SD Mesa: Olympians Need Gold Medal Defense

<b>2002 RECAP:</b> A dark horse pick to win the conference in 2002, Mesa struggled and finished with a 4-6 record. Behind QB Mike Rathe (South Carolina) and RB Justin Green (Montana State) the Olympians consistently moved the chains (scoring over 40 points in each of their last three games) but were inconsistent defensively. Coach Moss reflected, "We were young and inexperienced in the secondary and not as athletic as we needed to be as a run-stopping unit."


HEAD COACH: Martin Moss (6th season)

2003 OUTLOOK: When asked about his retuning starters, Moss explained, "It does not mean anything. I don't want my players to be complacent and stop working.  We expect to be improved overall." With Rathe and Green departed, Moss noted "We don't have a much firepower, but with 110 guys going out for the team, we are solid and much more balanced."

Despite his emphasis on balance, cohesion, and hard work, Moss did mention a few of the standouts on his squad. Russell Abubo (6-4, 305) is an all-state candidate at OT. "A lot of Division I schools are interested in his services and we expect a lot of positive results from his outstanding play," Moss stated. Another standout along the offensive front is G Chad Hitt (6-1, 280).  Defensively, standouts include DE Aaron Scott (6-3, 240) and FS Kevin May (6-0, 210). Another player expected to shine in 2003 is DE Dion Girton (6-2, 245). "He (Girton) has moved over from LB and played a lot last year and gained valuable experience that will help us this year," Moss added.          

FIRST GAME: Mesa opens with LA Valley College on Sept. 6.


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