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PREP FOOTBALL 2000 / ORANGE LEAGUE

Savanna

September 01, 2000

1999 RECORD: 5-6 overall, 3-2 in league

COACH: Fred Di Palma (75-44-5 in 11 seasons at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 6 on offense, 4 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Steve Davis, OL/DL, 5-11, 230, Sr.; Raul Diaz, TE/LB, 6-0, 215, Sr.; Marcus Jimmerson, RB/LB, 5-9, 210, Jr.; Buddy Kendrick, OL/DL, 6-2, 280, Sr.; Brad Thompson, QB, 6-0, 175, Sr.; Thomas Tuvalu, LB/TE, 6-3, 220, Sr.; Steve White, DB/WR, 5-11, 165, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Nick Alonzo, WR/DB, 6-1, 170, Jr.; Robert Garcia, QB/DB, 5-8, 160, Sr.; Michael Gonzalez, RB/DB, 5-5, 145, Sr.; Greg Hudson, RB/LB, 5-9, 165, So.; Paris Mataiumu, OL/DL, 6-0, 225, Jr.; Ronald McCullough, RB/SS, 5-8, 190, Sr.

OUTLOOK

Savanna will field one of the more experienced teams in the Orange League, which was hit hard by graduation this season. Diaz and Tuvalu give the Rebels a strong one-two combination on defense and create solid bookends on the offensive line. Diaz played fullback the last two seasons. Savanna also returns Kendrick and Davis up front and Thompson will be the signal-caller for the second consecutive season. "We don't shine like a shining star, but we're pretty steady," said Di Palma, who guided the Rebels to a Southern Section title in 1993. Savanna typically relies on the run, but may try to air it out more this season. Jimmerson had some big games in the backfield last season, including 140 yards and three touchdowns against Canyon, but suffered a knee injury against Brea Olinda in the third-to-last game and was lost for the season. McCullough has been a big surprise thus far and should see action in the backfield as well. "I feel good about our team," Di Palma said. "I'd love to say we're loaded and everyone is coming back, but we've got a decent amount coming back." Savanna will close out its nonleague schedule against Villa Park and will use that game as a barometer for Valencia, which opens the season against the Spartans.

SCHEDULE

Sept. 8 vs. Kennedy at Western HS; 15 vs. Sonora at La Habra HS; 22 vs. Cypress at Western HS; 28 vs. Buena Park at Glover Stadium.

Oct. 6 vs. Villa Park at Glover Stadium; 13 at Valencia; 19 vs. Anaheim at Glover Stadium; 27 at Brea Olinda.

Nov. 3 at Western; 9 vs. Magnolia at Western HS.

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