The title looks to be up for grabs once again in the Mission Valley Athletic League. As many as three teams will be in the mix to unseat defending league champion Washington.
The Huskies will have a different look on offense after losing their quarterback, top running back
and three starting receivers, but will be considered one of the favorites.
"We have another tough nonleague schedule so that should pay dividends once league starts for us," Washington coach Ken Wittmer said. "There are a lot of teams who can make a run this season."
Newark Memorial has a good nucleus back on the offensive and defensive lines, but lack experience in the skill positions. Moreau Catholic was dealt a blow when star running back Jason Hinton had ACL surgery in the spring, and he isn't expected back until the middle of the season.
There will be one new face on the sidelines this season as Ross Eddings takes over at Irvington after Zach Silvernale stepped down after four seasons.
Here's a look at the teams:
COACH: Bret Casey, fourth season
2013 RECORD: 7-4, 4-2 MVAL
TOP RETURNEES: RB/DB Jared Luty, Jr.; DB/WR Deangelo Cox, Sr.; RB/DE Treyvon Jones, Jr.; C Waheeb Janmoradi, Sr.; TE/LB Anthony Wellington, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Junior Diala, Jr.; OL/DL Christian Orenda, Jr.; LB/RB Justice Powers, Sr.; OL/DL Omar Khatib, Jr.; LB K.D. Sibley, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: DL/OL Kevin Pellom, OL/DL/K Steven Armenta, DB/KR Marcus Mayfield, QB Ryan Barker, DE/OL Nate Berry, LB/FB Justin Rose, OL/DL Andrew Simon, RB/DB Drew Lyell, FB/LB Nazif Popal
OUTLOOK: The Eagles come into the season with a brand new offensive line, but will be loaded in the backfield. First-team all-MVAL pick Luty returns at running back and will be joined by Jones, who averaged over five yards a carry a year ago. Janmoradi moves from the backfield to help solidify the line. Defensively, the Eagles will look improve on its 20.5 points per game in 2013. Cox was a first-team defensive selection after picking off three passes last year and will anchor the defensive unit along with three-year starter Wellington, who finished with four interceptions.
COACH: Ross Eddings, first season
2013 RECORD: 5-6, 4-2
TOP RETURNEES: RB/DB Andrew Caso, Sr.; LB/WR Walter Mitchell, Sr.; WR/DB Eddie Higares, Sr.; OL/DL Edward Abarado, Sr.; OT/DL Taylor Karny, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Austin Walker, So.; WR/DB Dejuan Smith, Jr.; ILB Matt Barrientez, Sr.; C Jonathan Lagos, Sr.; RB/LB Connor Sawtello, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: RB/DB Jared Lozoya, QB/DB Jack Shank, TE/DL Daniel Gusev, DE Keith Thomas, FB/LB Randon Navarro, OT/DL Eben Hercik, RB/DB Chauncey Jones, OL/DE Mahmoud Eldesouky, LB Andre Vickers
OUTLOOK: Eddings enters his first year as the Vikings head coach with a huge roster turnover from 2013. Irvington lost 27 seniors, including a 1,700 yard rusher (Lozoya) and a second-team all-MVAL quarterback from last season (Shanks). Caso switches over from receiver and will start at running back while Walker takes over at quarterback. Walker will have returning players Mitchell and Higares as his main targets. Karny and Abarado will start on the offensive and defensive lines for Irvington.
John F. Kennedy
COACH: Dave Damewood, third season
2013 RECORD: 4-6, 2-4
TOP RETURNEES: RB/TE/LB Jacob Murrieta, Sr.; WR/DB/K Armando Rodriguez, Sr.; RB/DB Kaleem Abubukari, Sr.; C/DL Stephen McCalley, Sr.; OL/DL George Vehikite, Sr.; WR/QB/LB Justin Binderup, Sr.; OG/LB Kaya Lacey, Sr.; WR/DB Joey Romero, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: OT/DT Samisoni Vaka, Sr.; QB Shane Sanute, Jr.; OL/DL Tevita Vaka, Jr.; SS Antonio Perez, Jr.; RB/LB Austin Homan-Jacobs, Jr.; OL/DL Brandon Peacock, Jr.; RB/DB Braxton Kiester, Jr.; DL Ryan Lord, Jr.; LB Joshua McKinnie, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: RB/DB Derek Slater, OL/DL Ben Loya, RB/QB/DB Waymond McKissick, OL/DL Thomas Nagel, DB/WR Andrew Herrera
OUTLOOK: The Titans return a veteran line on the offensive side led by return all-leaguer McCalley along with Lacey. "We had a great off-season and our line is really coming together," Damewood said. Abubukari will be the featured running back. He rushed for over 300 yards in the first three games of the 2013 season, but was slowed down after that due to a tailbone injury. Murrieta was an all-MVAL selection on both sides of the ball and will help lead the Titans defense.
