Players to watch: Senior FB Geronimo Jones (5-11, 160) "plays wherever we need someone badly," Brown said, making Jones the Eagles' all-purpose back. He'll see plenty of time on offense and defense. "Crazy Man" Marc Renner (5-10, 165) is solid against the run but has trouble with the pass now and then "because he is so intense," Brown said. Renner counteracts size liability with dedication and aggressiveness. Junior WR Derek Woodard (5-10, 165) runs a 4.7 40 and offers a deep threat. "We try to get him in as many one-on-one situations as possible," Brown said.
(CIF-City Section, 4-A Division) LAST YEAR: 5-4 overall; 2-3, tied for third with Dorsey and Gardena in Pacific League.
COACH: David Frierson, 12th year
FIRST GAME: Sept. 25 at Kennedy,
Strengths: Powering Cougars are 12 returning starters, including a muscle-heavy offensive line and strong, swift backfield.
Last season's starting FS Dan Robinson (5-11, 170) will take over at quarterback, after serving as backup QB in 1986. Robinson, a senior, "reads defenses well, is very smart and very versatile," Frierson said. WR-CB Michael Williams (5-10, 170) runs a 4.4 40, can jump high and "pull just about anything down," said Frierson, who sees Robinson and Williams as keys to Crenshaw's success because they "run the team, and how they play sets the tempo for us."
Senior OG Anthony McClellan (6-3, 265) and senior OT Michael Grimble (6-3, 320) are three-year starters and clearly keys to an overpowering running attack. Two-year starting C Dan Plain, a 6-2, 265 senior, complements McClellan and Grimble.
Fullback Jerry Blackshire, a 5-11, 215 senior who runs a 4.6 40, is sturdy and strong. He scored six touchdowns against City champion Carson last year. Teamed with Blackshire will be senior TB Karry Auguster (5-9, 165), an all-around athlete who also returns kickoffs and punts, and senior TB Kevin Pratte (5-9, 160), a 4.4 sprinter "who can really fly and has great hands," said Frierson.
Linebacking corps is filled with "good, quick and smart hitters" Frierson said. Senior ILB Dwayne Hayforth (5-9, 180), nicknamed "Coast-to-Coast" for his ability to cover the whole field, led Cougars in tackles last season. Others have key game experience.
Secondary is supported by offensive stars--Robinson at safety and Williams at cornerback. Senior CB Anthony Easter (6-0, 170) is "steady and definitely a strong point," Frierson said.
Problem areas: major question marks in defensive line with many players yet to prove themselves. Frierson said sophomore John Wilson (6-4, 265) has lots of potential but is untested. Junior DG Elliot Edwards (6-2, 225) surpasses Wilson but still leaves coaches unsure.
New coaching staff may also be a liability. Three new assistants, who played at Crenshaw, will begin work in the fall. Said Frierson: "My problem is getting my staff together. Sometimes if your coaches don't blend together, your athletes won't blend at all."
Offensive and defensive sets: I and split formations; 5-2-4, 4-3-4, 4-2-5
Players to watch: Junior TB Shon Ellerbee (5-9, 160), a varsity sprinter as a sophomore on Frierson's track squad, has enough speed to get around corners and may push Auguster for starting spot. Offensive RT Russ Neely, a 6-1, 265 sophomore, has shown progress in spring and summer and is expected to start and also see time at defensive tackle. Senior TE Pat Johnson (6-3, 220) bulked up with weights during summer and "looks extremely promising," Frierson said.
Culver City Centaurs
(CIF-Southern Section, Southern Conference) LAST YEAR: 7-4 overall; 2-3, fourth in Ocean League
COACH: Fred Fuller, ninth year
FIRST GAME: Sept. 11, St. Bernard, 7:30 p.m.
Strengths: Offensive line and running game with senior TB John Price (6-0, 190). Key offensive linemen are seniors Bob DeLarossa (5-11, 230), Derrick Deese (6-5, 248) and Gerardo Jaramillo (5-7, 200), who will probably see defensive action as well. Price was Westside's third-leading rusher, gaining 945 yards and scoring five touchdowns.
Problem areas: Coach Fuller said biggest problem could be that "we have too much of a one-dimensional offense." Frank Dolce, considered by Fuller to be best quarterback he's had at school, has graduated. He'll be succeeded by brother Darrin (6-1, 185), a junior who played mostly tight end for sophomore team last year and whose passing arm hasn't been tested much. Fuller said that, as usual, "we don't have a great deal of depth," with 34 players out for team.
Offensive and defensive sets: Slot I. 4-4-3.