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Kickoff 2012: Orange Coast 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 go to the individual team previews.)
1. Estancia 10-3 in 2011, 28 poll points
2. Laguna Beach 10-3, 26
3. Godinez 5-6, 17
4. Costa Mesa 8-3, 15
5. Calvary Chapel 3-7, 12
6. Saddleback 0-10, 7
*Teams receive 6 points for a first place vote, 5 for a second-place vote, etc. Five of six coaches responded.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Estancia. The Eagles are coming off an appearance in the CIF-SS Southern Division Semifinals last season, winning their first playoff game in several years. They return running back Robert Murtha, one of the top overall players in the county, and four more all-league members. Estancia has reached the playoffs in three consecutive seasons.
Saddleback. The Roadrunners failed to win a game last season for the third time in five years. They’ve won just three games total during that span. Their nonleague schedule appears a bit more favorable than a year ago, but it might be some time before they’re competitive in league.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Robert Murtha, Estancia, RB – The two-time reigning league offensive player of the year rushed for 2,250 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.
Drake Martinez, Laguna Beach, RB/S – The Nebraska target is one of the top two-way players in the county.
Oronde Crenshaw, Costa Mesa, RB/LB – He made the all-league team while just a sophomore last year while starring on both sides of the ball.
OTHER TOP PLAYERS:
Calvary Chapel: QB Colin Kearon; RB Danny Mattero
Costa Mesa: LB Noah Jayarajah; RB/S Justin Smith
Godinez: LB Jose O’Campo; CB Abraham Olivas; WR Brian Hernandez; DB/RB Randy Rivera
Estancia: QB Brad Wilson; WR Levi Stillman; LB Colby Koste; DE/OL Kevin Peters, Estancia
Laguna Beach: QB Larry Stewart; OG/DE Spencer Anderson; WR/CB Robert Clemons; DB/K Robbie McInerny
Saddleback: QB Eddie Bernal; RB/LB Eddie Arvezu
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
Laguna Beach at Estancia, Oct. 12. The two teams were picked to finish first and second in the coaches poll — there’s a small gap between them and a large one beneath them — with more than one coach ranking the Breakers ahead of the Eagles. In other words, these are likely the two best teams and their midseason meeting might ultimately decide the league title.
Estancia. The Eagles’ nonleague slate includes meetings with two playoff teams from a year ago, Ocean View and Sonora, the latter of which plays in a tougher league (Empire) and division (Southwest). Both of those games are on the road.