Defending National Co-Champs Re-loaded for '04

Don't be writing off George Rush and his City College of San Francisco football team just yet. The venerable Ram head man has rounded up what looks like another championship contender, even though the team may be ineligible for post-season play. It may not be until late August before the CCSF staff knows the court's decision regarding the ongoing probation and if the Rams might be eligible for the playoffs.

Rush did not build a superb record of 213 wins and just 76 losses over his 27-year coaching tenure by taking a wait and see attitude. Winners breed winners and outstanding freshmen are pounding on the CCSF athletic doors.

"We are going to have a real good team," cited Rush, who declined to discuss the legal matters. "The kids are enthusiastic and a fun group to watch. This might be our fastest team in a long time."

The center of Rush's attention, of course, is the quarterback slot where Joseph Ayoob (see photo) returns. The dandy 6-3, 200-pounder, who has already committed to the University of California, dazzled as a late replacement for Jason Swanson (Kansas signee) by passing for 1,296 yards and rushing for 288. His late game heroics in the state title game provided CCSF with a 38-35 victory over Grossmont. He was 23 of 36 for 304 and 4 scores in that one.

"No question he is going to be special," said Rush.

Another athlete who will undoubtedly carry that tab is linebacker Desmond Bishop. The 6-2, 240-pounder, who signed with Nevada originally, has already had scholarship offers from too many colleges to count.

"Bishop might be as good as any that we've had here and that's saying something," said Rush, who two years ago had linebackers Pasha Jackson and Lance Mitchell sign with Oklahoma.

The offensive line has returnees C Bryce MacMartin (6-3, 290) and tackle Taase Jennings (6-3, 330) as anchors. Two years ago MacMartin was the AAA/CIF San Francisco Section Offensive Lineman of the Year while Jennings was a standout guard for McKinley HS in Hawaii.

Ruben Jackson, a 4.3 forty guy, heads a good-looking receiving corps. Running back Dallas Bernstine (5-9, 185; Vallejo HS) is a faster version of Tim Brown (Temple signee), last year's J.C. Grid-Wire All-American. Bernstine signed with Boise State out of Bethel High School two years ago and was a solid contributor for CCSF in 2003.

Besides Bishop, the defense looks to LB Larry Grant, a trio of solid defensive backs, and offensive tackle Albert Toeaina's (Tennessee signee) little brother, Alex, who plays a mean LB/DE at 6-0, 240.

Yep, as usual, you can look for CCSF to be right in the thick of the national title hunt in 2004.

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