|Head coach Mike Taylor, entering his 4th season as the
headman, was just as baffled as many others when trying to figure out
what happened. "I don't
know how you explain those things.
It was a Cinderella season for (Higgs) in 2000 and when 2001
rolled around he was the guy running the show.
And he had some hard times as far as interceptions and
decision-making. I, just, I
don't know," said Taylor.
The Pirates have a lot of talent coming in this season.
They are the deepest and most experienced on the offensive line.
The team is full of talented freshmen that, despite this being
their first year, are experienced in that they have sat out one or two
years. Here are the players
that will try to make the difference this season:
T Pat Afif (6-8, 320) SO Temecula Valley HS
T Stephen Herring (6-5, 270) SO Sonora HS
G Keola Loo (6-1, 295) SO St. Louis HS
G Donnie Garcia (5-11, 300) RS-SO Calvary Chapel HS
C Ed Fane (6-1, 275) SO Fountain Valley HS
TE Justin Rose (6-2, 225) SO Douglas HS (Juneau, AK)
TE Zach Nillson (6-4, 230) FR Edison HS
WR Coleman Menke (6-1, 190) FR Great Falls, MT|
WR Andrew Taylor (5-10, 175) FR Centennial HS
QB Jason Kripavicius (6-2, 215) SO Edison HS
QB Derek Aspinwall (6-0, 175) FR Great Falls, MT
FB/HB Tim Ribich (5-10, 190) FR San Luis Obispo HS
FB/HB Billy Battle (5-8, 215) SO Woodbridge HS
FB/HB Grant Malton (6-2 230) FR Mater Dei HS
TB Niles Mittasch (6-0, 205) SO Churchill HS (OR)
TB Dan Hawkey (6-0, 185) FR Maria Carrillo HS
TB Stephen Mahelona (5-11, 210) SO Kona Waena HS (HI)
P Nick Ross (6-0, 180) SO Sonora HS
DE Bill Haley (6-3, 280) SO Edison HS
DE Ryan Miller (6-1, 220) FR Churchill HS (OR)
DT James Canetti (6-4, 295) SO Torrance HS
DT Jesse Mahelona (6-2, 285) FR Kealakehe HS (HI)
DT Russ Chemberlen (6-2, 260) SO Huntington Beach HS
OLB Dan Steinau (6-0, 205) SO El Toro HS
MLB Fahad Jahid (6-0, 240) RS FR Estancia HS
MLB Ricky Tovar (6-2, 235) SO Los Altos HS
OLB Matt Pettit (6-2, 215) SO Ft. Zumwalt HS (MO)
About the secondary Coach Taylor says, "We're really pleased with our secondary. I think we've got a chance to be better than we've been in maybe ten years or so."
CB Kelvin Beatty (5-11, 175) FR Kennedy HS
CB Jason Brooks (6-0, 185) FR Churchill HS (OR)
CB Brian Cristol (5-9, 200) FR
S Adrian Calloway (6-1, 190) SO Murietta Valley HS
S Josh Gonzalez (6-0, 185) RS-SO
S Andrew Bergsetter (6-0, 195) SO Edison HS
S Una Latu (5-10, 185) FR St. Louis HS
Mike Taylor is happy to have Doug Smith take over as the new offensive coordinator. Smith played center for the Rams for 16 years and coached under John Robinson at USC. The offense will feature more 2-back sets than before but it will be a more conservative game plan than in the past.
"I think we'd like to run the football and control the clock more than we have," said Taylor.
Coach Taylor still sees Palomar as the team to beat in the Central Division. The goals for his team are to stay competitive and improve.
"We're going to have to take it one game at a time. All of those clichés are true. We just have to stay healthy and grow as an offensive team and play solid defense those first few weeks to have a chance."
The regular season begins on Saturday, September 14th when the Pirates host the East L.A. Huskies.
TEAM & PROSPECT PREVIEW: Orange Coast College
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