A Team on the Rise in Palm Desert

2002 RECAP: The Roadrunners were winless in 2002 going 0-10. A far cry from the Foothill Conference championship year in 1995. Their main problem last season was not a lack of talent or determination, but sheer numbers. Their roster dwindled down to 27 troops by the end of the season as COD had to do battle against 80-100 man units, using exhausted players and a 3rd or 4th string QB.


HEAD COACH: Fred Fimbres (2nd season)

2003 OUTLOOK: Coach Fimbres expects to have at least 75 gridders on the squad this fall and that alone is a great improvement.  Five starters return for the Roadrunners, among them DT Donald Craft (6-2, 290). Fimbres noted that the Texas native, "Was switched over to defense from tight end.  He's (Craft) going to be on the D-line full time and we expect good things from him." Another stalwart on the line is DE Kevin Hardiman (6-0, 235), a returning All-Conference selection who recorded 17 1/2 sacks in 2002.  The Roadrunners' other returning All-Conference selection is DB Jonathan Laster (5-9, 180) whose talents, according to Fimbres, make him useful as both a safety and cover man. CB Terrance Cotton (6-1, 180) also returns in the secondary.

Offensively, returning WR David Angulo (5-10, 170) received high praise from his coach. "David is quick and very fast. In fact, he finished in the top ten in the 100 meters at the JC state championships this past spring," Fimbres remarked. "We improved our recruiting base and have many freshman who only lack game experience," Fimbres added.  Newcomers who should make an immediate impact include DT Tony Tuala (6-0, 290, Temescal Canyon HS), DE Allan Goff (6-2 1/2, 245, Escondido HS), DL Nate Brown (6-1, 265) from nearby Victor Valley HS, and DL Andrew George (6-1, 260) from Eisenhower of Rialto. Tuala was a terrific shotput and discus thrower in high school. The few returnees and the many newcomers make COD not just a larger team, but a more talented team as well.

FIRST GAME: Sept. 6 at Santa Barbara City College (4:00 p.m.).

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