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MARK RIGHTMIRE , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Mission Viejo starts the season ranked No. 2 in the county. The Diablos will be led by, from left, Olaijah Griffin, Christian Lavalle, Austin Osborne and Matthew McDonald, is the favorite to win the South Coast League title. The Diablos enter the season having won 28 consecutive games.

OCVarsity Kickoff '16: Mission Viejo preview

STAFF WRITER

OCVarsity’s season preview for 2016:

MISSION VIEJO DIABLOS

Coach: Bob Johnson

Last season: 16-0 overall, 4-0 South Coast League

Scouting report: The Diablos are coming off a great 2015 season in which they won CIF-Southern Section and CIF State championships, and went 16-0. Matt McDonald, a senior who transferred from Mater Dei, replaces the Register’s offensive player of the year, Brock Johnson, at quarterback. Also new for the Diablos offense – Rob Johnson replaces brother Bret Johnson (Brock’s father, and son of head coach Bob Johnson) as offensive coordinator. McDonald has an outstanding set of receivers that features All-County first-team returnee Austin Osborne and Olaijah Griffin. Colin Schooler is a fast, bruising running back. Schooler also is an outstanding linebacker, and Griffin is a terrific cornerback; both were all-league first team last year. Griffin also is a terrific defensive player – he was All-South Coast League first team as a defensive back last season. Schooler was all-league first team as a linebacker. There are many new faces along the offensive and defensive lines, but the quality of newcomers there should present little concern. Still, as Bob Johnson put it, “They’re young kids and, yes, they’re good young kids. But they’re still young kids.”

Bottom line: The Diablos’ move up to the super-loaded Division 1 for the playoffs means it’s unlikely they can repeat their magical 2015 season. But they will be good and they should roll to another league title.

Players to watch: Olaijah Griffin, WR/DB, Jr.; Matt McDonald, QB, Sr.; Austin Osborne, WR, Jr.; Colin Schooler, RB/LB, Sr.

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Contact the writer: sfryer@scng.com


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