OCVarsity Kickoff '16: Canyon preview
OCVarsity’s season preview for 2016:
Coach: Mike Ogas
Last season: 9-6 overall, 1-2 league
Scouting report: Following the most successful season in school history won’t be easy. Canyon graduated 15 starters from a team that won the CIF-SS Southern Division championship, and Coach Mike Ogas is forced to replace his All-CIF quarterback, his top three rushers and two leading receivers. “It’s a matter of finding a new identity,” Ogas said. “We tell the guys every day we’re not trying to be last year’s team. We have to find our own identity.” Senior Anthony Marquez steps into the starting role at quarterback, and he has done a nice job in camp of picking up the Comanches up-tempo scheme. He’ll benefit from having an offensive line that’s bigger and more physical than the one Canyon trotted out in 2015. Opening running lanes and giving Marquez ample time to throw will be crucial with a new crop of starters at the skill positions. On defense, nose guard Joshua Tarango, linebacker Christian Downey and cornerback Chris Tsirtsis are the only returning starters. “There’s a lot of open holes,” Ogas added. “We’ve got some work to do.”
Bottom line: The experience is not there. The Comanches could have some bumps early on with tough nonleague games against Troy, San Juan Hills and Edison right out of the gate. Reaching the playoffs will be an uphill battle.
Players to watch: Christian Downey, LB/TE, Jr.; Connor Dunn, WR, Sr.; Jesse Lobato, RB, Sr.; Anthony Marquez, QB, Sr.; Joshua Tarango, NG, Jr.; Chris Tsirtsis, CB, Sr.
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