Mission San Jose
COACH: Sam Baugh, third season
2013 RECORD: 1-9, 0-6
TOP RETURNEES: OT/DL Chris Stoneking, Jr.; C/DE AinsleyMcClure, Sr.; OLB Dante Sirwet, Sr.; RB/LB/DT Eric Chiang, Sr.; QB/DB Jacob Walter, Sr.; OT/DE Bubba Guzman, Jr.; OT/OLB Jason Chen, Jr.; WR/DB Adil Bari, Jr.; WR Deion Sirwet, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: WR/QB Elliot Tu, Jr.; OL/DE Chris Voreck, Jr.; TE/LB Jason Chang, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: QB Tamin Sarwary, RB/SS Ryan Walleman, RB/LB Ben Torrez, DE/OL Jeff Chang, C/LB Nathan Lee, DT/P Zavier Cabral-Artero, LB/TE Michael Pyle
OUTLOOK: The Warriors were hit hard with the sudden departure of Pyle, who was an all-MVAL selection, who transferred to Milpitas High for family reasons. Mission returns its entire offensive line led by Stoneking, who has generated some interest from San Jose State, Baugh said. The Warriors will look to Chen, Dante Sirwet and Jason Chang to solidify its defensive unit that gave up over 45 points a game.
COACH: Andrew Cotter, seventh season
2013 RECORD: 5-6, 1-5
TOP RETURNEES: RB/DB/KR/PR Jason Hinton, Sr.; RB/DB Jullen Ison, So.; WR/DB Dominic Fiandor, Sr.; WR/LB/DE Richard Hampton, Jr.; QB Lucas O'Rourke, Sr.; LB/TE Anthony Bailey, Sr.; WR/DB/KR Dylan Mackin, Sr.; OL/DL Jack Alcott, Sr.; FB/TE/DE Johnny Den Bleyker, Jr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: TE/DE Hadari Darden, Jr.; RB Alex Johnson, So.; OL/DL Brian Robinson, Jr.; QB Ryan Regner, Jr.; LB J.R. Marcelo, Jr.; LB/TE Andrew Gatdula, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: WR/DB JC Maroun, TE/DE Rian Goulart, RB/LB Chris Garcia, LB/TE James Shreckengost, OL/DL Dino Granzella, OL/DL Noah Krzywicki
OUTLOOK: Despite the injury to Hinton, the Mariners seem to have plenty of weapons to keep their offense in rhythm. O'Rourke returns as the signal caller after throwing for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. "Lucas has shown to have that true leadership quality on and off the field and the guys love that about him," Cotter said. O'Rourke's main targets will be returning all-leaguers Fiandor and Hampton. Ison was a first-team All-MVAL selection at defensive back as a freshman last season and will be looking to carry the load at running back as well until Hinton comes back. Darden sat out the 2013 campaign after transferring from St. Mary's-Berkeley and is expected to make a huge impact on both sides of the ball.
COACH: Ralph Meredith, second season
2013 RECORD: 6-5, 4-2
TOP RETURNEES: C/LB Tristan Thorsteinsson, Sr.; DE/LB Kevin Mamea, Sr.; OG/DE King Slocum, Sr.; OL/DL Anthony Barajas, Sr.; FB/DB Chevaughn Hosley, Sr.; OG/LB Vinnie Poole, Sr.; OT/DE Murrell Anderson, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Chris Pohndorf, Jr.; QB Willie Traynor, Sr.; RB/DB Chris Fuller, Jr.
KEY LOSSES: RB/FB/KR Marty Leggett, OG/LB Anthony Garcia, RB/LB Franco Napal, LB Nicholas Poole, LB Thomas Stuart, QB Reggie Miccoli, K Brian Jones
OUTLOOK: The Cougars appear to be fully loaded up front as returning starters Slocum and Mamea will lead a veteran line on both sides of the ball for Newark. All-MVAL LB Thorsteinsson and Poole will anchor the defense for Newark. Pohndorf will take over at QB with Traynor expecting to get some action as well. Fuller will also be a force in the offensive backfield. "We have some youth in the skill positions but we have some depth and leadership in our line," Meredith said. The Cougars must also fill the hole in the secondary vacated by senior Leggett, who was the MVAL Defensive Player of the Year.
COACH: Ken Wittmer, 10th season
2013 RECORD: 6-5, 6-0
TOP RETURNEES: RB/DB Mark Colbert, Jr.; OG/LB Erik Kabigting, Sr.; QB/DB Jordan Montoya, Sr.; RB/LB Julian Nava, Sr.; OL/DL Jalen Peats, Jr.; RB/WR/DB/DE Emory Simmons, Sr.
