Coach Phil Mason and the 59ers were looking for back to back undefeated state titles. The Niners grand plan was ruined as Tri-West thumped Andrean in the 3A state title tilt 49-27. Mason will miss Notre Dame recruit Josh Barajas and a host of others on defense. The offense will have to be rebuilt as four of five linemen have graduated. Talented wide receiver Jamie Johnson, quarterback Jake Paliga and running back Trevor Berg have also moved on to college.
David Graham was a standout on defense last season. Will he also wear the title of workhorse runnnign back as well?
Sophomore linebacker and receiver Adrian Guzman could be an immediate impact player.
Junior tackle Colin Mullaney could be the next D1 player out of the Andrean program.
BEST POSITION BATTLE:
Will David Graham be the power back for the Niners. Could it be Roman Griffin, Lowell transfer Gordon Sharkey or Merrillville transfer Aaron Clarkson?
SCOUTING THE: 59ers POSITION BY POSITION
Senior Bryant Schmidt saw action as a defensive back last season. Can he replace the one year wonder Jake Paliga at quarterback. Baseball standout Luke Jaksich could also challenge for the job.
There is a pretty good chance that Andrean will split ball carrying duties among Roman Griffin, David Graham, Gordon Sharkey and Aaron Clarkson.
Junior Deonte Kelly, sophomore Adrian Guzman, junior Myles DuBose and junior Emilio Starks give Andrean depth the next few years.
Colin Mullaney is the lone ranger back up front. Look for Baley Scurlock. Joel Ordones, Billy Johnson, Demond Dixon and Duncan Houpt to step up.
The 59ers have experience back with C.J. Booth, John Rodgers and Demetri George returning as starters.
David Graham (75 tackles) will need to help with leadership as the lone starter back. James Rodish and Adrian Guzman are looking to line up next to him.
The secondary will need to be rebuilt. Bryan Schmidt, Joe Albomonte and Brandon Bonta should be names to watch.
An experienced defense will need to carry the Niners early as they move up to 4A. Solid play at quarterback, and solidifying the running game and offensive line play will help. Don’t be shocked if Andrean is deep in the playoffs.