Valley Pigskin Preview: Southwestern League
Friday, August 16th, 2013
Issue 33, Volume 17.
Among the Southwestern League, Head Football Coach Coley Candaele’s "Team First" attitude is a winner for the Vista Murrieta Broncos as they head into the 2013-2014 season.
Bronco Head Football Coach Coley Candaele has always emphasized the team over the individual. While individual talents contribute to Vista Murrieta’s success on the field, the overall character and sportsmanship of the team are the larger part of building a successful football program.
Candaele’s goals go beyond winning football games. He and his coaches instill respect, focus, and integrity into their players and the goal is to build quality young adults after they graduate.
Candaele teaches his players the importance of preparation, family and character.
"This game of football lasts for four years in high school. We want these kids to build a foundation for the rest of their life," Candaele said.
He also runs one of the best football programs in the nation.
"The reality is we have to be the best football team we possibly can," Candaele said. "If we play at our best, highest level, we’ll be playing for a long time."
The Reigning Southwestern League Champions have three goals this year: "Win CVC, Win the City. Win the Valley, and Win CIF."
And Candaele has the weapons at his disposal to accomplish all three.
The Bronco offensive line is anchored by senior All-League linemen Jim Maloney and Mark Diano. They are joined by Dominick Marmalejo and the trio plan to open huge holes for running back Kishawn Holmes. Holmes emerged as Vista Murrieta’s "go to" back last season and had an incredible run through the CIF playoffs and was on the All-Southwestern League team.
Another All-Southwestern League returnee is kicker Aaron Ruth, a senior. Ruth nailed 70 out of 73 PATs last season and handles all the kick-offs and field goal attempts.
The Broncos have a pool of talent at quarterback to choose from as the season opener approaches. Transfers Coltin Gerhart from Norco and Risiah Basurto from Corona Centennial join Westin Long. All three look solid behind center. They have a several seasoned returning receivers to throw to.
Senior wide receiver Daryl Denby caught 20 passes for 272 yards last season.
Jamie Nunley snagged 24 passes for 365 yards while Collin Baker hauled in 23 balls for 436 yards. Both are juniors.
Vista Murrieta boasts one of the best defenses in the league. They have four key starters coming back to solidify the Bronco’s mean and nasty defense. Senior captain Tyler Cooke spearheads the Bronco "D."
Cooke is one of a pair of All-League defensive ends who protect Bronco territory this season. He is flanked on the other side of the line by junior Curtis Bolton who led the team with 10.5 sacks last year.
Behind them is another All-Leaguer, Greg Hoyd the middle linebacker and heart of the defense.
Senior Randy Beggs will be prowling the Bronco secondary this season. He will also find playing time as a wide receiver. The Broncos are not afraid to utilize players on the both sides of the ball. Look for Coach Candaele to mix it up all season long.
Since arriving at Vista Murrieta in 2004, Candaele has a 70-17 record in his eight-year tenure. His record would be an even more amazing 75-12 if the five forfeits in 2011 were factored in.
The Broncos have won six Southwestern League titles and the CIF Southern Section Championship in 2012. Look for Vista Murrieta to be right in the thick of it all again this year.
Nighthawks embrace Coach Fazio’s new attitude
Murrieta Valley revitalized with the new coach’s passion and is motivated to compete at a higher level.
There’s one clear message being sent by Murrieta Valley Coach Vinnie Fazio to his players, and that is that the Nighthawks fear no one. Fazio has infused passion, enthusiasm and excitement to the 2013 team.
"There is no reason that this team can’t compete at the absolute highest levels in the league, state, and nation" said Fazio. "The sky’s the limit."
Fazio inherits a Nighthawk team that finished 10-2 in 2012 and has been to the CIF Playoffs for five consecutive seasons. Even though the roster lost numerous key senior varsity players, Fazio is delighted with the talent that remains.
"This has been a very good football program and we can add one or two things to get to the next level," said Fazio. "We need to put the time and work in and get there."
Murrieta Valley’s defense has been one of the toughest in the Southwestern League for the past three years. Look for them to be even more physical this season.
The defensive line is anchored by senior defensive end Jordan Silva. He is flanked by Julian Torres, Bobo Arciniega, Michael Gossett and Justin tucker.
The Nighthawk backfield returns two key starters. Seniors Weston Brown and All Southwestern League corner Lafayette Waters will prowl the secondary with Ian Herman and sophomore Jimmy Ed Orsag. Eduardo Lanuza and Michael Ingram are also in the mix. Brown and Waters will also see time as wide receivers.
