Several Glendale team are feeling the loss of graduated standouts.
Franklin lost All-City Section quarterback Ronnie Lopez and Hoover lost nine defensive starters.
Most notable, however, is Eagle Rock's loss. The Eagles said farewell to quarterback Chuck Engel and receiver Manny Washington, possibly the most electrifying scoring combination in school history.
Last season, Engel completed 101 of 200 passes for 1,750 yards and 13 touchdowns, and Washington, in his only year of organized football, caught 46 passes for 883 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In addition, Washington scored five touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns, none shorter than 75 yards.
The two, who have been friends since childhood, will continue their careers at Pasadena City College.
A glance at Glendale-area teams:
RIO HONDO LEAGUE
La Canada (9-2-1, 4-0-1 in league play): Coach Nic Larez isn't concerned about his projected starters but he's bothered by his team's lack of depth.
"We're one deep," said Larez, who coached La Canada to a Rio Hondo League championship last season. "We fall off tremendously on the second group."
The Spartans lose All-Southern Section cornerback Eric Jacobsen, but Larez says the defense won't break stride.
Senior James Francis will guard the opposition's best receiver and, on offense he should see time at running back, receiver and even quarterback.
"He's our best athlete by far," said Larez of Francis, who won the league pole vault championship as a sophomore. "He can cover anybody one-on-one."
But Larez says linebackers Greg Thompson (6-4, 190), Sean Weingarten (6-2, 195) and Paul Traughber (6-2, 190) are the keys to the defense.
"The linebackers mold together well as a group and have a great deal of fun," he said.
CITY SECTION 3-A DIVISION
Franklin (11-1, 5-0): Because Franklin's stadium doesn't have lights, the Panthers play most of their games on the road. But Coach Armando Gonzalez doesn't mind.
"We're like a band of gypsies. We play anywhere and win," said Gonzalez, who has led his team to back-to-back 3-A titles and three championships in the last five years.
But junior quarterback Santiago Alvarez (5-10, 160) must emerge from the shadow of All-City quarterback Ronnie Lopez if Franklin is to be successful. Lopez, who completed 130 of his 202 attempts for 22 touchdowns last season, will play for Pierce College.
"Santiago doesn't have size but he has a nice touch," said Gonzalez, who has coached four All-City quarterbacks since 1980.
If Alvarez doesn't match Lopez's efforts, it won't be for lack of good receivers. Senior Chad Infranca caught 63 passes for 1,030 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. Lucio Solano, also a senior, had 18 catches at flanker and five interceptions at defensive back.
Tackles David Jackson and Art Contreras return on the offensive line to block for senior tailback Lamont Lovett, who gained 983 yards on 175 carries.
And if the Panthers' 23-1-1 record in summer passing league play--best in the school history--is an accurate indication, another City championship is within reach.
Eagle Rock (6-3, 5-0): New Coach Dennis Arnett inherits an Eagle Rock team which has lost Engel and Washington--perhaps the best one-two punch in school history.
Arnett, a 1983 all-league linebacker from Occidental, takes over from Dennis Shaw, who decided to concentrate on teaching.
The Eagles' offense might have lost its powerhouse scoring combination, but the defense remains intact.
All-league noseguard Lex Pike (5-9, 175) is the hub of the undersized but effective defensive line which includes tackles Mike Muriello (6-1, 185) and Rommel Hingco (5-7, 170).
The most versatile player may be Young Kim (6-1, 200), who plays fullback but was awarded all-league honors for his kicking and punting duties.
Marshall (2-6-1, 2-2-1): Sid Oxford (6-4, 190) got some attention from college scouts while playing tight end last season, but Coach Ken Girard thinks he's more suited for quarterback.
"He's got a strong arm and he's intelligent," said Girard, adding that Oxford, a transfer student from Loyola, can throw 60 yards.
But Oxford's arm had better be accurate as well as strong--his targets are small.
Miguel Osirio (5-6, 145) and Roger Munchian (5-5, 135) move up from the B team and will fill the receiver spots.
All-league defensive tackle George Watson (6-1, 235) has moved to linebacker and fullback. Watson and strong safety Jesus Placencia (5-9, 170), also an all-league selection, are at the hub of an otherwise inexperienced defense.
Crescenta Valley (5-6, 3-2): Coach Jim Beckenhauer is banking on a team that went 10-0 as sophomores two years ago to spark an often dormant Falcon offense.