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SUNSET LEAGUE | PREP FOOTBALL '96

Esperanza

September 10, 1996

1995 RECORD: 8-3 overall, 5-0 in league.

COACH: Gary Meek (87-27-3 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 4 on offense, 5 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Gary Bowers, OL, 6-3, 225, Sr.; Dannon Brown, DB, 6-1, 220, Sr.; Tony Colocion, LB, 6-2, 225, Sr.; Scott Dobashi, DB, 5-8, 160, DB, Sr.; Jammal Footman, RB, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Justin Good, DB, 5-9, 170, Sr.; George Mares, OL, 6-2, 285, So.; David Parrish, QB, 6-4, 205, Sr.; Pat Rose, DL, 6-0, 205, Sr.; John Sulik, OT, 6-0, 300, Sr.; Geoff Watson OL, 6-3, 265, Sr.; Geoff Watson, OL, 6-3, 265, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: None.

OUTLOOK

Esperanza's 1995 season can be summed up in two upsets: the 21-17 victory of then top-ranked Los Alamitos that propelled the Aztecs to the league championship, and the first-round playoff loss to Redlands. When inspired, the Aztecs can beat everybody. When going through the motions, they can lose to anybody. Esperanza boasts two all-league offensive standouts in Parrish (2,043 yards, 18 touchdowns) and Footman (657 yards, seven touchdowns). Parrish can be erratic, but also has the talent to be an all-county quarterback. Footman still runs in the shadow of older brother and former Esperanza star Dahrin, but is dangerous when healthy. Sulik and Watson anchor a massive but rebuilt offensive line. The defensive front seven is also reconstructed, the secondary is experienced. Esperanza is poised for another title run. But Meek must revive a graduation-depleated receiving corp that combined for 120 receptions, 1,694 yards and 13 touchdowns, and the Aztecs must prove they can get up for all opponents, not just a chosen few.

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