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PREP FOOTBALL '98 / FREEWAY LEAGUE

Sonora

September 08, 1998

1997 RECORD: 4-6 overall, 2-3 in league

COACH: Mark Takkinen (25-36 at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 3 on offense, 5 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Pancho Arreola, WR/DB, 5-8, 160, Sr.; Jerron Cannon, RB/DB, 5-9, 165, Jr.; Jason Christopher, RB/DB, 5-11, 185, Sr.; Theo Clardy, OL/DL, 5-11, 245, Sr.; Erik DeSouey, WR/DB, 6-3, 170, Sr.; Josh Gonzalez, QB/DB, 6-1, 185, Jr.; Jake Hendrix, OL/LB, 5-11, 200, Sr.; William Iverson, RB/DB, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Jason Liso, TE/DL, 6-1, 210, Sr.; Mike McCabe, QB/DB, 5-10, 185, So.; Dennis Raffaelli, OL/DL, 6-1, 225, Sr.; Kevin Ray, OL/DL, 5-11, 205, Sr.; Ray Verdugo, RB/DB, 5-10, 150, Sr.; David Villagomez, RB/LB, 6-1, 225, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Nathan Fitzgerald, RB/LB, 5-11, 190, Jr.; Rudy Guerrero, RB/DL, 5-11, 190, Sr.; Stephen Herring, OL/DL, 6-3, 245, So.; Hector Marquez, OL/DL, 5-8, 165, Sr.; Nick Ross, QB/DB, 5-10, 165, So.

OUTLOOK

Since joining the Freeway League in 1981, there haven't been many golden moments in football for Sonora. The Raiders have won one league title (sharing the 1994 championship with Buena Park, Fullerton and Sunny Hills). The last 11 seasons have been especially difficult; Sonora has won 18 out of 60 league games and been to the playoffs only once. Will 1998 start a turnaround? It's hard to tell. The offensive line is greener than a cabbage patch, two sophomores are vying to replace graduated all-league quarterback Clint Patton (1,034 yards, seven TDs), and there are a number of running backs hoping to to be the next Deric Hilliard (799 yards, nine TDs). The defense is in better shape, but the secondary must be rebuilt. What helps the Raiders is the league seems balanced. If so, Sonora has the same chance the other five teams do to qualify for the playoffs.

SCHEDULE

Sept. 11 vs. Santa Ana at La Habra HS; 18 vs. Savanna at La Habra HS; 24 vs. Anaheim at Western HS.

Oct. 2 at Bell Gardens; 9 vs. Western at La Habra HS; 16 vs. Buena Park at La Habra HS; 23 vs. Troy at Fullerton HS; 30 at Fullerton.

Nov. 6 vs. Sunny Hills at La Habra HS; 13 at La Habra.

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