OCVarsity 2017 Pacific Coast League team previews: Beckman, Corona del Mar, Irvine, Northwood, University, Woodbridge

OCVarsity Kickoff 2017: The Register has put together its annual preview for the upcoming high school football season.

In the coming days we’ll have previews online of every team and league in Orange County, plus much more, including our O.C. Hot 150 rankings of the top players in the county.

(OCVarsity’s rating is based on analysis of the team’s expected showing this season.)

Last season: 6-5 overall, 4-1 in league
OCVarsity rating: Hard team to read; could surprise
Scouting report: Beckman loses its quarterback and top receiver among a slew of starters and will look to its younger players to step up and fill in. Nick Hill takes over the quarterback spot. Coach Marcello Giuliano said Hill’s throwing has improved significantly over the summer. Receiver Mikael Mian will be the senior leader for the young offense. The Patriots have returners at each level of the defense including safety Justin Galentine and three-year starter Justin Cheng at linebacker. Depth is a concern for the young Beckman roster.
Must-see game: Beckman vs. Irvine, Oct. 13
Key players: Justin Cheng, LB, Sr.; Justin Galentine, S, Sr.; Nick Hill, QB, Jr.; Mikael Mian, WR, Sr.
Schedule and roster: Click here

Last season: 12-2 overall, 5-0 in league
OCVarsity rating: Team to beat
Scouting report: Corona del Mar is once again the class of the Pacific Coast League. The Sea Kings lost quarterback Chase Garbers to Cal, and their biggest question is who replaces him. Senior Nathaniel Espinosa leads the handful of throwers on the roster and completed 8 of 12 passes for four touchdowns in relief. There is plenty of offensive talent to help ease the transition with a pair of All-CIF selections, running back JT Murphy and receiver Tae Le. CdM only has two returning starters on defense but that includes All-CIF linebacker Clyde Moore. The Sea Kings biggest advantage over its league is depth with a large roster.
Must-see game: Corona del Mar vs. JSerra, Aug. 25
Key players: Max Casper, K/P, Sr.; Tae Le, WR, Sr.; Clyde Moore, LB, Sr.; JT Murphy, RB, Sr.; Alex Pourdanesh, RB, Sr.; Julian Pourdanesh, OL, Sr.|
Schedule and roster: Click here

Last season: 2-7-1 overall, 1-4 in league
OCVarsity rating: Hard team to read; could surprise
Scouting report: Irvine returns players in key positions from a young team a year ago. Marc Filia was injured prior to last season and couldn’t take the quarterback spot. Robert Rahimi split time at quarterback last season with Dylan Stricker. Rian Fields was the Vaqueros’ top receiver and will continue into his senior season. Zeke Alleman and Cory Bautista will lead the defense at linebacker. Irvine played tight against city opponents in league last year and could earn the right breaks.
Must-see game: Irvine at Woodbridge, Oct. 6
Key players: Zeke Alleman, LB, Sr.; Cory Bautista, LB, Jr.; Rian Fields, WR, Sr.; Marc Filia, QB, Jr.; Dylan Stricker, QB, Jr.
Schedule and roster: Click here

Last season: 1-9 overall, 1-4 in league
OCVarsity rating: Will struggle to win games
Scouting report: Northwood starts another season with another new head coach in Pete Mitchell. It will be another uphill climb for the Timberwolves. Northwood will turn to an option offense as it tries to develop quarterbacks. Alex Aviles and Jason Pontillas will get the carries at running back, and James Mazzeo returns at receiver. Northwood will have plenty of players going both ways from the option offense to an aggressive defense. Spencer Fitzgerald and Lincoln Cameron will lead the defense at linebacker.
Must-see game: Northwood vs. Woodbridge, Oct. 21
Key players: Alex Aviles, RB, Sr.; Lincoln Cameron, LB, Sr.; Mike Coleman, WR, Sr.; James Mazzeo, RB, Sr.; Jason Pontillas, LB, Sr.
Schedule and roster: Click here

Last season: 7-3 overall, 2-3 in league
OCVarsity rating: Has potential to be playoff team
Scouting report: University has a good mix of youth and experience on its roster. The Trojans return many sophomores that played last season as well as strong seniors. Thomas Keeling returns at quarterback and will keep defenses honest with his athletic ability. University has good options at running back with the likes of Daniel Dolan and Zach Goodfriend. Defensively, the Trojans will look to clog the middle and push the game to the outside. University has a nice defensive nucleus with Ariyan Golbad, Max Haughey and Ethan Bell.
Must-see game: University at Laguna Hills, Sept. 1
Key players: Ethan Bell, LB, Jr.; Daniel Dolan, RB, Sr.; Ariyan Golbad, OL/DL, Sr.; Zach Goodfriend, RB, Jr.; Max Haughey, LB, Sr.; Thomas Keeling, QB, Jr.
Schedule and roster: Click here

Last season: 5-7 overall, 2-3 in league
OCVarsity rating: Has potential to be playoff team
Scouting report: While Woodbridge loses its top quarterback, rusher and receiver to graduation, the Warriors have plenty of athleticism to step into those spots. Nick Nash converts from receiver and part-time back-up quarterback to starting quarterback. Jacob Nash and Elijah Rush will go both ways at receiver and corner. Woodbridge has experience along the offensive line, but the Warriors are young at many positions. Like most of the Irvine schools, depth is a concern.
Must-see game: Woodbridge at Garden Grove, Sept. 8
Key players: Austin Gaines, OL, Sr.; Jonathan Kim, OL, Sr.; Jacob Nash, WR/CB, Jr.; Nick Nash, QB, Sr.; Elijah Rush, WR/CB, Jr.
Schedule and roster: Click here


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