The Nighthawks are loaded with linebackers.
"We have a core of linebackers that will see a lot of action this season," said Fazio. They include Gage Gerber, Chase Lowther, Austin Crawford and Julio Robles.
The Nighthawks are working hard this summer to rebuild and reshape their offense that was decimated by graduation.
Look for Murrieta Valley to have a more balanced offensive attack this year.
"We are going to mix it up this year, a 50-50 run and play action pass attack," said Fazio. "We will be playing fast and hard, pass effectively and stay ahead of the chains."
A bright spot is the MV offensive line, one of the best in the league with four returning starters. All Southwestern League seniors Grant Hatch and Christian Vinski anchor the line with Jerry Boggs, Jack James and Dalton Duckett.
Preston Miller is the quarterback and is looking forward to get the chains moving for the Nighthawks. He has Waters and Brown to throw to as well as Aaron Young, Dominic Morace and Brandon Peapealalo, all dangerous receivers.
MVHS will not exclusively be a spread offense this season. Jordan Silva and Cameron Doshier will be playing tight end. They present Miller with big tough targets.
Michael Robles will be the primary ball carrier for the Nighthawks. He is a tough fullback with the legs of a gazelle who bulls his way through defenses. He is joined by fellow Seniors Mike Merlo, Daniel Mckee and Junior Anthony Silva in the backfield.
"We are going to keep it simple, play fast, hard and tough this season," said Fazio.
The Nighthawks open their season against the Titans at Temescal Canyon on Aug. 30.
Golden Bears stress fundamental football and sound technique keys
Football Head Coach Paul McGowen’s philosophy of sound fundamentals and techniques added yet another dimension this weekend – team work. The Golden Bears football program conducted a 30-hour team endurance event at Temecula Valley High School designed to build positional unit and team cohesion. It also set the standards and conditions for a successful 2013 football season.
The boot camp was designed by USMC Master Gunnery Sergeant Doug Fraser (stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms) whose son plays for Temecula Valley.
"The overall mission is to build teamwork delivered through a shared hardship" said SGT. Fraser. "We are not only team building, we are creating and identifying the leaders that will take this team to another level."
The boot camp was designed after a US Marine program and the Golden Bears found out right from the start of the program that this was no regular practice. Each player was issued a 50 pound sandbag "buddy" and broken into teams of 15. The sandbags were to never hit the ground during the grueling 30 hour ordeal unless specified at the training station and break period; the entire group was penalized for an infraction. The strategy of the camp was to break down any barriers between individual players and build them back up into a strong, cohesive team.
McGowen and Fraser divided the program into eight stations. The first station had the team ferry sandbags across the TVHS pool. Other stations had the players moving massive tires end over end, pushing the sled while dealing with the bags, and even an obstacle course while carrying a teammate on a stretcher. The weight room was simply called "The House of Pain."
Emotions rang strong throughout the camp, ranging from frustration to anger to competitiveness and to elation. One of the best stories that came from camp happened in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The players had been awakened at 2 a.m. to the sound of air horns and loud voices from the Gunnery Sgt. and coaches. They were required to run sprints on the wet track and field as well as other physically taxing drills.
At one point, as the team was running laps on the red dirt field, one player, a massive lineman with a ton of heart was beginning to show signs of fatigue. The entire team – cold, soaking wet from dew and sweat and sleep deprived – rallied around him, encouraging him as they progressed as a team. A varsity wide receiver, a key player for Temecula Valley, took the lineman’s hand, placing it on his own shirt, told the player, "I got you, come on." He then proceeded to run directly in front of the lineman, pacing him.
It was a very impressive story, but what makes it extraordinary was what happened in the last quarter leg of that final lap – the lineman let go of the receiver’s shirt and sprinted ahead to the finish line. It couldn’t have been more inspiring had it been a scene out of a movie. The team roared.
One of the parent volunteers, Roosevelt Simmons, summed the experience up in an email sent to the football program on Sunday.
"That was the single most motivating and inspiring event to date in our high school football career! I saw more boys become men than I truly expected. There were those who thought they couldn’t make it only to have their teammates push and encourage them on to finish. Even the parents I was with were inspired and motivated by the tremendous accomplishment by the team," said Simmons.
"The camp was an experience in our lives that we will never forget. It was like no other. The drills that we performed were designed to push us to our limits, physically as well as mentally. While the work was insane, we all had fun doing it," said senior Nathan Chupp. "There is no doubt in my mind that it helped the team. But, it had the biggest impact on the seniors. The realization of how much we are needed for leadership really came to the forefront."
