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September 09, 1997

1996 RECORD: 6-5 overall, 3-2 in league

COACH: Terry Henigan (103-60-3 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 3 on offense, 1 on defense


Victor Flores, DL, 5-11, 215, Sr.; Ray Kang, WR, 5-10, 170, Jr.; Jason Kim, OL, 6-1, 235, Sr.; Al Williams, RB, 6-2, 190, Sr.


Nick Alcaraz, DL, 5-7, 230, Jr.; Alec Alessi, DL, 6-1, 265, Jr.; Shawn Dickie, OL, 6-3, 280, Jr.; Emilio Espinosa, C, 6-2, 250, Sr.; Terence Felix, RB, 5-11, 180, Sr.; Jacob Francis, DL, 5-10, 200, Sr.; Doug Johnson, OL, 6-4, 250, Sr.; Andrew Howard, QB, 6-1, 185, Sr.; Chris Lee, DB, 6-0, 180, Jr.; Darren Matthews, LB, 5-8, 170, Jr; Bryan Nieruhalski, LB, 6-1, 195, Sr.; Sam Paik, RB, 6-0, 160, Jr.; Dave Rice, LB, 6-1, 215, Jr.; Derek Yee, OL, 6-1, 240, Sr.


Williams, Kim, Kang and Flores are the only players on the team with any meaningful playing time. The Vaqueros defeated El Toro in the final week of the season, 37-28, to reach the playoffs, then lost one of the year's most thrilling games, 34-31, to Loara in the first round of the Division V playoffs. Williams is the only known quantity on the offense and will be the go-to player unless someone displaces him. The most likely candidate to emerge is Felix, a transfer from Newport Harbor. The running game should dominate the offensive attack behind the competent line of Kim, Dickie, Johnson, Espinosa and Yee. Howard, a receiver last year without much training behind center, is not the typical Irvine dropback quarterback. Inexperience is a concern, especially with as many as nine juniors on defense; they'll be tested in nonleague games against Servite, Mater Dei and San Clemente. "If the group will hang in there and not get beat up too bad, it could be a competitive group," Henigan said. "I think there are some good football players there, but there are going to be some growing pains, I think."


Sept. 12 vs. University; 19 vs. Servite; 25 vs. Anaheim.

Oct. 3 vs. Mater Dei; 10 at San Clemente; 16 vs. El Toro at Trabuco Hills HS; 23 vs. Corona del Mar; 31 vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College.

Nov. 7 at Newport Harbor; 14 vs. Woodbridge.

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