opportunity to play on varsity.

St. Bernard could have a freshman starting at quarterback in Darius Curry, who already has a scholarship offer from Louisiana State.

St. John Bosco is going to take a strong look at 6-foot-4 freshman quarterback Caleb Sanchez.

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There are plenty of other freshmen who could be immediate contributors at receiver and in the secondary by January.


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