Senior Kai Simmons added, "Well, the camp was hell! Pushed me harder than I could have imagined, but it definitely helped me out. The camp made me realize how much we had to work together as a team to achieve our goals. Also, the camp was great for the team because it brought out the natural leaders. I gained brothers out of this experience. Without a doubt, we all grew closer together as a team and a family because of how we went thru this camp together."
Coach McGowen’s goals were to build teamwork, loyalty, endurance, courage and unity. It also helped the players learn to have a positive attitude under stress, identify leaders and get the team committed to one goal – winning.
"This exercise taught me there really is nothing to fear when you hear an air horn blasting at 1:45 in the morning when you are dead asleep. It is just one of the coaches getting you up to go down to the track and do ‘up-downs’ until you have your next birthday," said Chupp. "Many things were learned from camp, but most importantly was camaraderie. There is a sense of being united now between us all. We are close not only as a team, but as friends as well."
"This boot camp not only brought the players together, it brought the whole Golden Bear family closer together," said McGowen. "The parents, boosters and team all came together to get this season started in the right direction."
The coaching staff is already planning on this becoming an annual event.
"TVHS football would like to extend a heartfelt ‘Thank You!’ to Mater Gunnery Sgt. Fraser for his time and expertise in developing this program."
For more pictures of Golden Bear football, visit www.highschoolsportspics.com.
The Golden Bears open their season against the Titans on Sept. 6 at Temescal Canyon High School. Game time is 7 p.m.
Susan Bieber contributed to this article.
Murrieta Mesa poised for a breakout season
The Rams are ready to compete in the tough Southwestern League.
Unsatisfied with last year’s exceptional season, the Rams are looking for more this year. Murrieta Mesa celebrated its first winning season since the program began as the Rams finished the year with a 6-4 record, the best in their school’s short history.
After dropping a 33-30 heartbreaker to cross town rival MVHS, the Rams overcame a huge psychological barrier and recorded their first Southwestern league victory in the school’s history, defeating the Golden Bears 34-17.
Mesa threatened but missed making the CIF Playoffs when they lost to the Wolfpack in the final game of the season.
Asked about the Rams incredible season, Head Coach Justin Schaeffer said, "We were very excited to get our first league win and to have our first winning season."
Even with the years lofty accomplishments, Schaeffer pointed out that he felt the team has a lot of unfinished business for this year.
"We were very disappointed to not finish stronger in league," he said. "We were extremely disappointed to not make the playoffs."
Schaeffer’s goals for this year’s Rams are aggressive: "Improve on last year’s record. Win multiple league games. Make the playoffs."
The Rams will have to accomplish the coach’s goals with a very young roster this year.
"Young!" said Schaeffer when asked about this year’s team. "We lost 32 seniors from last year’s squad, including 14 3-year lettermen and nine 3-year starters."
The offensive line is anchored by senior offensive tackle Ruben Meza and senior offensive guard Jacob Wallace who have both started every game since their sophomore seasons. Junior Bryson Bridges is a standout on both the offensive line and defensive line.
The Rams offense will be spearheaded by senior running back Kyler Vazquez. He is the school’s all-time leading career and single game rushing leader. He will be flanked by senior Israel Alfaro who has the distinction of having the longest carry from scrimmage and longest TD in school history.
Senior Daniel Castro returns as the Rams key go-to wide receiver and will be doing the PATs, field goals, and punting for Mesa. He has been invited to the nationals.
Senior linebacker Chandler Woodward is the leader of the Ram defense. Woodward started every game in 2012 and was a 2nd Team All-Southwestern League selection.
Senior defensive ends Nick Tejada and Wesley Scott are back to punish opponents this year. Both started every game in 2012 and Tejada led the team in sacks.
Behind them are seniors Billy Montoya and Davian Neitz. Montoya plays cornerback and led the team in interceptions and turnovers caused and recovered. He is the only returning 1st Team All-League player.
Free safety Nietz was the most versatile player on the team. He started at several positions last year including wide receiver.
The Rams will begin the season at home against the Jurupa Hills Spartans on Friday, Aug. 30.
Chaparral resolute to finish strong in 2013
The Pumas have introduced a new co-head coach program for 2013.
"We started the season 7-1 and were rated 15th in the state after week 8. We lost our last two games of the regular and our first round playoff game, which was a bitter ending," said Head Coach Ryan Tukua.
