COACH: Steve Popovich
RECORD AT SCHOOL: 270-175
RETURNING STARTERS YR. HGT. P Eric Endsley Sr. 6-6 C Andres Nieto Sr. 6-1 G
TOP RETURNERS YR. HGT. P John Boyd Jr. 6-4 F Eric Chase So. 6-5 F
TOP NEWCOMERS YR. HGT. P Steve Bolton So. 6-2 G Kai Boyd So. 5-10 G Jessop Fifita Sr. 6-2 G Mark Glavinic Sr. 6-4 F Dan Thompson Jr. 6-5 F Pedro Vasquez Sr. 5-10 G Chris Walz Sr. 5-9 G Louis Worthy Jr. 6-3 F Brian Yamamoto Sr. 6-2 G
Popovich replaced Greg Hoffman after a spending last season as an assistant at Saddleback College. Only four active coaches in the county--Tom Danley at Katella, Jim Harris at Ocean View, John Mayberry at Kennedy and Gary McKnight at Mater Dei--have won more games than Popovich, who coached for 17 seasons at Marina. He returns to a team with only four returners, but two were starters. "Endsley and Nieto will have to step up and lead this team," Popovich said. "The rest of the kids will find out real quick what it's like to play at the varsity level." In the Daily Pilot tournament, the Vikings play Corona del Mar tonight and could face the defending Division I-A champion, Mater Dei, Friday. "I think the Sunset League is way up this year, and we'll need to make a great improvement if we want to be competitive. Our goal is to make the playoffs, but that may be a tough task." Popovich said Edison, Servite, Fountain Valley and Ocean View all will be improved and will challenge defending champion Huntington Beach.