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Kickoff 2012: Trinity League preview
Find the coaches' poll, individual previews for all six schools, players and teams to watch and much more.
(Click on the links below to see previews for the individual schools.)
1. Santa Margarita 13-2 overall and 3-2 in league in 2011, 33 points
2. Mater Dei 4-6, 2-3, 30
3. Servite 10-2, 5-0, 35
4. St. John Bosco 8-4, 3-2, 20
5. Orange Lutheran 6-4, 1-4, 12
6. JSerra 4-6, 1-4, 6
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Santa Margarita: The spotlight can’t get any brighter than being the preseason No. 1 team in the nation. That’s where rivals.com placed Santa Margarita in its preseason national rankings. USA Today has Santa Margarita at No. 2 in the nation. Cal-Hi Sports put Santa Margarita at No. 2 in the state, behind De La Salle of Concord. These rankings were completed before All-Trinity League selections of last year Sean Modster, a receiver, and running back Alex Suchesk transferred from Santa Margarita to Mission Viejo. But the Eagles still have plenty of stars on the roster. Senior quarterback Johnny Stanton, who committed to Nebraska, was All-County first team last year as were senior defensive back Connor O’Brien and senior running back Ryan Wolpin. Senior offensive lineman Dane Crane was All-County second team.
Orange Lutheran: This area of the Trinity League preview annually is occupied by JSerra. While some foundation work continues at JSerra, Orange Lutheran is in rebuilding mode. The Lancers missed the playoffs for the second year in a row in 2011, lost to JSerra and finished 1-4 in league, and longtime coach Jim Kunau was relieved of his duties a few week after the season concluded. Chuck Petersen, who has years of college football coaching experience, is the new Lancers coach, his first assignment as a high school head coach. There is talent on the roster, and the new option offense could be a challenge for opposing teams to contain. But, going into the season, Orange Lutheran cannot be considered one of the top three teams in the Trinity League.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Johnny Stanton: The Santa Margarita returning All-County quarterback last season passed for 2,439 yards and 13 touchdowns, and was the Eagles second leading rusher with 1,528 yards. Don’t’ be surprised if he surpasses those totals this season.
Thomas Duarte: This Mater Dei senior made All-Trinity League first team and All-County second team last year as a receiver, but is also a fine linebacker. He is among Orange County’s top prospects, with offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, UCLA and others.
OTHER TOP PLAYERS:
JSerra: LB Taro Doone, RB/DB Casey Eugenio, DL Anthony Hickey, DB Ricardo Martinez.
Mater Dei: WR/DB Jameson Field, RB/LB John Genova, DB Jonathan Lockett, QB Ryan McMahon
Orange Lutheran: RB Tyler Drake, QB Luke Langdon, OL John Lopez, OL Colin Sutton.
St. John Bosco: WR AJ Holman, OL Damien Mama, OL Nico Falah, DB Jaleel Wadood.
Santa Margarita: DL Nick Begg, WR River Cracraft, OL Dane Crane, DB/WR Conner O’Brien.
Servite: RB Salesi Eteaki, LB Joel Foy, QB/WR Neil Pau’u, DL Austin Pyka.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
Servite vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College, Oct. 5; St. John Bosco vs. Orange Lutheran at Orange Coast College, Oct. 5; Mater Dei vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback college, Oct. 12; Mater Dei vs. Servite at Angel Stadium, Nov. 2; Orange Lutheran vs. JSerra at Saddleback College, Nov. 2; Santa Margarita at St. John Bosco, Nov. 2
Servite. The Friars’ nonleague schedule includes nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas (16-1 last year); 2011 Inland Division semifinalist Rancho Cucamonga (11-2), Edison (8-3), Bishop Amat of La Puente (6-5) and St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs (7-3).