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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | 2000 PREVIEW: DIVISION
III TEAM CAPSULES

Golden League

September 06, 2000

OUTLOOK

Parity has almost always been the story in this league, which explains why Palmdale, tied for last in 1999, can emerge as the preseason favorite. Defending champion Highland and traditional powerhouse Antelope Valley figure to challenge, with Littlerock an outside contender. Quartz Hill and Lancaster are rebuilding.

SCOUTING REPORT

PALMDALE

Jeff Williams, 10th year

* Coming back: QB Terry Furlow and WR Tyrone Culver are among the best in the region at their positions and led the Falcons to a 42-1 record in summer passing league. TE/LB Donald Powers, OL Lyman Guillory, Mike Doll, Isaac Esralian and Billy Baker helped Palmdale to a perfect record in summer linemen competitions. Checking in: At 6-4 and 215, TE/LB Ryan Haynes will be a force. OL/DL Adrian Cruz is the Falcons' third 300-pounder. Derek Hagen and Walter Diaz will play WR/DB.

*

HIGHLAND

Lin Parker, 12th year

* Coming back: LB/RBs Greg Root and Joshua Mejia will be focal points on both sides of the ball for the defending league champions. Marcus Demps is a top DB and Jose Duarte is the best kicker in the region. Ed Chen and Jacob Buckhalter anchor the offensive line. Checking in: RB Trimel Wright and WR Damar Caballero will help replace the speed lost by the transfer of Justin Wyatt. DB Mike McCoy transferred from Cabrillo and WR/DB Wesley Montgomery is a transfer from Westchester.

*

ANTELOPE VALLEY

Brent Newcomb, 23rd year

* Coming back: QB Demetre Booker returns to run the Antelopes' triple-option offense. Linemen Michael Graves (6-3, 310) and Forrest Socci (6-2, 270) will offer ample protection. DB/WR Jerome Eason (6-3, 200) is a top prospect. RBs Raymond Allston and Sean Wallace are untested but talented. Checking in: So. WR/DB Johnny Walker is the brother of former Antelope Tony Walker, The Times' 1996 Valley defensive player of the year.

*

LITTLEROCK

Jim Bauer, 12th year

* Coming back: DB Maurice Johnson was all-league as a junior. RB John Ford averaged seven yards a carry as a backup last season. FB/DL Ricardo De La Rosa and OL/DL Mike Denno will be two-way keys. FB/LB Colt Hunter is a gritty competitor. Checking in: Because of injuries, OL/DL Tim Miller and Chris Hayman played for Lobos in playoffs last season as freshmen. With arrests of QB Richard Newton and LB Marcus Raines on murder charges, there are holes to fill. Joe Fields, 10-0 as JV QB, takes over, as does Alex Jackson at LB. Mike Creel will start at FS.

*

LANCASTER

Troy Jackson, first year

* Coming back: RB/DB Tony Ortiz was the league's back of the year as a junior and helped Eagles to second-place tie in a rebuilding year. Josh Pratt returns at QB, but threw for only 30 yards a game in a run-oriented offense. FB Neil McCarthy averaged 5.5 yards a carry last season. Checking in: Jackson, a former Eagle assistant, and his staff. OL Antoine Bohannon will help bolster a line that lost Majdy Haddad and Travis Kirk to graduation. Fleet return man Tony Brown is a transfer from Lakewood. RB/LB Gabe Michael will play both ways.

*

QUARTZ HILL

Pat Degnan, second year

* Coming back: IF RB/DB Derrick Teal has a good year, so will the Rebels. He rushed for 744 yards as a Jr. OL Joey Daugherty was all-league center as a junior. Shane Gates has recovered from shoulder injury and will help at FS, OLB and QB. Checking in: So. Josh Fricke is competing for QB job. FB Ray Campos and TE Eddie Jackson should help improve the offense. Jackson also plays DE.

DATES TO MARK

Oct. 13 Highland at Palmdale

Nov. 3 Antelope Valley at Palmdale

Nov. 9 Antelope Valley at Highland

FAST FACT

Coaches Brent Newcomb of Antelope Valley and Joel Schaeffer of Reseda, in their 23rd seasons, are the senior members of the Valley-Ventura County coaching fraternity. Newcomb needs four victories for 175 in his career.

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