Jaso Likes Long Beach's Team Chemistry

If past results are ever an indicator of future returns, then Long Beach CC has done well for itself in hiring Jerry Jaso to replace Larry Reisbig. From 1996-2000, Jaso led Long Beach Poly HS to four CIF Southern Section Division I Final appearances & compiled a 54-1-1 overall record. For the past two seasons Jaso has been an assistant on Reisbig's staff. He's replacing a legend in Reisbig, who compiled an 83-34-3 record in 11 seasons at the helm.

Reisbig, who is the winningest coach in school history, is staying on as an assistant coach this year. Here's a preview of the 2003 squad:

2002 Record: 8-3
Head Coach: Jerry Jaso (First season)
Returning Starters: 7  (2 offense,  5 defense)

2002 Recap:  "We struggled early in the 2002 season," said Jaso, who was an assistant at Long Beach C.C. after 21 years at Long Beach Poly.  "In our 31-17 loss to Palomar we moved the ball well, but they did a much better job in the red zone than we did. Then we lost by a touchdown to Saddleback after giving up four turnovers. The third loss was 6-3 to Cerritos and we easily could have won that one. The field was a quagmire after a lot of rain and they got six and we got three. Actually we had a pretty darned good team and finished very strong with a 52-24 win over Compton in the Western State Bowl."

2003 Outlook:  "I think we'll have a good competitive team," said Jaso. "We only have two starters back on the offensive line, but they are really good."  The Vikings lost all of their defensive cornerbacks, but safety Jamar Barnes returns and he is outstanding. Jaso expects big things out of linebacker Jonathon Miller. Place-kicker Michael Matuz is also back. "This is a good bunch with excellent team chemistry," continued Jaso, "and that means a lot."

Players to Watch:  Free safety Jamar Barnes is one who should be on anyone's pre-season "hot" list.  At 6-feet and 189 pounds he runs a solid 4.4 and is a lethal hitter. "Our big right tackle, Matt Yocam, should be a top of the line guy," proclaimed Jaso. "He has great feet and strength."

First Game:  Bakersfield at Veteran's Stadium, Sept. 6, 5 p.m.

Note: A WR from last year's squad, Kenny Higgins, was signed late by the Univ. of Toledo. He will reportedly play in the slot for the Rockets.


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