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Kickoff 2012: South Coast League preview
Find the coaches' poll, individual previews for all five schools, players and teams to watch and much more.
(Click on the links below to find the previews for the individual schools.)
1. Mission Viejo (24 points)
2. Tesoro, 22
3. San Clemente, 13
4. El Toro 12
5. Trabuco Hills, 7
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Mission Viejo. The South Coast League might be the most competitive leagues in Southern California and the league’s coaches gave the three-time defending league champion Diablos a slight edge over Tesoro in the preseason poll. Three of the five teams in the league reached the Pac-5 finals last season with San Clemente losing to Santa Margarita in the finals. El Toro reached the Southwest Division finals last season. Mission Viejo, Tesoro, San Clemente and El Toro are all ranked in the top 10 in the county and Trabuco Hills is ranked No. 20. All these factors make for dangerous waters for Mission Viejo. But the Diablos are used to such challenges. They have a strong offense strengthened further by some Trinity League transfers to go along with a hard-hitting defense.
El Toro. The Chargers make the move from the Sea View League and the Southwest Division to the South Coast League and the Pac-5 Division. El Toro has all of its skill position players back from its high-powered no-huddle offense, including Orange County offensive player of the year Conner Manning. Will the Chargers be able to continue to pile up the yardage and the points against the big, physical teams in the South Coast League? That is the big question.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Conner Manning, El Toro, QB: The Utah-commit smashed Matt Barkley’s single-season passing record with 4,219 yards and he threw a county-record 41 touchdowns in 2011. Manning has continued to improve in passing leagues and quarterback camps in the offseason and is braced for another huge season.
Max Redfield, Mission Viejo, WR/FS: The USC-commit is expected to be all over the field on both sides of the ball for the Diablos this season. He’s the leader of Mission Viejo’s hard-hitting defense and he will get a lot more catches at receiver with the arrival of strong-armed Ian Fieber.
OTHER TOP PLAYERS:
El Toro: WR Cody White; RB Jacob Furnari; WR Dominic Collins; WR Blake Murphy; and WR Alex Shoffeit; Mission Viejo: QB Ian Fieber; DL Jackson Stoddard; WR Sean Modster; RB Alex Suchesk; and DE Garrett Marino; San Clemente: OL/DT Sean Harlow; WR/DB Christian Bailey; QB Sean Donnelly; K Bret Miller; MLB Landon Cook; and OT Jacob Bryson; Tesoro: DT Chazz Roberts; S Nick Crouch; RB Nate Tago; QB Matt Adam; OT Clay Eubank; and WR Forest Dunivin; Trabuco Hills: OL Zack Cody; QB Nathan Perry; WR Cole Breeland; OLB JT Land; and OT Mitchell Dixon.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
Mission Viejo at Tesoro, Oct. 19, 7 p.m.
This isn’t one of the oldest rivalries in the county, but Mission Viejo vs. Tesoro has quickly developed into the most hotly-contested rivalries in south county. The Diablos one a 4-2 advantage over the Titans in the all-time series and they’ve won the past three meetings, including a 14-7 nail-biter last season. Mission Viejo vs. Tesoro will play a huge role in determining the South Coast League champion.
Mission Viejo. The Diablos have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation in recent years, but this year’s schedule isn’t as grueling. All six of Mission Viejo’s opponents had winning records and went to the postseason in 2011. Don Bosco Prep of Ramsey, N.J., Long Beach Poly and Carson are out and Mission Hills of San Marcos, a CIF-San Diego Section Division 2 quarterfinalst, Aliso Niguel and Redlands East Valley, a Pac-5 quarterfinalist, are in. Mission Viejo gets Redlands East Valley on Sept. 28 and Redlands East Valley upset the Diablos, 10-7, last season.