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Football '93 Preview : The Times' Top 10

September 08, 1993

1 Los Alamitos: Defense has to carry the Griffins. It can. Seven starters return from a unit that had six shutouts last season. There's a lot of room to grow on offense, but running back Enrico Bozman, a transfer from Bellflower, should help the aging process.

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2 Huntington Beach: No lawyers needed for this title run. Tony Gonzalez is considered by some to be the best player in the county and he has plenty of help. The Oilers have 14 returning starters. The key will be Levi Schuck, who moves from wide receiver to quarterback.

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3 Capistrano Valley: Talent and depth, what else do you want? The Cougars have 15 starters back. Among the returners are quarterback Dan Gaines, who threw for 1,000 yards, and running back Dan Geiss, who gained more than 1,200 yards. Nine defensive starters are back.

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4 Esperanza: Sure, the Aztecs need almost entirely new offensive and defensive lines. But good linemen seem to be built at Esperanza. This year, the Aztecs have speed as well, especially in running back Dahrin Footman. A lot guys are up from a JV team that went 9-1.

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5 Mater Dei: Yeah, there are some holes to fill, but the Monarchs always seem to have the numbers, and then some, to plug them. The Monarchs have so much depth they have two, count-em, two kickers. Derrick Ford is a monster along the defensive front.

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6 Valencia: Chris Draft is looking for high school immortality. Look out. The running back/linebacker gained 1,600 yards rushing and scored 23 of the Tigers' 49 touchdowns. And he's really fired up this season. Quarterback Rob Petko is also back.

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7 Dana Hills: Yes, this is the top teams section. The Dolphins are loaded. Quarterback Scott Covington is among the county's best. He already has two years experience as a starter. First-year Coach Jack Murry inherits a wealth of talent, including 14 returning starters.

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8 Fountain Valley: The Barons also have a talented quarterback returning in Scott Bertoni, who threw for more than 1,900 yards and 19 touchdowns. Running back Jeremy Nicholson (700 yards) is also back. The Barons and Huntington Beach will likely play for the Sunset League title on Oct. 22.

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9 Corona del Mar: Coach Dave Holland has been waiting for this group of kids. He has 12 returning starters, including running back J.R. Walz (1,500 yards). Linebacker Chris Taylor leads a defense that has eight starters back.

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10 Foothill: Another Tom Meiss reclamation job. He revived the programs at Santa Ana and Orange and got the Knights to the Division IV semifinals last season. They could take a step beyond this season with 14 starters returning. Meiss is crazy about quarterback Kevin Draft.

Others: Buena Park, Edison, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Newport Harbor, Rancho Alamitos, San Clemente, Servite, Trabuco Hills.

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