Team Preview: Cerritos

Every year, Cerritos is one of the top JUCO programs in the state of California if not the entire country. This year, like most years, the Falcons are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and today we take a look at some of the players head coach Frank Mazzotta and the rest of the staff will be counting on this fall...

At quarterback, the Falcons are led by Morgan Fennell, a big, talented prospect who sat behind last year's starter, B.J. Denker, who is now challenging for a starting spot with Arizona.

While Fennell has great size and athleticism, the job hasn't just been handed to him and he's battling super-talented freshman Ray Medina for the chance to lead the Cerritos offensive attack.

Whoever winds up under center this fall will have some nice weapons at his disposal as the Falcons return some very talented wideouts including Robert Abeyta who the coaches think could be the best wideout to walk through Cerritos and that includes former NFL star T.J. Houshmandzedah and current San Diego Charger Mike Willie.

Last season, Abeyta hauled in 36 receptions for 589 yards and six touchdowns.

Also in the mix for playing time will be slot receivers Garion Manning (25 rec., 511 yards and 8 TDs) and Silvar Vaifanua as well as incoming freshman Josh Caiquo who has the chance to be a big-time playmaker if he continues to develop like many think he will.

In the redzone, TE Tristan Henderson is one to watch as he's really improved his receiving skills while maintaining his status as a devestating blocker, using his 6'4", 270 pounds to maul defenders at the point of attack.

In the backfield, Donald Livingston has a chance to be a breakout star this year after posting 536 yards and five touchdowns while splitting carries with two other tailbacks last season.

Everyone knows that successful teams dominate the line of scrimmage and this year, Cerritos could have five players sign with D-1 schools.

They are led by the likes of OT Sean Rubacalva, OG Tyler Burns and C Kent Collins and those three are joined by Frank Hornberger and Sione Lavulo, two solid performers with bright futures as well.

Like on offense, Cerritos is stacked up front and they are led by DT Kyle Peko (39 tackles, 8 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks) whose physicality and athleticism has already garnered him offers from 10 schools and more could be on the way.

Maataua Brown (29 tackles, 5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks) is a stud who has the ability to play almost anywhere along the line and actually has been getting some looks on the offensive line this month in training camp as well.

Also in the mix this fall to help out along the defensive front will be DE Justin Brown (an Oregon bounceback), DT Filo Fonoti, DT David Moala (an Arizona State bounceback) and Dominic Tiapula as well as John Jesse who played outside linebacker last season, but will play mostly defensive end this fall.

At linebacker, the departure of Josh Finau left a hole that needs to be filled, but the Cerritos coaches feel they have a big-time leader in Chazz Ghaspie at the middle linebacker spot.

At outside linebacker, the Falcons will have Anthony Carrion, Jordan Allen and Jaime Turner who will all see reps this season.

The corner spots are in great shape with the likes of Domonique McGee and Theo Chambers.

Chambers is a coach's son, so he's got a very high Football I.Q. and the athleticism to make plays while the coaches feel McGee has the potential to be a starter in the NFL eventually.

The safety spots will have a trio of players battling for time with Ron Davis and David Haley fighting it out for one spot and Orlando Thompson entrenched as the starter at the other.

As long as they stay healthy, Cerritos should be a team that is ranked at or near the top all season long and they could easily challenge for a state title this year if things go their way.

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