Staff writer Glenn Reeves breaks down the Peninsula Athletic League’s Lake Division, which will have a new champion in 2015 because last year’s winner, The King’s Academy, has moved up to the Ocean Division.
Reeves accurately predicted TKA to win the 2014 title.
Here is this year’s forecast:
San Mateo Bearcats
Coach: Jeff Scheller
2014 record: 4-6, 0-5 PAL Ocean
Outlook: The Bearcats began last season 4-0 before losing their final six games. They were competitive in most of their Ocean Division games and after moving down should be a primary contender for the Lake Division title. “I was very happy with our effort,’’ Scheller said. “Moving down to the Lake, I think that’s good for us. These guys want to win the division championship and prove they belong in a higher division.’’ Scheller will be looking to RB Josh Fakava to carry the load offensively. Fakava rushed for 685 yards, scored 11 touchdowns and averaged 7.2 yards per carry as a junior. Austin Salvail will start at QB. WR Joe Baker will be a primary target. George Qobti is a standout at center and middle linebacker.
Coach: Will Maddox
2014 record: 5-5, 2-3
Outlook: Maddox spent eight years at Terra Nova and has installed the spread at Jefferson. He gets Damari Cual-Davis back at QB. Cual-Davis rushed for 1,103 yards and passed for 1,852 last year. Speedster David Benjamin returns at RB. Jerriel Dela Cruz had 28 receptions a year ago. Maddox is also expecting good things from receivers Devin Evans and Roshawn Livingston. Four starters return on the offensive line — LT Jorge Gomez (6-1, 250), G Patrick Liwanag (6-1, 250), C Ako Tamasese (5-10, 280), and G Lutiaiafe Lagoo (5-11, 225). They are joined by transfer Francis Sosoatu (6-4, 350) to form the biggest line in the Lake, maybe in the entire PAL.
Coach: Ben White
2014 record: 7-3, 4-1
Outlook: Capuchino showed improvement last season in White’s first year as head coach. All-league LB Tarik Moore returns to lead the 2015 team. He will also play fullback. Joe Gutierrez, a strong safety and wide receiver last year, has been moved to quarterback. Damien Jacobs, a defensive end and tight end, has been moved to tailback. Ilo Amataga will start at left tackle and middle linebacker and Sean O’Grady at outside linebacker. “We’re pretty raw, a work in progress,’’ White said. “There are some good athletes at Cap and we have a lot more chemistry now.’’.
Coach: Rich Gianuario
2014 record: 5-5, 3-2
Outlook:Sophomore Timmy Palthe will start at QB for the Scots. Older brother Steven Palthe plays wide receiver and cornerback.WR/S Balke O’Connor is another pass catching target. FB/MLB Michael How is in his third year with the varsity. Jake Kumamoto will also contribute at running back. C/DT Lucas Coley (5-9, 210) is a mainstay on the line along with OT/DE Mark Bellin (6-2, 195).
El Camino Colts
Coach: Eric Jacobson
2014 record: 3-7, 1-4
Outlook: Jacobson, a former El Camino player, in a nod to tradition is bringing back the silver helmets the first El Camino team wore in 1964. He;s hoping to create some success this year around a core group of players: junior QB Hei Nay Keler, quick RB/DB JP Nacion, CB/WR Armin Webb, TE/LB Pablo Padilla, junior OL Nathan Julian, TE/LB Jet Buensalido and FB/LB Jordan Ebalo. “We will hit hard and play with class,’’ Jacobson said.
Coach: Mike Krieger
2014 record: 4-6, 0-5
Outlook: Krieger is looking for David Tongilava to grind out yards on the ground behind a line anchored by juniors Isi Mapa and Chris Jack. Sean McAuliffe and Julio De La Cruz are potentially an effective tandem at wide receiver, but the starter at quarterback to replace Marquis Adkins is still undetermined. Linebackers Saumane Stanley and Jerry Ibanez and DE/OLB Domenico LeVin are the top performers on defense. “If our young team can come together and stay healthy I expect to have a winning record in league and overall,’’ Krieger said.