Friday's Blitz: CdM, Trabuco Hills dealing with a lot of changes
Friday's OCVarsity Blitz takes a look at what is happening at the football practices and camps around the county.
CORONA DEL MAR
BUSH MOVES TO RECEIVER: Last season, Chase Garbers and Peter Bush split time at quarterback for Corona del Mar. Garbers took the majority of the snaps for the Pacific Coast League champions throwing for 1,356 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Bush threw for 993 yards and six touchdowns.
Instead of entering a quarterback battle going into his senior season, Bush has moved to wide receiver. Sea Kings coach Dan O’Shea said Bush has emerged as the team’s top wide receiver.
“Peter just came to me and said, ‘I’ll move to receiver. We’ll be a better football team,’ " O’Shea said. “He would start for anybody around as a quarterback, but he chose to move. He’s the embodiment of the selflessness on this team.”
Bush caught four passes for 47 yards in 2014.
OFFENSIVE LINE STRENGTH: Blocking for Garbers will be a offensive line that O’Shea called one of the biggest and most physical he has had at Corona del Mar.
The line has three returning starters - senior Mitch Dean at left tackle and juniors Brian Samudro at guard and Arwin Rahmatpanah at center. The three weigh in at a combined 775 pounds.
NEWLOOK DEFENSE: Corona del Mar lost all 11 starting players on its defense. Last year's starting group had played together for the better part of the last two seasons.
“We have kids that are chomping at the bit,” O’Shea said. “We have the right guys, but a lack of game experience. That’s something we’re going to have to grind through."
Through the first week of official practice, senior middle linebacker Karl Donovan, junior defensive tackle Teddy Barber, outside linebacker Jaydin Moses and cornerback Cameron Kormos have emerged as probable starters.
'DISAPPOINTING' DEPARTURE: The Mustangs' first-year coach, Joe Silvey, commented Friday on the transfer of two of the team's top players, Brenden and Colin Schooler, to Mission Viejo.
“I’m very disappointed that two players that were MVP-type players for us last season somehow determined this wasn’t a place they would be successful,” Silvey said. “I’m a bit puzzled by it.”
Silvey said there was no indication to him the Schoolers were going to leave the program, but he also said their history of movement should have been its own indication.
“I’m also a bit puzzled how CIF would allow these players to transfer to their fourth school in four years,” Silvey said.
Mission Viejo is the fourth school in four years for Brenden and third in three years for Colin.
“There’s a lot about it that doesn’t make sense to me,” Silvey said.
Brenden Schooler was at Tesoro as a freshman, Dana Hills as a sophomore, Trabuco Hills as a junior, now Mission Viejo as a senior. Colin Schooler was at Dana Hills as freshman, Trabuco Hills as sophomore, and now Mission Viejo as a junior.
UNDECIDED AT QUARTERBACK: Silvey has a decision to make at quarterback.
Senior Cooper Uhl and junior Luukas Harlin are fighting for the spot. Harlin is taller at 6-foot-3 to Uhl’s 5-foot-9 and more of a dropback quarterback. Uhl is an athletic, dual-threat player who runs well.
“We like what we see from both,” Silvey said. “We didn’t have (quarterback) settled a year ago and that turned out OK.”
Harlin has varsity game experience, having completed 6 of 7 passes for 67 yards and one touchdown in four appearances last season. Uhl has not played in a varsity game.
Jimmy Jacobs was the Mustangs' starter last season. The senior threw for 2,333 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2014.
DEFENSE IN FLUX: The Mustangs are still trying to figure out how their defense will look for the season opener.
They lost a couple of key players, Kevin McKinney and Blake Cuzzupoli, to graduation, and now they're looking for ways to replace the Schoolers. Both were All-CIF players last season.
Stepping up as a returner is senior defensive tackle Austin Fine. Last season, Fine was second on the team in tackles for loss with eight and fourth with five sacks.
Sophomore cornerback and wide receiver Colby Rooker has made an impact. Silvey said Rooker has a good chance at starting after an “outstanding” spring and summer.
“He got some attention,” Silvey said. “Especially for a younger guy, he doesn’t back down at all.”