It's hard enough trying to defend a CIF title and state championship, something no Pac-5 team has been able to accomplish. But the Eagles' spotlight has been made even greater this offseason thanks to off-the-field turmoil. Coach Harry Welch was placed on administrative leave for nearly a month after allegedly shoving a player, two varsity assistants were fired because of drug-related incidents and another assistant retired. Things have quieted, though, since Welch's February reinstatement. Moreover, staff losses might not be felt as hard at Santa Margarita as they would elsewhere given that Welch has his hand in every facet of the team – he is both the offensive and defensive coordinator. Being back on the field this spring should provide some normalcy to a loaded Santa Margarita team that many think will be even better than last year's version.
TEXT BY ADAM MAYA, OCVARSITY.COM; PHOTO BY PAUL RODRIGUEZ, THE REGISTER
Slideshow: Football teams live and die in the fall, but they're born in the spring. With spring practice commencing throughout the county, we examine 15 important questions.
What's going to happen with the Southwest Division? Can Santa Margarita overcome a turbulent offseason and repeat i. Read Top 15 spring football questions...