Tag Archives: Aram Araradian

Burbank Football Stops Glendale, 27-0

The Burbank High football team didn’t come out looking like its usual self Friday night when the Bulldogs hosted Glendale High on their home field.

But eventually the Bulldogs got things together and it was enough to earn a 27-0 Pacific League victory.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The second half was played with a running clock as Glendale has struggled with keeping enough healthy bodies this season.

“I think we came out thinking we were way too good, too cocky. We turned it around in the second quarter,” said Burbank running back Isaac Glover, who finished with three touchdowns.

Burbank (4-5, 3-2 in the league) played without star quarterback Aram Araradian, who is nursing a shoulder injury and is hoping to be able to return for the regular-season finale against Burroughs.

Burbank turned the ball over twice in the first quarter and didn’t seem to be fully focused.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

“They came out ready to play. Their coach did an amazing job getting them fired up to play,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said of Glendale. “Being at home and it was senior night, (our) kids were a little distracted. We need to fix that.”

Burbank was held scoreless in the first quarter. But Glover’s 39-yard touchdown with 10:33 left in the first half broke the deadlock.

Glover added a 29-yard touchdown run with 7:25 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs scored for a third time in the quarter at the 5:44 mark as quarterback Kuba Raymond hooked up with Ben Burnham on a 33-yard pass.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Glover added his third touchdown of the game with 3:35 left in the first half, scoring from one-yard out. He finished with 10 carries for 172 yards.

The Bulldogs will now enjoy a bye week before taking on rival Burroughs Nov. 1 at Memorial Field. Burbank is seeking to win its fourth consecutive game over the Indians, something the Bulldogs have never done before.

 

 

Burbank Football Drops Tug of War With Muir

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Penalties are supposed to be difference makers in football games.
Following in the footsteps of crosstown rival Burroughs, the Burbank High football team could not overcome 21 penalties committed by visiting Muir High in a 20-15 Pacific League loss Monday night at Memorial Field.

The Bulldogs suffered a major blow when quarterback Aram Araradian went out with a shoulder injury early in the second quarter.

“He’s the heart and soul of the team. When he went down the team kind of gasped and were like what’s going on,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “I thought Kuba (Raymond) did an amazing job coming in in a tough spot. He missed pretty much the whole week of practice with the flu. So he really didn’t get reps in practice.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank (3-5, 2-2) got a big break early in the game as they were able to force Muir receiver Jamier Johnson to fumble the ball. The loose ball ended in the end zone and Burbank’s Lucas Sheppe recovered for the touchdown.

Muir (6-1, 4-0), which is ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division 11 poll, tied things when quarterback Amaris Harrison scored on a 1-yard run with 3:28 left in the first quarter. He was later hurt in the third quarter and did not return.

The Mustangs took the lead when Tyrikk Lawson scored on a 24-yard run with 11:18 left in the first half.

Playing with backup quarterback Erik Wallace, Muir took a 20-7 lead as he hooked up with UCLA-commit John Humphrey on a 3-yard touchdown pass with one minute to play in the third quarter.

Burbank made things interesting early in the fourth quarter as Max Mendieta tackled Wallace in the end zone with 10:07 to play, resulting in a safety.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Later in the quarter the Bulldogs Ian Miller intercepted a pass and returned it deep into Muir territory.
Raymond then scored on a 1-yard run with 3:36 to play.

“Our defense played amazing. They kept us in it until the end,” Colman said. “The kids battled. That’s all you can ask for.”

Burbank is set to host Glendale High on its campus Friday night at 7 p.m.

 

Burbank Football Can’t Keep Pace With Crescenta Valley, Lose 45-14

By Rick Assad

For the Burbank High football team, it was about time for its offense and angles for its defense when it faced Crescenta Valley.

Seemingly from the start, the Falcons were all over junior quarterback Aram Araradian, who had roughly three seconds to get rid of the football.

This is how it went on Burbank’s first series, which began at the Bulldog 29-yard line: senior running back Isaac Glover had a two-yard run. On second down, Araradian’s pass to junior wide receiver Brandon Pena went for no yards and on third down, Araradian was sacked for a six-yard loss.

The two defensive linemen chasing and harassing and causing nightmares for Araradian (13 of 26 for 250 yards with two interceptions) were 6-foot-7 senior Chuck Meyer and 6-6 Logan Tourville.

 

Quarterback Aram Araradian, shown in a win over Pasadena, had an off night against Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s defense needed to tackle better in open space and not allow Falcon receivers room to roam.

Neither occurred and as a result, Crescenta Valley remained unbeaten and coasted to a 45-14 Pacific League win over the Bulldogs at Glendale High’s Moyse Field on Friday night.

“Every phase of the game, mentally, physically, emotionally, they took it to us,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “They were hungrier than we were and that was evident.”

