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PREP FOOTBALL '97: EMPIRE LEAGUE

Katella

September 09, 1997

1996 RECORD: 3-7 overall; 1-4 in league

COACH: Dominik Unger (0-0 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 6 on offense, 5 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Tony Alcantar, OL/DL, 6-0, 250, Sr.; Chris Delatorre, OL/DL, 6-3, 275, Sr.; Steve Gomez, QB/DB, 5-11, 155, Sr.; Francis Johnson, RB/LB, 5-10, 165, Jr.; Toriano Johnson, RB/LB, 6-1, 180, Sr.; Cesar Lopez, DL, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Rene Rubalcava, TE/LB, 5-11, 190, Sr.; Ricky Thompson, 6-0, 190, Sr.; Art Tiscareno, WR/DB, 6-0, 155, Sr.; Chris Walters, RB/LB, 5-10, 180, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Brandon Jordan, TE/LB, 6-3, 185, Jr.; Peter Park, OL/DL, 6-1, 250, Jr.; Chris Pernetter, OL/DL 5-10, 230, Sr.; Erik Pike, TE/OL, 6-3, 195, Sr.; Brandon Vasquez, WR/TE, 6-1, 170, Jr.

OUTLOOK

Unger's pedigree is a good one. He spent the last seven seasons as Servite's defensive line coach; before that he was on the 1988 Fullerton College staff that guided the Hornets to a 10-1 season. At Katella, Unger will try to reverse the downward spiral in which Katella has gone 17-32-3 the last five seasons. He does not start with a bare cupboard. The Knights do have some speed, highlighted by Tiscareno (42 catches, 718 yards, nine touchdowns), who earned all-league honors. A big, experienced offensive line should give the Johnsons--Francis (749 yards, four touchdowns) and Toriano (156 yards)--bigger holes to scoot through. The Knights will have to replace quarterback John Baldridge, who ran (304 yards, nine touchdowns) as well as passed (69 of 144, 1,057 yards, 10 touchdowns). Unger's biggest challenge will be convincing the Knights they can compete for the playoffs, as well as giving them a system that exploits rather than hinders their abilities.

SCHEDULE

Sept. 12 vs. Ocean View at Glover Stadium; 19 vs. La Quinta at Bolsa Grande HS; 25 vs. Orange at El Modena HS.

Oct. 2 vs. Brea Olinda at Glover Stadium; 10 vs. Estancia at Newport Harbor HS; 16 vs. Kennedy at Glover Stadium; 24 vs. Loara at Glover Stadium; 31 vs. El Dorado at Glover Stadium.

Nov. 7 vs. Century at Tustin HS; 13 vs. Cypress at Glover Stadium.

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