TOP NEWCOMERS: TE/LB El-Joshua Allen, So.; OL/DL Juan Gonzalez, So.
KEY LOSSES: WR/DB Sam Hodnett, WR/DB Terrance Jones, OL/DL Colton McCoy, WR/DB Aris Shaffer, WR/DB Jordan Smith, RB/LB Nate Woudstra, QB/DB Tylan Vinson
OUTLOOK: The defending MVAL champions will have a new signal-caller for the third straight season in Montoya. Montoya played in a handful of games last season in relief of departing senior Vinson, who was the MVAL Offensive Player of the Year. The Huskies will also be looking to replace the receiving core of Jones, Smith and Hodnett, who accounted for 85 percent of the receiving yards a year ago. Simmons is expected to be all over the field, playing numerous positions on both sides for the Huskies. Colbert and Nava will try to fill the hole in the backfield left by Woudstra.
2. Newark Memorial
4. Moreau Catholic
5. John F. Kennedy
7. Mission San Jose
8/30 ARROYO 1:30 p.m.
9/6 TENNYSON 7 p.m.
9/12 at Alameda 7 p.m.
9/20 SAN LORENZO 7 p.m.
9/26 at Moreau Catholic* 7 p.m.
10/11 at Washington* 7 p.m.
10/17 at Irvington* 7 p.m.
10/24 MISSION SAN JOSE* 7 p.m.
10/31 at Newark Memorial* 7 p.m.
11/7 KENNEDY* 7 p.m.
* MVAL game
9/6 LINCOLN-S.F. 1:30 p.m.
9/12 at Andrew Hill 7 p.m.
9/19 at Santa Cruz 7:30 p.m.
9/27 at Washington* 7 p.m.
10/4 NEWARK MEMORIAL* 7 p.m.
10/10 at Mission San Jose* 7 p.m.
10/17 AMERICAN* 7 p.m.
10/25 at Kennedy* 7 p.m.
11/1 MOREAU CATHOLIC* 1:30 p.m.
11/7 at James Logan 7 p.m.
* MVAL game
8/29 at San Lorenzo 4:30 p.m.
9/5 MT. EDEN 7 p.m.
9/13 at Arroyo 1:30 p.m.
9/19 at Hercules 7 p.m.
9/26 NEWARK MEMORIAL* 7 p.m.
10/4 MOREAU CATHOLIC* 1:30 p.m.
10/18 at Washington* 7:30 p.m.
10/25 IRVINGTON* 7 p.m.
10/31 at Mission San Jose* 7 p.m.
11/7 at American* 7 p.m.
* MVAL game
MISSION SAN JOSE
9/5 at Albany 6:30 p.m.
9/13 MILLS 7 p.m.
9/19 at Richmond 7 p.m.
9/26 at Lick-Wilmerding 7 p.m.
10/3 at Washington* 7 p.m.
10/10 IRVINGTON* 7 p.m.
10/17 at NEWARK MEMORIAL* 7 p.m.
10/24 at American* 7 p.m.
10/31 KENNEDY* 7 p.m.
11/7 at Moreau Catholic* 7 p.m.
* MVAL game
8/30 at St. Mary's-Berkeley 1:30 p.m.
9/5 at Piedmont 7 p.m.
9/12 MT. EDEN 7 p.m.
9/26 AMERICAN* 7 p.m.
10/4 at Kennedy* 1:30 p.m.
10/10 at Newark Memorial* 7 p.m.
10/17 at James Logan 7 p.m.
10/24 WASHINGTON* 7 p.m.
11/1 at Irvington* 1:30 p.m.
11/7 MISSION SAN JOSE* 7 p.m.
* MVAL game
8/29 at Livermore 7 p.m.
9/5 SAN LORENZO 7 p.m.
9/12 MIPITAS 7 p.m.
9/26 at Kennedy* 7 p.m.
10/4 at Irvington* 7 p.m.
10/10 MOREAU CATHOLIC* 7 p.m.
10/17 MISSION SAN JOSE* 7 p.m.
10/24 at James Logan 7 p.m.
10/31 AMERICAN* 7 p.m.
11/7 WASHINGTON* 7 p.m.
* MVAL game
8/29 at Amador Valley 7 p.m.
9/12 CAMPOLINDO 7 p.m.
9/19 ALHAMBRA 7 p.m.
9/27 IRVINGTON* 7 p.m.
10/3 MISSION SAN JOSE* 7 p.m.
10/11 AMERICAN* 7 p.m.
10/18 KENNEDY* 7:30 p.m.
10/24 at Moreau Catholic* 7 p.m.
11/1 JAMES LOGAN 7 p.m.
11/7 at Newark Memorial* 7 p.m.
* MVAL game