During the last eight months, Bryan Duffy spent five days a week pumping iron in the St. Francis High School weight room. As a dedicated Golden Knight, Duffy was getting bigger. Getting stronger. Getting mentally prepared for his senior year.
Those have always been admired habits at tradition-rich St. Francis, where football has for years reigned supreme.
Duffy, however, is a basketball player. He didn't plan on becoming a revolutionary but may qualify as one by the time basketball season is over. The football team suffered through a 2-7-1 season and pride around campus is now dependent on a basketball program that has operated in relative obscurity for years.
Hopes center on the team's center, who just happens to be the 6-6, 205-pound Duffy.
"We're not going to be the quickest team and we're not all that talented," said Duffy, who averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds a game last season. "But we're going to play together as a team and hopefully get the morale back up on campus."
The Golden Knights have a chance to win more than new fans. The team has a legitimate shot at contending for the Del Rey League championship.
Besides Duffy, the Golden Knights return senior guard Greg Forrest (6-1), who averaged 16.5 points a game last season.
Coach Drew Sorenson has other experienced players who should help improve on last season's 13-12 overall record and 7-6, third-place finish in league.
Senior forwards Matt McGee (6-2) and Mark Jewell (6-2) should help take pressure off Duffy in the front court. Junior Aaron Villegas (5-11) is the other guard.
Sorenson is beginning his fourth year as coach. His teams have had records of 4-17, 12-12 and 13-12.
"If someone were to ask how we were doing, I'd say we're quietly building a program," Sorenson said. "This used to be kind of a grave yard for good coaches. Hopefully, I'll be around awhile to win some championships."
Here is an alphabetical list of previews for other Glendale-area boys basketball teams for the 1986-87 season.
Crescenta Valley (Pacific League, 4-A Division)--Harvey Mason, the Falcons' three-time CIF All-Southern Section performer, is at the University of Arizona. Mason, who averaged 27 points a game last season, is one of four starters lost from a team that went 18-8 overall and finished second in league with a 7-3 record.
Coach John Goffredo's only returning starter is senior forward Larry Resendez (5-10), who averaged 1.5 points.
"Over the last three years, it's almost like I knew we were going to have at least 30 points a game from Harvey," Goffredo said. "It's going to be different this year."
Senior Greg Buck (6-2), who played on the junior varsity last season, will be one of the forwards and junior Mike Harrison (6-5) will play center. The guards figure to be seniors Chris Grider (5-9) and Barry Eget (6-0).
"We'll have to play to our maximum to make the playoffs," Goffredo said. "I hate to say we're rebuilding because that's a cop-out. We're still going to be competitive."
Eagle Rock (Northern League, City 3-A Division)--The Eagle Rock football team won a league championship this season and the basketball team has a good chance to do the same.
All-City forward Greg Sanford and all-league center Rich Conti have graduated, but there are four players returning from last season's team that finished 14-7 over all and 8-2 in league.
Senior forward John Epps (6-4) averaged 13.3 points and seven rebounds. He'll be joined in the front court by forward Marc Tamase (6-0), who averaged seven points.
Senior guard Jerry Lew (5-9), who averaged 10 points and five assists, is in the back court with senior Emanuael Washington (5-11), who averaged eight points.
"Depth and experience are going to be our strengths," Coach Bill Whiting said. "The experience, in particular, gives us the potential to be as good as the league championship team we had in 1983."
Flintridge Prep (Prep League, 1-A Division)--The Prep League figures to, once again, be a race between Flintridge Prep and defending champion Chadwick.
Chadwick lost league MVP John Johnson, who is playing at UC Riverside. But Flintridge Prep suffered with the graduation of Jeff Crawford, who averaged 23 points.
The Rebels return three players from last season's team that finished 14-11 overall and 6-2 in league.
Senior Burt Cooper (6-6) is back at center after averaging 14 points. Junior guard Steve Swain, who averaged 11 points, and senior swingman Jeff Rosenfeld (6-1) also return.
The key for Flintridge Prep, according to Coach Alex Rivera, will be the performances of junior forwards Kinden Mitchell (6-2) and Chris Freeman (6-5), both up from the junior varsity.
"Those two have to come through for us," said Rivera, who begins his eighth year as coach of the Rebels. "We have the potential to have one of the best years since I've been here."
Franklin (Northern League, 3-A Division)--Franklin went 3-16 overall and 1-9 in league last season, so things can only get better for the Panthers.