Colman added: “A lot of those seniors were sophomores and we’ve gotten them the last couple of years and they came out mad about that. They wanted to get back and be a championship team and set themselves up for a playoff run.”

There were two bright spots for the Bulldogs (242 total net yards) and the first was Araradian’s 56-yard scoring pass to Pena (122 yards on eight catches) with 1:52 left in the opening quarter that evened the game at 7-7 and closed a 75-yard, five-play trek.

The other was a one-yard carry from Glover (29 yards on 10 rushes) with 3:08 left in the fourth period that ended a 50-yard, two-play march as the Bulldogs (3-4 and 2-1 in league) cut the Falcons’ lead to 31 points.

For much of the evening, Araradian was running away from the Crescenta Valley defense which sacked him five times for minus-forty yards.

Crescenta Valley (6-0 and 3-0 in league) proved too good from the start as it moved ahead 7-0 when junior running back Sebastian DeLeon capped a 60-yard, five-play excursion with a one-yard run and 8:03 left in the first quarter.

Senior runnning back Isaac Glover, pictured in a recent Pacific League game, had a rushing score for the Bulldogs against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons were knocking on the door two possessions later, but senior running back Maximus Grant (109 yards on 22 carries and 65 yards on two receptions) fumbled at the Burbank two-yard line as the ball squirted into the end zone.

On its next series, Crescenta Valley, the CIF Southern Section Division X No. 1 ranked team, did score to make it 14-7 as senior quarterback Chase Center (13 of 18 for 252 yards) located senior wide receiver Angel Ochoa with a short pass which resulted in a 47-yard touchdown as 8:17 remained before halftime.

Ochoa, a defensive back, would add an interception and a 65-yard return with 4:21 left in the contest that made it 45-7.

“We’re talking about a team, in terms of Burbank, that was scary offensively, that highly-touted quarterback [Araradian], and he is good, I’m not saying he’s not, but once again you saw what our defense can do,” Crescenta Valley coach Hudson Gossard said of his stifling defense. “Late score at the end. We held them to seven points basically the entire game.”

With 2:51 showing before the intermission, Center (59 rushing yards on 12 carries) had the ball at the Crescenta Valley 47-yard line and six plays later hooked up with senior wide receiver Colby Rees (87 yards on four receptions) on a 20-yard strike as the Falcons’ extended their lead to 21-7.

The next time Crescenta Valley, which only punted once, had the football, it marched 61 yards on six plays and ended when Center drilled Rees with a 24-yard laser for a 28-7 edge as 45 seconds remained.

The Falcons (418 total yards) took the second half kickoff and made it 35-7 when Center hit Rees with a 22-yard scoring pass as 6:49 was left in the third quarter and finalized an 11-play, 67-yard drive.

When sophomore kicker Anthony Sharlakian converted a 30-yard field goal with 2:01 on the clock in the third period, the Falcons zoomed ahead 38-7.

Burbank’s next league match will be play on Friday at 7 p.m. when it hosts Muir at Memorial Field.

Burbank Football Starts Quick And Prevails 39-21 Over Pasadena

Rick Assad

When a quarterback has multiple targets at his fingertips, he’s likely going to rack up significant yardage and score multiple touchdowns.

Aram Araradian has that luxury as the left-handed throwing junior piled up 256 yards through the air in a 39-21 victory over Pasadena in a Pacific League matchup at Memorial Field on Thursday night.

Aram Araradian hands off to Isaac Glover, who had 150 yards and one score. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Araradian ended his night by completing 14 of 25 pass attempts with one interception and launched two touchdowns.

For good measure, Araradian also tacked on a five-yard rushing score that came with 1:49 left in the third quarter and shoved Burbank ahead 33-7, which finalized a 48-yard, five-play march.

“We knew we were playing a talented team, so we knew we had to come out strong,” Araradian said. “All our skill guys have trust in the line and faith in the line that they can get their stuff done and then we do our stuff, run, pass, whatever it is.”

Araradian, who carried the ball five times for no yards, said having so many exceptional players around him does make his job that much easier.

Aram Araradian gets tackled on a running play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I put the ball in the spot and they go and get it,” he said. “They’re guys that get yards after catch. It could be like a 10-yard pass and it goes 25, 30 yards.”

On this evening, Araradian’s favorite target was junior wide receiver Brandon Pena, who hauled in nine receptions for 188 yards.

Pena’s 19-yard catch on Burbank’s first possession made it 7-0 with 8:51 left in the initial period and it capped a seven-play, 40-yard drive.

Senior wide receiver Ben Burnham, who is another favorite target, chipped in with four receptions and 61 yards.

