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EMPIRE LEAGUE | PREP FOOTBALL '96

Katella

September 10, 1996

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

COACH: Larry Anderson (32-55-5 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 6 on offense, 5 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Tony Alcantar, C/DE, 6-0, 230, Jr.; Dan Astorga, OT/DT, 6-2, 250, Sr.; John Baldridge, QB, 5-11, 165, Sr.; Jim Bittner, RB/LB, 6-0, 175, Jr.; Chris DeLatorre, OT, 6-3, 250, Jr; Norman Echavarria, DT, 5-10, 255, Jr.; Art Tiscareno, WR/DB, 5-9, 160, Jr.; Frankie Trejo, OL/DT, 5-8, 220, Sr.; Ricky Thompson, TE., 602, 180, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Charles Crook, WR, 6-0, 160, Sr.; Steve Gomez, QB/WR/DB, 5-9, 160, Jr.; Francis Johnson, RB, 5-8, 165, So.; Toriano Johnson, RB/OLB, 6-0, 175, Jr.; Cesar Lopez, DE, 6-0, 190, Jr.; Bob Nita, WR/DB, 5-9, 150, So.; Renee Ruvalcaba, RB/LB, 5-10, 185, Jr.

OUTLOOK

A lot of people, including Anderson, are expecting Katella to make a big turnaround this season. A few Empire coaches have picked the Knights to finish second and another picked them as the league dark horse. Why all the excitement? Anderson returns three all-league players and eight juniors, all of whom started as sophomores last year. The most significant returning player might be Baldridge, who Anderson said has come a long way from last season. "His decision making is better and he's got a great ability to move in the pocket." Anderson has even simplified the offense for Baldridge, finally scrapping the triple option in favor of a one- or two-back set. "We wanted to take the pressure off him," Anderson said. The defense is young but quick. The biggest question will probably be at linebacker, where three juniors will start.

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