Preview: College of the Redwoods

Make no mistake, College of the Redwoods (COR) has not received a lot of publicity in the media over the years. They're located in the relatively out-of-the way town of Eureka, Calif. and have struggled to win games of late. Fortunately, the Corsairs have a fan in Tyson Brown, a Bothell, Wash. resident who is a former COR player. This is Tyson's first contribution to and we hope it won't be his last.

Eureka, California

Colors: Cardinal and Gold 
Home Field: Community Stadium 
Head Coach: Dave Banducci (7th Year) 
Assistant Coaches: Mike Cox (DC/DB), Eric Helms (OC/QB), Joe Anthony (WR), John Elam (RB), John Haines (OL), Chris Young (DL), Tino Romero (LB) 
2005 Preseason Ranking: None 
2004 Record: 2-8 
2004 Nor Cal Conference Record: 1-4 
2004 National Ranking: None 
Bowl Game: None 
Type of Offense: Multiple Pro 
Type of Defense: Multiple 4-3 
Returning Letterman: 22 
Returning Offensive Starters: 7 Steve Skinner (6-0 270, C, Del Norte, CA); Miles White (5-11 330, G/T, Ewa Beach, HI); Matt Scheerer (6-2 275, G/T, Vancouver, WA); Robert Capers (6-4 335, G/T, Baltimore, MD); Travis Evans (6-2 210, QB, Willits, CA); Tim Harris (6-4 235, TE, Olympia, WA Transfer from University of Oregon); Justin Veney (6-1 180, WR, Lake Clitton, MD) 
Returning Defensive Starters: 6 Mark Reese (6-3 220, DE/LB, Hillsboro, OR); Mason Powers (6-2 225, DE, Stanwood, WA); DJ Cassell (6-2 240, DT, Maple Valley, WA); Leon Murray (6-0 205, LB, Tacoma, WA); Steve Swanson (6-0 210, LB/SS, Eureka, CA); Aaron Thomas (5-9 170 DB/LB, Mercer Island, WA) 
Returning Impact Letterman Offense: 6 Robel Woldu (5-9 180, WR, Edmonds, WA); Kevin Alley (6-0 190, WR, Lebanon, OR); Jamual Ware (5-6 185, RB, Compton, CA); Jordan Robinson (5-10 175, WR, Portland, OR); Travis Hugmeyer (6-4 205, WR, Dallas, OR); Mike Apodaca (6-5 235, TE, Bothell, WA) 
Returning Impact Letterman Defense: 4 Brook Browne (6-1 195, FS, Clara Barton, NY);  Brady Warfield (6-2 205, LB, Caldwell, ID); LeAndre Conerly (6-2 205, LB, Renton, WA); Leon Ireland (6-2 210, LB/DB, Berkley, CA, Last played during the 02' Season)
Top Freshman: Jesse Clark (6-0 190, DB, Spokane, WA); John Sirlin (5-9 190, RB, Bellevue, WA); Emlen Kahoano (5-11 185, QB, Mililani, HI); Chris Ganigan (6-1 195, FS, Ewa Beach, HI); Kenny Williams (5-8 200, RB, Seattle, WA Transfer from Western Washington University); Darryl Williams (5-10 170, CB, Los Angeles, CA); Keoni Jacinto-Gaui (5-11 300, OG, Ewa Beach, HI); Matt Snodgrass (6-4 310; OT/OG, Yakima, WA); Joey Couch (6-0 300, DT, Arcata, CA); Marcus Coleman (5-11 240, DL, Eureka, CA); Jordan Figas (6-2 190, LB, Eureka, CA); Andrew Haroldson (6-1 190, LB, Eureka, CA); Michael Shackelford (6-1 195, LB, Arcata, CA); Nic Wilson (6-1 205, DE, Boise, ID); Elden Tuiasosopo (6-1 190, WR, American Samoa); Lucas Stackowak (6-0 190, K/P, Salem, OR) 
2005 Schedule 
Sept 3 -- at Butte College, 1 p.m. 
Sept 10 -- v. Mendocino College, 3 p.m. 
Sept 17 -- at College of Marin, 3 p.m. 
Sept 24 -- v. Santa Rosa Junior College, 3 p.m. 
Oct 1 -- v. Solano College^, 1 p.m. 
Oct 8 -- BYE 
Oct 15 -- at American River College*, 6 p.m. 
Oct 22 -- v. Shasta College*, 3 p.m. 
Oct 29 -- Sierra College*, 1 p.m. 
Nov 5 -- at College of the Siskiyous*, 1 p.m. 
Nov 12 -- at Feather River College*, 1 p.m. 
^ Denotes Homecoming Game 
* Denotes Nor Cal Conference Game 
OUTLOOK: Disappointment. That is the one word that comes to mind when looking back on the past two season at College of the Redwoods. After crawling to an 0-10 record in 2003 and finishing with a 2-8 mark last year the Corsairs are looking to bounce back and finally play to their full potential. With a solid group of Sophomores returning along with a talented group of ready to play Freshman on campus the Corsairs are looking to their season opener against Butte with excitement and anticipation. This is a team with the confidence that they can compete with whomever they are playing against. 

