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FREEWAY LEAGUE | PREP FOOTBALL '96

Fullerton

September 10, 1996

1995 RECORD: 11-2 overall, 5-0 in league.

COACH: Julian Smilowitz (22-22 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 5 on offense, 3 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Artimo Arevalo, OT/DT, 6-2, 235, Sr.; David Brookman, TE/FS, 6-5, 230, Sr.; Joseph Emigh, FB/LB, 6-0, 215, Sr.; Josh Leech, OL/LB, 6-1, 210, Sr.; Rey Maza, OT, 6-3, 280, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Justin Bruce, QB, 6-2, 185, Jr.; Arthur Martinez, DE, 6-2, 225, Jr.

OUTLOOK

Last season was one of the Indians' best in recent times, winning 11 of their first 12 games and claiming their first outright league championship since 1983. It was a title accomplished through patience. The Indians took their poundings as sophomores, and by the time they were seniors they were ready for payback. In fact the lone Division VII team to dominate Fullerton, was Covina, which cruised to a 34-0 semifinal victory en route to claiming a section championship. Repeating as the league champion is possible, but it will be difficult. Smilowitz's team returns only eight starters, the bulk of whom are linemen. Among the key skilled position players coming back are Brookman (15 catches, 195 yards, three touchdowns), a second-team all-league tight end, and the fullback Emigh (47 carries, 256 yards, five touchdowns). But Smilowitz has yet to find a runner and spiritual leader like Jon Wilkie (1,474 yards, 17 touchdowns), or a canny receiver like Michael Garner (33 catches, 472 yards). He also has an untested quarterback, an unknown kicking game and a defense that will probably give up more than the 70 points it did last season. But the Indians waited a long time to be winners; that feeling won't leave too quickly.

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