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Monday's Blitz: Freshman Daniels vying to be Mater Dei's starter at QB

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Monday's OCVarsity Blitz takes a look at what is happening at the football practices and camps around the county.

MATER DEI

McDONALD BEING TESTED: Although he entered the spring with no game experience, junior Matthew McDonald was expected to be next in line for the Monarchs starting job.

At 6-foot-2 with the ability to escape the pocket, McDonald has drawn comparisons to Chase Forrest, who is currently at Cal.

A week into camp, however, Monarchs coach Bruce Rollinson said that McDonald is being pushed for the starting job. The challenger is freshman JT Daniels, who rotated into the first-team snaps at Friday’s practice.

Rollinson said his expectations are always the same for the team's quarterbacks.

“(The quarterback) has to take advantage of the fact that now, it’s his race car and he’s the driver,” Rollinson said. “We can go fast, but he has to keep it between the lines.

“(McDonald) doesn’t have game experience, so it’s going to be a building process with him or the Daniels kid. We’re excited about both of them.”

RECEIVING RICHES: With the additions of Osiris and Amon-Ra St. Brown from Servite, the Monarchs couldn’t be more comfortable with their situation at the wide receiver position.

Rollinson said his team is eight deep at the position, and it is “a very healthy competition.”

“The good news is we’re pretty confident in all eight, so we can use a rotation if we have to,” Rollinson said. “We don’t drop off a lot. I really like that competition.”

SERVITE

FAMILIAR FACES: First-year Friars coach Scott Meyer experienced ringing success with a 50-6 record over the past four seasons at Corona del Mar.

After leaving that behind, some wondered who would follow Meyer from the Sea Kings to Servite. Following a one-year stint as the coach of Saddleback Valley Christian, Brian Pearsall is returning to Meyer’s side as the Friars’ defensive coordinator.

Aaron Huerta has also joined the Servite staff as coach for the safeties. He served as Corona del Mar’s defensive backs coach under Meyer.

LOOKING FOR WEAPONS: The Friars could make returning junior Terrell Bynum their top receiving target this season. He was Servite’s second-leading receiver last year with 31 catches for 391 yards and five touchdowns.

The Friars are also high on senior tailback Jackson Taylor.

“We haven’t been in full pads yet, but I think that Jackson is going to be a pretty explosive running back,” Meyer said. “He’s a downhill, physical runner. He’s a physical kid, but he can really run as well.”

MARINA

SALUTE TO TROOPS: When Vikings coach Jeff Turley and his staff found out that they had a home game on Sept. 11 this season, they saw an opportunity to do something special.

Marina has several ex-military personnel on its coaching staff, and the team will be putting on a Veterans Night for their Sept. 11 game against Westminster.

All armed forces, first responders and veterans will receive free admission (with proof of service). The Vikings will also be collecting donations for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Turley called it “an honor to have the opportunity to honor those who have served,” and he hopes they will pack the stadium to show our servicemen and –women how much we appreciate them.

“Being a former Marine and coming from a family of military, the military has always been part of my life,” Vikings wide receivers coach Stephen Austin said. “To me, 9/11 is about celebrating the United States. I’ve never seen a country come together in my lifetime like that.”


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