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Wednesday Blitz: Intense battle to be El Toro's starting QB
Check out Wednesday's OCVarsity Blitz that takes a look at the football practices around the county.
BATTLE FOR QB SPOT: With the search for a new head coach over, El Toro has turned to the task of finding a new starting quarterback.
The job initially looked to be between junior Kyle Paskweitz and sophomore Cooper Jones, but that was before junior Dawit Wilson transferred back into the program.
Coach Mike Mayoral said the starter hasn’t been selected yet, but the athletic Wilson has emerged as a frontrunner.
“Having him in summer camp for 15 straight days, we really saw him improve,” Mayoral said. “He hasn’t played in our system, so it was really important to see him over those days.”
Wilson was at El Toro as a freshman and played on the Chargers’ varsity basketball team before transferring to Long Beach Poly for his sophomore season.
Jones, Paskweitz and Wilson are battling to helm a fast-paced El Toro scheme that has broken some longstanding county records in recent seasons. The starter last season, Trey Tinsley, threw for 3,855 yards and 33 touchdowns.
SMOOTH TRANSITION: After Robert Frith stepped down as head coach to become El Toro's athletic director, Mayoral was chosen to be the Chargers’ new coach.
The hire has made for a smooth transition into a new season.
Mayoral was - and will continue to be - the team’s defensive coordinator, and the rest of the team's coaching staff remains intact.
“I’m very happy with the way things went in the summer time,” Mayoral said. “We made a lot of headway though the summer.”
El Toro had a late summer camp that ended on July 31. The team will begin holding official practices on Aug. 10. The Chargers open their season against La Habra in Week 0 (Aug. 28).
TAYLOR LOCKED AT QUARTERBACK: Buena Park coach Anthony White encourages position battles.
“Competition is one of the foundations of our program,” White said. “Everybody is battling.”
However, the quarterback position is one with no battle as Zach Taylor returns for his senior season. Taylor is settling in for his second season under second-year offensive coordinator Jude Oliva. Last season, Taylor threw for 3,549 yards and 34 touchdowns with a completion rate of 66.3 percent.
‘It’s kind of hard for someone to battle with that,” White said. “He’s one of the best quarterbacks in Orange County.”
White described Taylor as a coach on the field and someone who keeps the young players on track in the Coyotes’ up-tempo offense.
STRONG START TO CAMP: White described training camp thus far as the best camp he has had at Buena Park.
“Our speed, our strength, and our leadership is all coming out,” White said. “With as hard as we’ve worked from January and February, I don’t think we’re starting all over.”
White has all levels of the program (freshmen, JV and varsity) practice together. White is cultivating a united atmosphere in the program.
“Our motto is, ‘Our family versus their team,’ ” White said. “We’re an extremely close-knit group.”