By Gideon Rubin
Cathedral Catholic suffered some pretty heavy graduation losses, but don’t expect anybody to feel sorry for the Dons.
With Cathedral Catholic is in the midst of one of San Diego County’s greatest football dynasties in recent memory, graduating 14 seniors seems more like an inconvenience than a devastating blow.
The Dons are seeking an unheard of fifth consecutive San Diego Section Div. III title after rebounding from a slow start to win the section title.
The Dons, who going into last season had won 33 of their last 34 games going back to 2007, lost their first three games of the season but went on to win seven of their last eight, including a 24-7 thrashing of Lincoln of San Diego in the title game.
And whatever the Dons lack in experience, they figure to make up for with a roster loaded with an abundance of talent.
Running back J.J. Stavola, fullback/receiver Szongaia Brown, and quarterback Luke Ramsey are among the Dons key returnees.
Other key returnees include linebacker Russell Reeder, defensive back Patrick Downing, and place kicker Brian Heinz.
Torrey Pines is coming its best season in years, going 9-2 and advancing to the Div. I semifinals for the first time since 2005.
And although the Falcons lost several key players from last year’s team, coach Scott Ashby is hopeful his team laid out a foundation it can build on.
“I think we’re going to inexperienced early in the season, but we’ve got a lot of hard working kids and I believe we’re going to continue getting better as the season goes on,” Ashby said. “Last year we had a great group of kids and some of our juniors and seniors were able to learn from them, so we’re looking forward to carrying on what we started last season.”
Andrew Fargo, a powerful and swift senior fullback, is among the team’s key returnees.
The always physical Falcons feature senior two-way lineman Jacob Alsadek, a 6-foot-7 310-pounder, who figures to help Torrey Pines continue that tradition.
Senior Vincent Arvia is also considered one of the area’s top lineman.
Seniors defensive backs Jack Mitchell and Brandon Williams give the Falcons a talented and experienced secondary.
Senior running back David Bagby also figures to play a prominent role.
Newcomer Cole Jaczko, a junior running back up from the junior varsity, will also be counted on to make an impact.
Santa Fe Christian:
Santa Fe Christian is coming a season in which it advanced to the Div. V semifinals, but the road back won’t be easy.
The Eagles suffered a setback before the season started when one of their most productive players from last season deciding to forgo his senior year to play baseball.
But if history is any indication, the Eagles have a knack for rising to the occasion.
The Eagles will miss two-way standout Josh Estill, a fullback/linebacker was among the team’s leading rushers and led the team in tackles. The Eagles graduated seven seniors including Austin Knoth, who rushed for 889 yards and nine touchdowns.