OCVarsity Reporters: Our predictions & O.C. favorites
OC Varsity’s reporters make predictions for the season, and they share their favorites - uniforms, bands, coaches, etc.
Let us know on Twitter (@ocvarsity) what you think of their responses.
Team most likely to end the year ranked No. 1 in the county?
Dan Albano: Mater Dei. Monarchs loaded for a run at the Division 1 title.
Damian Calhoun: Mater Dei
Kenny Connolly: Mater Dei
Steve Fryer: Mater Dei. But the Monarchs still will finish second, behind St. John Bosco, in the Trinity League.
Team that will surprise fans?
Dan Albano: Corona del Mar. Sea Kings might be at least the third best public school in the county.
Damian Calhoun: Pacifica
Kenny Connolly: JSerra
Steve Fryer: Tustin. With Myron Miller back coaching the Tillers, they will run over and around teams once again.
Most overlooked or underrated player in the county?
Dan Albano: Logan Montgomery, Laguna Hills. Senior athlete has the speed and drive to do major damage.
Damian Calhoun: Dylan Laurent, Los Alamitos
Kenny Connolly: Jacob Huff, San Juan Hills and Riley O’Brien, JSerra
Steve Fryer: Fa’avae Fa’avae, Mater Dei. With so many stars in the secondary, and on offense, too, the linebacker might not get the appreciation he deserves even when he’s leading the team in tackles.
Player who will be the most exciting to watch?
Dan Albano: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Mater Dei. His summer performance left fans wanting more.
Damian Calhoun: Olaijah Griffin, Mission Viejo
Kenny Connolly: Jeremiah Hawkins, Buena Park
Steve Fryer: Brandon Reaves, San Clemente. Fast, deceptively strong running back who will score touchdowns all night long.
Player most likely to be the offensive player of the year?
Dan Albano: Jack Sears, San Clemente. Dual-threat quarterback has chance to pile up big numbers, but QB competition is stiff.
Damian Calhoun: JT Daniels, Mater Dei
Kenny Connolly: JT Daniels, Mater Dei
Steve Fryer: Jack Sears, San Clemente. One day they might ask, ‘Who was better his senior year, Jack Sears or Sam Darnold?’
Player most likely to be the defensive player of the year?
Dan Albano: Colin Schooler, Mission Viejo. He might not get many breaks as a two-way star, so watch for Brandon McKinney of Orange Lutheran or Quentin Lake of Mater Dei.
Damian Calhoun: Colin Schooler, Mission Viejo
Kenny Connolly: Colin Schooler, Mission Viejo
Steve Fryer: Colin Schooler, Mission Viejo. A great linebacker who also is going to knock people over at running back.
If you could make only one prediction for this season, it would it be?
Dan Albano: Mater Dei captures Division 1 title, defeating St. John Bosco in the final.
Damian Calhoun: More than half of the division titles will be won by an O.C. team.
Kenny Connolly: Two of the best games of the season will be played in Week 8 (Oct. 21) when Mater Dei takes on St. John Bosco and Buena Park hosts La Habra. Both games are decided by a touchdown or less and determine the eventual league champ.
Steve Fryer: San Clemente gets its revenge and beats La Habra in the Division 2 championship game.
Favorite team uniform?
Dan Albano: Mission Viejo blacks or Edison whites
Damian Calhoun: Orange Lutheran
Kenny Connolly: Mission Viejo
Steve Fryer: Servite’s all-blacks. With the crest shining on the helmets.
Favorite stadium or field to watch a game?
Dan Albano: Western’s Handel Stadium. Traditional and central O.C., big press box, great view, not too crowded.
Damian Calhoun: Huntington Beach High
Kenny Connolly: Yorba Linda’s Shapell Stadium
Steve Fryer: Santa Ana Stadium. The old “bowl” was the first place I ever saw a football game.
Team with the best snack bar or food options?
Dan Albano: San Clemente - and second not even close.
Damian Calhoun: San Clemente
Kenny Connolly: El Dorado’s freshly made kettle corn.
Steve Fryer: San Clemente. Tri-tip, yes!
Favorite school band to listen to?
Dan Albano: Los Alamitos. Griffins' numbers are impressive
Damian Calhoun: La Habra
Kenny Connolly: Tesoro
Steve Fryer: Villa Park. This group comes through.
Favorite student section?
Dan Albano: Servite’s Asylum. Inclusive, funny and passionate.
Damian Calhoun: Servite
Kenny Connolly: Servite
Steve Fryer: Santa Margarita. Even when I’m on the other side of the field at Saddleback College, I can hear those kids.
Which O.C. coach would you want to play for?
Dan Albano: Edison’s Dave White. Combines work ethic, toughness, skill development and competitiveness with life perspective (father of three boys).
Damian Calhoun: Tesoro’s Matt Poston
Kenny Connnolly: Villa Park’s Dusan Ancich
Steve Fryer: Edison’s Dave White. What an honor it would be to play for that gentleman-wizard in his final season.