Orange prepares for an extended run this season

ORANGE – Missing out on the CIF-SS Division 13 playoffs last season left a bad taste in the mouths of the returning players on the Orange football team.

Coach Robert Pedroza, who enters his third season as the team’s coach, knows his team is up for the challenge of qualifying for the postseason this year.

“We have a hungry group coming back and we’re excited.” Pedroza said. “I think sky’s the limit with this team.”

Quarterback Jason Wilkinson could be the difference maker for Orange. The senior signal caller spent last season playing defense and also learning the offense from Miguel Orendain, who shifts to running back this season.

“Jason at quarterback really allows us to open up the field and opens up the offense a lot more.” said Pedroza.

Wilkinson takes over the duties under center for a team that went 7-3 last season and 2-3 in league. He also believes that his squad’s success will be a result of their offseason weight and speed training implemented by Pedroza.

“Coach (Pedroza) has us doing everything we need to do,” Wilkinson said. “I feel like we’re the hardest working team in Orange County. What we do in the weight room and what we do in practice will affect how we do on the field.”

The Panthers refuse to look too far down the road and realize the importance of taking it one game at a time.

“Right now we’re focused on Anaheim, but we gotta take it one game at a time,” Pedroza said. “Once we get to league, it will be a battle every week so we have to come ready for everybody.”

Wilkinson was also on board with that concept.

“If you take it week by week,” he said, “chances are that you’re going to work harder and do what you gotta do to win that game and keep progressing to further games.”

Time will eventually tell if the hard work pays off in a Golden West league championship or a playoff berth, but Orange has the right approach to accomplish their goals this year.

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Previews for the teams in the Golden West League

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