OCVarsity Kickoff '16: Capistrano Valley preview


OCVarsity’s team preview for 2016:


Coach: Ernie Bucher

Last season: 5-5 overall, 1-3 Sea View League

Scouting report: “Capo has its best team in a few years,” said Aliso Niguel coach Kurt Westling. The Cougars freshman team went 10-0 last year. That’s always the sign of good things to come for the varsity. So is having a returning starting quarterback, and a smart quarterback at that. Kevin Brown, who has offers from Cornell, Harvard and Princeton, threw for 1,691 yards and 19 touchdowns last season as a junior. Capistrano Valley will run a spread offense, “So Kevin is going to have run a little bit,” said Coach Ernie Bucher, who added that Brown is capable of doing so. Senior tackle Tim Anderson (6-4, 267) is a two-year starter on the offensive line. The Cougars have a corps of receivers that includes sophomore Nathan Manning, son of former Trabuco Hills standout quarterback Tim Manning. Nathan might be the Capo quarterback of the future; Tim also played other positions, including receiver, before becoming a quarterback. Devin Jenkins, all-league second team last year as a defensive back, will get plenty of action at receiver. Jenkins, who had 101 tackles in 2015, also is among six returnees on defense. “We have a bunch of young guys on defense,” Bucher said, “but they’re a bunch of young guys who played a lot last year.” Defensive end Zach Ritner had nine sacks last season as a sophomore. If the Cougars make the playoffs they would play in Division 5.

Bottom line: The league’s coaches agree that El Toro is the league favorite. They feel the league’s other four teams are fairly close, but Capistrano Valley could emerge as the second-best team. If Brown has the type of season he seems capable of having, and that young defense continues to mature, the Cougars will get to the playoffs this year and just might push El Toro for the league championship.

Players to watch: Kevin Brown, QB, Sr.; Devin Jenkins, WR/DB, Sr.; Riley Kasper, WR, Sr.; Zach Ritner, DL, Jr.




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