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CENTURY LEAGUE | PREP FOOTBALL '96

Santa Ana Valley

September 10, 1996

1995 RECORD: 8-4 overall, 3-2 in league.

COACH: Eddie Steward (0-0 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: none on offense, 1 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Brian Fort, DB/WR, 5-9, 150, Sr.; Hershel Hardeman, DT, 6-0, 245, Sr.; Jermain Kendrick, ILB, 5-7, 180, Jr.; Jose Miranda, OLB, 5-6, 165, Sr.; Salvador Rodriguez, OT, 6-3, 253, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Sammy Macias, DB, 5-7, 148, Sr.; Bryan Save, TE/DE, 6-2, 245, So.; Soa Taing, DB, 5-7, 145, Jr.

OUTLOOK

Steward, a first-year coach, is no stranger to the Santa Ana Valley program. He began his tenure at the school 24 years ago when he was hired as an assistant coach to Dick Hill, now at Orange. After serving as an assistant varsity coach and lower-level coach, Steward now inherits a team that returns only eight lettermen from a team that won its first league championship since 1977. "We're in a building year," Steward said. And his debut couldn't come against a much tougher opponent Thursday . . . Mater Dei. "Actually, our kids are looking forward to that challenge," Steward said. "They're excited because they get a chance to play against one of the best programs in the nation." Steward hopes the Falcons can challenge for a playoff berth although inexperience could be a factor with a lot of sophomores and juniors playing. The defense is led by Fort, a top cornerback who earned second-team, all-league honors last season. Kendrick, who started five games last season, and Miranda lead a group of undersized but aggressive linebackers. Rodriguez is the best of a promising group of offensive linemen that Steward hopes will mature as the season progresses. Save, a sophomore, also shows potential but like most of his teammates, he also lacks experience.

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