ALAMEDA -- The Alameda High football team has been hit hard by graduation, but coach Kemp Moyer points out that this season's Hornets squad does not have a lack of talent.
"We have some talented skill players coming back that have been on college radar. I'm confident that we can compete, but I know that we will have some growth along the way," he said.
One of those talented skill players is defensive back/wide receiver Sulaiman Hameed, who has offers from colleges such as Arizona State and Washington State, Moyer said. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and had not been cleared for full contact at press time. "He is still questionable for Week 1," Moyer said. "We're not rushing him. We're listening to the doctors."
Seniors Keelan Doss, Jack Wellman and Darnell Rose comprise the rest of an experienced defensive backfield. On the defensive line, Anthony Joseph and Trevor Greenley will provide a pass rush, and Max Atkins and Rahman Kelly will anchor the interior. Mica Sanchez and Quinn Garcia will lead the linebackers.
Offensively, the Hornets return a quarterback with some varsity experience. Elijah Hernandez played three games last season as a sophomore.
"I think it was huge, just for him to get a feel for league contests and see what it was like to get in that varsity game-speed," Moyer said.
Junior Omar Badr has been impressive at running back throughout the Hornets' training camp this season. Sanchez and Joseph will also get carries this season.
Doss, Hameed and junior Derrick Dizon lead the Alameda receiving corps. The offensive line is anchored by center Nolan Dacumos and guard Kelly. Both are newcomers, as the Hornets lost all of their offensive line starters from last year's team, which was 3-7 overall and 1-4 in the West Alameda County Conference-Shoreline Division.
The Hornets lost four games by seven points or less last season, including its last three losses. Obviously, Moyer would like to see more wins in close games this season. "We just want to make sure we do everything it takes to turn those into wins," he said.
Look for more high school football preview stories in next week's Alameda Journal, and online at www.insidebayarea.com/high-school-sports
8/30 DUBLIN 7 p.m.
9/7 at Redwood 2 p.m.
9/20 at Miramonte 7 p.m.
9/27 HILLSDALE-SAN MATEO 7 p.m.
10/4 at Encinal 7 p.m.
10/11 vs. Tennyson at Sunset* 7 p.m.
10/18 PIEDMONT* 7 p.m.
10/25 at Mt. Eden* 3:30 p.m.
11/1 SAN LORENZO* 7 p.m.
11/8 ARROYO* 7 p.m.
Home games in CAPS
All home games at Thompson Field, Alameda