Orange Coast Led by Tough Defensive Line

2002 Recap: The Pirates had another up-and-down season two years removed from a division crown.  Inconsistency plagued the team as they competed with the likes of L.A. Harbor (40-33 loss) and Pasadena (14-6 loss) but were shut out by lowly Santa Ana in the mud 8-0.  Orange Coast finished one game better than the previous season and are looking to improve more heading into the 2003 season.

TEAM PROFILE

HEAD COACH: Mike Taylor (5th season)
LAST YEAR'S RECORD:
4-6
RETURNING STARTERS:
9 (Offense 3, Defense 6)

2003 Outlook: With the new alignment in the Mission Conference the Pirates will play in the American Division with Cerritos, Golden West, Long Beach, Mt. San Antonio, and Palomar.  Coach Taylor likes the new 8-team playoff format but is not enamored with losing the preseason scrimmage.  "We are going to have some kids who will never get in a game because we're going to have to play for real on September 6th.  I would rather scrimmage on September 6th so we could get to the third and fourth team guys and give them an opportunity to do what they like to do and play in a game situation against someone other themselves," stated Taylor.  He did concede that this new format would get the top teams against one another and that is the goal. 

The Pirates graduated all five starting offensive linemen last year, so this year's starters will be less experienced than last.  Right now the defense is ahead of the offense making it difficult for the Orange Coast staff to get a good read on the skill players offensively.  Coach Taylor has 4 new coaches on his staff this season.  The game plan is to try and control the clock and as Taylor puts it, "keep the game short."  The new coaches are Dave Gleason (special teams), Matt Mitchell (QB's), Gary Stephens (receivers), and Steve Fullmer (RB's).

Players To Watch: QB Beau Budde (FR 6-3, 210) Broke his leg last year as a high school senior, which hurt his chances of going directly to division I.  Son of Brad Budde, Outland Trophy winner at USC, and Grandson of Ed Budde who played o-line for the Kansas City Chiefs blocking for Len Dawson.  H-Back Jimmy Niutapuai (FR 6-0, 270) is athletic and tough to bring down.  WR Coleman Menke (SO 6-3, 189) is a returning starter who led the team last year with 24 grabs for 222 yards.  DT Jesse Mahelona (SO 6-2, 295) is possibly the best DT Orange Coast has ever had. He's also a JC Hot 100 pick, who already has an offer from Oklahoma.  Keep an eye on DT Nick Moghaddam (SO 6-4, 268), DE Bryan Meers (SO 6-3, 235), and DE Justin Williams (FR 6-0, 235). The latter was defensive player of the game in the Orange County all-star game representing Mission Viejo HS. Notched 26 sacks last year as a high school senior.  FS Nick Dominelli (SO 6-2, 199) was first team all-conference last season. Led team with 4 INTs, including one for a TD.

First Game: at Glendale Sep. 6 (1:00 p.m.)

 


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