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EMPIRE LEAGUE | PREP FOOTBALL '96

Cypress

September 10, 1996

1995 RECORD: 1-9 overall, 1-4 in league.

COACH: Ted Hovorka (1-9 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 5 on offense, 5 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Matt Conde, OL/DL, 6-0, 230, Sr.; Ryan Dinley, S/WR, 5-10, 170, Sr.; Dulani Jackson, WR/DB, 6-0, 170, Sr.; Rashaun Lawrence, WR, 6-1, 175, Jr.; James Law, QB, 6-0, 160, Sr.; Kevin Libick, DL, 215, Jr.; Mike Meza, WR/K, 6-0, 170, Sr.; Matt Monroe, DE, 6-3, 240, Sr.; Steve Pulsifer, OT, 6-3, 280, Sr.; Ryan Smith, C, 6-4, 270, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Chris Dorner, FB, 5-10, 225, Sr.; Jack Nealeigh, TB, 6-0, 170, Jr.; Kelly Patterson, TB/DB, 5-9, 160, Jr.

OUTLOOK

The second year of Hovorka's rebuilding project promises to be better than the first, which ended with the Centurions forfeiting two games after using an ineligible player. Had Cypress not forfeited those games, it would have finished 3-2 in the league and qualified for the playoffs. Cypress appears to be faster and deeper than last year. "We're better at 20 of 22 positions," Hovorka said. One of the strengths should be the offensive line, where Smith has moved from tackle to center and Conde is a returning second-team all-league player at tackle. The Centurions also possess two of the league's better receivers in Lawrence and Jackson, a second-team all-league player last season. Cypress' biggest question mark this season might be more mental than physical. "We're not that experienced," Hovorka said. "Our biggest problem is learning how to win." If they can get over that hump, the Centurions have a decent chance to have a winning season, finish third in league and snag a playoff berth.

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