Well, the wait is over and the hay is in the barn as they say. If last week’s dress rehearsal at Long Beach Millikan was any indication of what lies ahead, the Eagle faithful should be upbeat about what is on the horizon. By no stretch of the imagination, the Eagles graduated several key pieces to last season’s 7-3 (3-2) team which ended up placing third in the Trinity league, ranked #3 in Orange County, #7 by Cal-Hi, and #49 nationally by Maxpreps.
The Eagles have holes to fill with the departure of quarterback Josiah Norwood (UCLA), running back Chad Magyar (UNLV), and the tight end duo of Johnny McCartan (Oregon State) and Jake Peters (University of Arizona). Defensively, the Eagles graduated linebacker Caden Fitch (USD) and Alex Kilander (Princeton), both of whom were considered the motors of the defense.
This year’s squad brings youth and enthusiasm as Head Coach Rich Fisher enters his third season at the helm, where he has led the Eagles to a 14-9 overall record (.609 winning percentage) and looks for a third consecutive playoff appearance.
Guiding the Eagle offense will be sophomore quarterback Peter Costelli, a transfer from St. John Bosco, who possess all of the tools needed to thrive in the Trinity League. Costelli will look to sizeable targets in wide receivers Chase Nenad (Jr., 6’3” 220) and Connor Bane (Jr., 6’4” 200). Not to be overlooked is senior Jake Ebach who in nine games played last season, hauled in 21 catches for 321 yards (15 yard average) and four touchdowns.
Fresh off his impressive junior season, the run game will be led by senior Jake Thomas, who will succeed Magyar at that position. Last year, Thomas rushed for 488 yards on 54 carries (9 yard average), and had six total touchdowns (5 rushing, 1 receiving). The thunder to Thomas’ lightning will be junior Nick Barcelos (6’0” 218) whose bruising style of running will compliment Thomas’ speed and quickness.
Setting the stage up front at the offensive line are several key returning players including Donovan Orellana (6’3” 285), Matt Kilander (6’1” 286), Nate Clay (6’2” 280), Brandon Schillig (6’5” 258), and the emergence of sophomore Brody Crane (6’2 270).
On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles will be anchored by linebackers Matt Hartigan and Connor Burke, with juniors Logan Schwenke, Billy Oberholtzer, and Cole Maihen coming off of the edge. In the secondary, one Caragao replaces another as older brother Richie Caragao graduates (UCSD, Track), in comes his junior brother Justin Caragao from San Juan Hills who will be playing at the corner position. On the other side of the field, junior Mark Ard Jr. comes to the Eagles from Orange Lutheran and looks to be a big piece of the defensive puzzle. Another defensive threat will be sophomore Keanu Kama (6’1, 165) at the cornerback position who also happens to be a standout volleyball player.
Following suit in the kicking game, with the graduation of Dylan Brady (Brown), the Eagles welcome soccer standout Jack Boccuzzi who will look to fill those shoes.