HEAD COACH: Carl Beach (7th season)
2002 RECAP: Although the Panthers were young on the offensive side of the ball (starting nine freshman), they must replace clutch QB Nick Fotia (UMass signee) and RB John Bogarin, who was named a 3rd team All-American by the J.C. Grid-Wire in 2002. Bogarin rushed for 1,607 yards on 237 carries while hitting pay dirt 18 times during the regular season and departed as the school's all-time leading rusher.
2003 OUTLOOK: Chaffey is sound in the trenches with the offensive line returning intact. "Our offensive line is experienced, but I'm concerned about injury because we have no depth up front," coach Beach confessed. The strength of the line should ease the pressure of the new ball-carriers and two rookie QB's: Bo Drake (6-0,190) and Nick Davila (6-3 ½, 185), both looking to replace Fotia as the Panthers' signal-caller. Whomever wins the position will have the luxury of throwing the ball to returning All-Conference WR Cody Sorensen (6-1, 195), in addition to returning wide-outs Jerry Taylor (5-7, 160), Lawrence Lovelace (5-10, 170), and Greg Prator (6-2, 185).
Defensively, the Panthers return four starters and should be a solid unit. Returnees Paul Nix (6-1, 235) and Adam Ilo-Ilo (6-0, 230) spearhead the linebacking corps. In the secondary, Tyron Brackenridge (6-0, 180) is the top cover man while safety Chris Grenfell (6-0, 190) also returns to lead the Panther D. Beach expects end Juan Montoya (6-0, 250) to lead the charge up front and summarized, "The key to our season is to make sure everyone is eligible. We have good experience on both sides of the ball and our first few games should give us an indication of how good we are."
FIRST GAME: At Cerritos College (7:00 p.m.)