"I think that creating the new association was great for SoCal Junior College football. We now have one governing body for all the conferences, which will help unify the football playing schools." Although Mazzotta thinks that the conferences have made for more competitiveness, he believes that other factors such as enrollment size, budgets, facilities, and recruiting area potential should also be thrown into the mix.
"I still wish we had not created the tier system, just let the conferences, whether weak or strong, be decided at year’s end." But the one good thing he takes out of the realignment is the consolidation of governance. He also likes the idea of playing teams that they have not played before.
The Eagles return starting QB Colin Wigley, a tall rangy kid whose confidence as gone up in camp. Wigley had a decent 137 passing rating last year, and should improve on those numbers. His favorite target is back also. Daniel Chamberlain was 2nd team All Conference last season, and should double his 20 reception production from last year. Freshmen Chris McKenzie and Courtney Pete, both over 6-2, should provide good targets also. Much of the ground game load should go to Freshman Faafatai Tuvale. The Offensive line will be anchored by 2nd team All Conference returner Jose Acuna (6’6 305) with frosh OT Steve Davis (6’6 295) and Center Sol Sagaio (6’3 305) making the Eagles a tall team across the line of scrimmage.
While the Offense has some veterans, the defense doesn’t have that luxury. Only two players return in DT Antonio Brown (6’3 305) and DE Dominick Waters (6-3, 230). The Linebackers will feature freshmen Kupa Graycochea (6-1, 220), Cole Moseley (6-3, 245), and Esra Latu (6-1, 225). They should provide an inexperienced but solid unit who will improve as the season goes. The defensive backfield will be filled by freshmen, including Danny Anderson, Aubrey Bell, and Clarence Laster. It might be a rough start for a young defense, but definitely a foundation to build on. Freshmen Tony Avila and Zoltan Riazzo are solid kickers, and the Eagles have two of the best long snappers that coach Mazzotta has ever had.
Mazzotta is no stranger to JC football. His dad is 31 year Cerritos Head Coach Frank Mazzotta. He was a highly regarded record breaking Defensive Coordinator for Fullerton, and served as their recruiter there. Last season he was thrown to the wolves, but each season he will undoubtedly improve the program. Mazzotta had the opportunity to hire some great new assistant coaches in the off season. Two were previous head coaches, and he is excited about the ability of his new staff. "At MSJC, we are definitely moving in the right direction". I think that change of direction started when the Eagles had the good sense to hire him. The Eagles may not be a playoff team yet, but they will definitely improve. This season should take them a step closer, and with practically the whole defense returning next season, and the improved recruiting potential of his new coaches, the program should continue to improve. Every Eagle spends time in the nest, I look for them to soar to new heights in the future.