|"It was kind of rough to do all of the preliminary work
and all the detail work to host a bowl game and not be able to play in
it (last year)…I think we have the kind of kids, talent, depth, and
the speed to be able to compete for a conference championship.
I'm not saying were the guys (to beat) I just think we're
good enough," said Gamboa.
The Huskies appear to be loaded at the skill positions this year as well as the front lines. Many people who attended the JCFootball.com SoCal combine in May can attest to the excellent play at cornerback for East L.A. With only three starters coming back on the offense and four on the defense East L.A. will be an untested team in the early going. Here are the players making headway for the 2002 season:
Tom McDougall (6-2, 205) Redshirt -FR
John Tuttle (6-2, 210) FR
Oliver Taamu (6-2, 205) FR
Anthony Bryant (5-9, 185) FR
John Radney (5-9, 185) FR
Wide Receiver / Tight End
Gamboa says, "We are loaded at the receiver spot. There are some universities that wish they had our receivers."
Chris Carson (6-2, 190) SO
Donva Louder (6-2, 205) SO
Jonathon Ligons (5-10 1/4, 155) FR
Chris Grimpel (5-8, 165) FR
TE Pete Mora (6-4, 270) FR
TE Mark Padilla (6-3, 255) FR
"They're big kids but they are all athletic and can move," commented Gamboa.
OT Joegreg Montana (6-3, 310) SO
C Eddie Casillas (6-3, 285) SO
OT Chris Falls (6-6, 310) FR
OT Stanley Apted (6-5, 295) FR
OG Frank Baca (6-3, 295) SO
"I think we have one of the better kickers in the state."
Johnny Wilaikul (5-10, 165) SO
Nathaniel Lauifi (6-2, 275) FR
Sam Pomele (6-2, 295) FR
Michael Hogue (6-2, 265) FR
DE Isley Carter (6-3, 245) FR
ILB Roy Otis (6-1, 230) SO
Jamal Moore (6-1, 235) FR
OLB Wahi Traylor (6-2, 230) SO
OLB Mark Toeaina (6-5, 250) FR
CB Irwin Benjamin (6-0, 195) SO
CB Donnie Johnson (6-0, 210) SO
CB Byron Green (5-10, 180) SO
These three players are competing for two spots. However, all three can be on the field with the nickel package.
S Victor Alexandria (6-5, 195) SO
The Huskies are a young but talented squad and Coach Gamboa feels
that they have worked well together in the off-season.
"We haven't given them much time off so I think that has kind
of helped. They seem to be
a dedicated group and a serious group so that's good," said Gamboa.
Coach Gamboa has added Steve Ruedaflores to the coaching staff as the
defensive line coach. He
was previously with Glendale College.
His biggest asset may be on the recruiting end.
"I think one day some Division I school is going to wake up and
say, ‘Gosh there's this wonderful recruiter down there at East L.A.
College and we better take him,'" said Gamboa.
Javier Cid, who was a defensive coordinator at Cathedral High
School last year, will coach the LB's.
Ed Elias is the offensive line coach and, according to Gamboa,
likes what he has to work with. "He has smile from ear to ear every time he looks at his
offensive line." Elias
returns after working in high school administration for the last few
The Huskies are young, talented, and hungry. Time will tell how this group will mesh and whether it can bounce back from a bad season last year. The clock begins ticking on September 14 at Orange Coast College.
PROSPECT & TEAM PREVIEW: East Los Angeles Huskies
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