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PREP FOOTBALL 2000 / SERRA LEAGUE

Santa Margarita

September 01, 2000

1999 RECORD: 6-5 overall, 1-2 in league

COACH: Jim Hartigan (100-34-1 in 11 seasons at school)

RETURNING STARTERS:

5 on offense, 6 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Matt Dlugolecki, QB, 6-6, 225, Sr.; Matt Vogel, FB/LB, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Tyler Thompson, RB/LB/K, 511, 210, Sr.; Ashton White, RB/FS/K, 6-0, 190, So.; Johnnie Walker, LB/WR, 5-11, 165, Jr.; Doug Alvarado, OL, 5-8, 215, Sr.; Ryan Lumm, OL/DL, 6-3, 240, Sr.; Chad Brazee, DE, 5-11, 185, Sr.; Mike Tirabassi, C, 6-2, 230, Jr.; Kyle Skierski, OT/DL, 6-4, 225, Sr.; Alex Huston, DE/OL, 6-0, 200, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Renny Jackson, WR/DB, 6-0, 175, Jr.; Curtis Cooper, WR/DB, 5-10, 170, Jr.; Marshall Tharpe, QB, 6-1, 175, Jr.; Jeff Ferrier, K, 6-3, 190, So.; Trevor Zinn, WR/DB, 6-0, 160, Jr.; Ryan Whelan, LB, 5-10, 205, Sr.; Chris Cutler, OL/DL, 6-2, 250, So.; John Finneran, OL/DL, 6-4, 275, Jr.; Eric Schlegal, OL/DL, 6-2, 255, So.; Michael Konopisos, OL/DL, 6-1, 275, Jr.; Dustin Slinkard, TE/DE, 6-2, 200, So.

OUTLOOK

The Eagles head into their second season in Division I a bit stronger--and a lot wiser. "Our kids didn't understand what it would be like," Hartigan said of his team's jump last year from Division VI to Division I. "I definitely think we gained some experience as a coaching staff and as a program as to what it would take to compete at the Division I level." One thing it will take is a strong starting quarterback, and Santa Margarita certainly appears to have one in the UCLA-bound Dlugolecki. The 6-foot-5 drop-back passer impressed as a starter the final two games of last season and should fare even better given more playing time. Thompson, a versatile third-year player, will handle most of the rushing duties along with White, a newcomer from Santa Margarita's undefeated freshman team. Thompson, according to Hartigan, is "as good as any impact player we've had here." The receiving corps, which also doubles as the secondary for the most part, is young but talented. Finneran, a Laguna Beach transfer who is brother of former Eagle greats Brian and Brad, should make an immediate impact along the offensive and defensive lines. The defensive line should be bigger, but the question is whether it will be meaner. Hartigan expects his team to fight Servite and Bellflower St. John Bosco for second place, but Santa Margarita could contend with Mater Dei for the league title if it continues to improve and stays healthy. The Eagles also must step up their efforts in big games. Last year, Mater Dei walloped Santa Margarita, 34-0. In addition, the Eagles play nonleague powers Los Alamitos and La Puente Bishop Amat.

SCHEDULE

Sept. 8 vs. Chino Hills Ayala at Cal State Fullerton; 15 vs. Los Alamitos at Cal State Fullerton; 22 vs. Lakewood at Saddleback College; 29 at Norco.

Oct. 6 at Tustin; 13 at La Puente Bishop Amat; 20 vs. Mission Hills Alemany at Saddleback College; 27 vs. Bellflower St. John Bosco at Saddleback College.

Nov. 3 vs. Mater Dei at Cal State Fullerton; 10 vs. Servite at Cal State Fullerton.

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