OFFENSE: The offense will revolve around dynamic WR Justin Veney, who has no shortage of big play ability. He hauled in 55 catches for 874 yards and 9 touchdowns last year. Along the way he picked up numerous all state honors and garnered recruiting attention from the likes of Cal and Louisville. Justin timed a 4.28 40 during Spring Testing and will use his blazing sped to find holes in opposing defenses. Once he has the ball in his hands it will be showtime for the talented sophomore. With defenses concentrating on stopping Veney there will be opportunities for WR Kevin Alley and TE Tim Harris to step up and make plays. Alley saw valuable time last year is a good possession receiver who runs solid routes and shows sure hands. Harris, a kickback from the University of Oregon, caught 25 balls for 241 yards and 2 TDs last year for the Corsairs. He is a big bodied TE who possesses the soft hands of a wide receiver. Who gets Veney and the other talented Corsair receivers the ball is another story. Although sophomore Travis Evans split time as a starter last year and performed well, the question remains will Evans be eligible this season? The staff at CR was quite panicked with no proven backup until Emlen Kahoano stepped on to campus from Hawaii. Kahoano brings athleticism and a strong throwing arm from the Islands and will fill in ably if Evans does not make the grades. A position of question in the past at CR has been the offensive line. With a strong group of returners from last year the coaches believe this could be the strongest group in 4 years. Led by the talented duo of Matt Scheerer and Miles White, who both garnered All Conference honors last year, and a deeper than usual group of backups the line should remain strong throughout the season. White, the big man from Hawaii is a vocal leader on the team also put a lot of hard work in the weight room breaking the Corsairs squat record with a lift of 635 pounds in the spring. The biggest question for the Redwoods offense going into their opener is will they be able to run the ball? With a paltry 523 yards on the ground last year and a average of 1.7 yards per carry the Corsairs staff knows they need to vastly improve on these numbers. With the talented line the Corsairs need a running back to emerge from a stable of backs. The most likely to break the big one is Kenny Williams a speedy (4.4 40) transfer from Western Washington University. Also in the mix are Jamual Ware a short, stocky sophomore and talented frosh John Sirlin from Eastside Catholic High School in Washington. 

DEFENSE: On the defensive side of the ball the Corsairs will be led by their undersized but experienced defensive line and the talented duo of SS Steve Swanson and DB/LB Aaron Thomas. On the defensive line vocal DT DJ Cassell returns as a starter along with DEs Mason Powers and Mark Reese, who has been experimenting at LB during camp. These 3 combined for 11 sacks last year and will be looking to improve on that number this year. At the other DT spot talented freshman Marcus Coleman from nearby Eureka High or big body Joey Couch also a local recruit are expected to contribute. The linebacking corps has some returning experience and talented freshman that should make up a solid unit. Undersized but tough Aaron Thomas has been moved to OLB to add some speed the the LB core. Even though Thomas is slight at 170 pounds he is pound for pound one of the hardest hitters and best tacklers the Corsairs have. At the other Linebacker spots sophomore Leon Murray a returning starter and Brady Warfield who saw action last year will try to fend off freshman Jordan Figas and Andrew Haroldson.  Who are both from nearby Eureka High, and Michael Shackelford from Arcata High. "Shack," as he is known, was the Co-Defensive Player-of-the-Year in high conference last year sharing the honor with current USC linebacker Rey Mualuaga. Also in the mix at linebacker or Defensive back is Leon "Hitman" Ireland who has the talent to make a big impact on defense. In the defensive backfield the clear leader is SS Steve Swanson who can flat out bring the lumber. Swanson was one of the starting LB's last year and amassed 92 tackles even though he missed 1 full game and parts of others. You can expect some big hits from Swanson coming up hard in run support for the Corsairs. The rest of the defensive backfield is a little unsettled with some talented freshman battling for playing time. Chris Ganigan comes to CR from the Hawaiian state champ Campbell High School and will have a shot at the FS position. Also in the mix at FS is sophomore Brook Browne, who is a very impressive athlete timing a 4.45 40 during the spring. Impressing coaches during camp with his speed and ball hawking abilities has been freshman Jesse Clark who could see time at both FS and CB. Also in the mix at corner is redshirt-freshman Daryl Williams who has a year of the defense under his belt and has been making strides in camp. On the special teams front the punting and kicking jobs will be earned by either Lucas Stackowak and Nick Painter. 

CONCLUSION: With a very tough opening game against an always talented Butte squad the Corsairs are doing all they can to stay healthy and be ready for the opener in Oroville. The Corsairs battled against Butte last year dropping a close game 27-14. This is a game the Corsairs believe they can win and it could be exactly what they need to get the proverbial ball rolling in the right direction.


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