"We are not happy about how our team performed at the end of the season last year and we feel we are emphasizing areas of necessary improvement in our scheme and practice schedule," added Tukua. "Spring, summer, and fall camps are extremely important for our team to understand the effort and intensity needed to compete at the varsity level."
Chaparral has two head coaches this year. Coach Tukua will handle the administrative duties of the position. He is responsible for game scheduling, logistics, grades, and communicating with administrators and parents.
Coach Stan Hunt will be responsible for directing practices, coordinating the game plans, and assume more control over the football side of coaching. Hunt has been a respected defensive coordinator over the past two decades at Murrieta Valley and Corona Centennial. He has been at Chaparral since 2011.
The Pumas lost 37 seniors and a bulk of their starters to graduation last year.
"We will have the youngest team we have ever had at Chaparral, but we are very excited about who we have," said Tukua. "Our JV team was 10-0 last year and they know they have a lot to prove."
Key to the Pumas success this year will be senior linemen Dalton Knight and junior Kyle Hoppe who play on sides of the ball. Junior Darrien Molton returns as a defensive back and wide receiver.
Junior Running Davione Taylor was the Pumas primary kick off return specialist last season and will be one of the main backs for Chaparral. He is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Defensively, the Pumas are anchored by outside linebacker Zach Hunter and defensive back Franklin Shearer. Both are seniors and are expected to fill important roles this season.
All Southwestern League senior kickoff specialist John Baron has returned. Fellow senior Weston Salermo will share the field goal and PAT duties.
Tukua said that this year’s goals are cut a dry.
"We want to give maximum effort in the weight room and practice field everyday; be competitors in everything you do; win the league championship; play in December," he said.
These are goals that everyone in the Southwestern League knows the Pumas can achieve.
Chaparral’s first game this season will be away against the Valley View Eagles in Moreno Valley.
Great expectations for Wolfpack in 2013
Coach Robbie Robinson reunited with Jeremy McCullough as Great Oak’s new offensive coordinator. Great Oak went to the CIF Southern Section Playoffs for the second time in school history under Coach Robbie Robinson last year. The fourth year coach took the Wolfpack into the post season with a dramatic convincing victory over Murrieta Mesa in their league finale.
The Wolfpack finished the regular season 5-5 before dropping the CIF game to the Highlanders from Upland. Robinson is 14-17 since taking over the helm in 2010.
Robinson announced that Jeremy McCullough will be the new Wolfpack offensive coordinator this season. McCullen was the offensive coordinator while Robinson was the defensive coordinator on the Chaparral coaching staff when the Pumas won the CIF SS Title in 2009.
Great Oak has three returning All Southwestern League players in Brandon Presley, Nick Fisher and Matt Hobby returning varsity players and a strong JV roster to solidify the team.
"I think we have the potential to be really solid this year. Overall as a group they are doing a great job," said Robinson. "They have come a long way since we started working out."
Laquan Williams will be behind center this year. The junior quarterback has several explosive weapons at his disposal.
Junior wide receiver Brandon Presley had 28 catches for 579 yards and 8 touchdowns. Senior Raekwon Yates had 16 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown while also playing defensive back. Senior Andrew Molinar also returns as a receiver. He had 16 catches for 171 yards and a TD.
"I’m really excited about the Wolfpack. We have really good speed and our linemen have been really working out in the off-season" added Robinson.
On the defensive side of the ball, seniors Nick Fisher and Team Captain Matt Hobby are the heart of the Wolfpack defense.
Fisher had 43 tackles last year at defensive back and has also played running back. He may find more playing time on offense this year. Hobby is nursing ankle injuries but expects to be back in August.
The defense also features junior DB Damion Marshall who had 47 tackles and a blocked field goal. Senior linebacker Arhon Chua also had 47 tackles and added two sacks.
Senior Matt Hobby anchors the Wolfpack offensive and defensive lines. He led the team with 5.5 sacks last year. Senior Ernesto Ruiz had 3.5 sacks as a defensive lineman last year for Great Oak. He moves to middle linebacker for the Pack this season.
On special teams the Wolfpack is loaded with talent. Senior Keita Calhoun was 7-11 in field goal attempts and 28-31 for PATs. Junior Jacob Martin was perfect nailing both field goals and all 5 PATs attempted. They are also both wide receivers.
Great Oak is definitely a fast, talented and dangerous team for any opponent this year. Don’t overlook the Wolfpack this season.
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