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PREP FOOTBALL 2000 / SUNSET LEAGUE

Esperanza

September 01, 2000

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

COACH: Gary Meek (123-38-3 in 14 seasons at school)

RETURNING STARTERS: 8 on offense, 7 on defense

TOP RETURNERS

Greg Farrell, QB, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Tim Sonuyi, RB, 5-10, 210, Sr.; Dave Collett, OL, 6-4, 290, Sr.; Ryan Saucedo, QB, 6-0, 170, Sr.; Josh Birrell, OL, 5-10, 245, Sr.; Ben Alvarado, RB/WR, 5-11, 170, Jr.; Dan Pace, WR, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Anthony Vicencia, WR, 6-1, 185, Sr.; Rick Fry, OL, 6-3, 265, Sr.; Louie Mares, RB, 6-0, 180, Jr.; Travis Jones, LB, 5-11, 210, Sr.; Alex Debrucky, DE, 6-3, 230, Sr.; Rex Elder, DB, 6-0, 175, Sr.; Matt Hathaway, DB, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Shane Pierce, DB, 6-2, 175, Sr.; Kyle Knuebuhl, DE, 6-2, 220, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS

Rick Taloa, QB, 6-3, 210, So.; Josh Huutpeths, WR, 6-2, 185, Jr.; Rick Lewis, OL, 6-3, 285, Jr.

OUTLOOK

The Aztecs, who return 15 starters, are in position for an upper-division finish, if not their first league title since 1997. One reason is the return of running back Sonuyi, who missed the first five games of last season with a broken hand. Meek said that while Sonuyi isn't as fast as Edison's Darryl Poston, he may be more physical. Farrell gives Esperanza a steady if not spectacular presence at quarterback, where he completed more than 66% of his passes last season but only threw for three touchdowns. Saucedo could also see time at quarterback, though Meek insisted there's no controversy brewing at the position. A deep and talented receiving corps includes returners Pace, Alvarado and Vicencia. And the Aztecs have three experienced players back along the offensive line. Esperanza's defense should also be top-notch, with seven returning starters. Said Meek: "We'll be balanced. I think we have a chance to do some things if we stay healthy." The biggest tests will come in the last two weeks of the regular season, when the Aztecs face Los Alamitos and Edison back-to-back.

SCHEDULE

Sept. 8 vs. Upland at Valencia HS; 15 at San Clemente; 21 vs. Fallbrook at Valencia HS; 29 at Long Beach Jordan.

Oct. 6 vs. Mission Viejo at Valencia HS; 12 vs. Fountain Valley at Valencia HS; 19 vs. Marina at Westminster High; 27 at Huntington Beach.

Nov. 3 vs. Los Alamitos at Valencia HS; 9 vs. Edison at Huntington Beach HS.

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