Burnham’s 25-yard scoring grab with 50 seconds left before halftime from Araradian, saw Burbank (3-3 and 2-0 in league) slide ahead 27-7.

Aram Araradian passed for two touchdowns in a 39-21 win over Pasadena. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We came out and ready to go. But we executed and kept the drive alive,” Burbank coach Adam Colman explained. “The offense grinded it out. Stayed on the field.”

Colman then added: “We’ve got a lot of weapons,” he said. “When our ground game is working like it was tonight, you just kind of pick your poison. It’s really tough to stop. It puts a lot of pressure on the opponents. They’re all unselfish and about the team.”

Burbank’s ground attack was highly effective as senior running back Isaac Glover accounted for 150 yards on 29 carries, that included a pair of first-half touchdowns.

“Just overall team-work,” Glover explained on why Burbank prevailed over a much-improved Pasadena team. “We just executed on every single level. Moving the ball and executing. Everyone doing their job.”

Isaac Glover gets free on the right side and runs for yards. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

What’s Glover’s approach each and every week?

“Watching film and seeing what they do,” he said. “Learning a new game every week.”

Glover’s six-yard romp into the end zone with 1:57 left in the opening frame made it 14-0 as Burbank drove 80 yards on 13 plays.

Glover’s second scoring tally was a four-yard blast with 7:11 remaining in the second quarter as the hosts pulled ahead 20-7.

On this drive, Araradian calmly and confidently marched the home team 92 yards which consumed 10 plays.

Araradian then positioned Burbank (414 total net yards) down the field after getting the football at the Pasadena 31-yard line and used six plays with senior running back Tyler Murphy (eight yards on five carries) scampering in from two yards and 8:21 left in the game that made it 39-14.

Pasadena (3-2 and 0-2 in league) has skilled players up and down its lineup and trimmed Burbank’s advantage to 14-7 when senior running back Au’dante Bailey (51 yards on seven carries) scored on an eight-yard run that ended the first quarter and finished a five-play, 58-yard excursion.

Bailey’s 68-yard kickoff return for a score for Pasadena (245 total yards) with 1:38 remaining in the third quarter sliced Burbank’s lead to 33-14.

When Pasadena sophomore wide receiver Mekhi Fox (92 yards on six rushes) raced 60 yards with eight minutes remaining in the contest, Burbank’s lead was reduced to 18 points.

Burbank, which began the season with losses to Moorpark at home and Golden Valley on the road, has now won three of its next four games.

Burbank’s next game will be Friday at Moyse Field on the campus of Glendale High when it plays Crescenta Valley.

Burnham Leads Burbank Football Past Arcadia

Burbank High senior wide receiver Ben Burnham has played well of late and scored a pair of touchdowns last week in a loss to Hart High.

Thursday night he became the first receiver in school history to gain more than 300 yards in a single game, as he scored three touchdowns in leading the Bulldogs to a 48-7 road win over defending Pacific League champion Arcadia in the league opener.

“I’ve been locked in mentally and I’ve been focused on running my routes. Everything after I catch it just comes naturally,” Burnham said.  “I can’t say enough about my quarterback. He’s a great player, a great teammate, a great leader.”

Junior quarterback Aram Araradian finished 11 of 16 passing for 351 yards with three touchdowns.

Having played a tougher schedule in the first half of the season, Araradian has now passed for 1,387 yards in five games.

Burbank (2-3) jumped on Arcadia quickly and was never under any serious threat.

Araradian and Burnham hooked up on a 32-yard touchdown at the 9:58 mark of the first quarter.

An interception by Austin Blacano helped set up Burbank’s second touchdown, a 1-yard run by Isaac Glover with 5:54 left in the first quarter to make it 14-0.

Tyler Murphy scored on a 1-yard run later in the quarter to make it 20-0.

Araradian and Burnham hooked up on an 89-yard touchdown at the 9:11 mark of the second quarter to make it 27-0. Burnham’s single game record broke the previous school record of Cody Cardenaz, who had 209 yards against Pasadena in 2008.

Arcadia (1-3) took advantage of great field position following a Burbank turnover to help score its lone touchdown.

Glover scored on a 15-yard run with 2:22 left in the first half to make it 34-7.

Araradian and Burnham hooked up again with 58 seconds left in the quarter for their third touchdown. Burnham did not play in the fourth quarter.

Burbank’s lone touchdown in the second half came with 7:14 left in the third quarter as Murphy scored on a 9-yard run.

Bulldog coach Adam Colman was pleased with how his team responded from a tough nonleague schedule in which saw some ups and downs.

“It was nice to get on the board quick and to get to play with a lead. We’ve looked back and some of our losses and we said if we get a lead early it’s a whole different complexion. We really emphasized starting strong,” Colman said. “The defense was awesome and helped give us great field position. It’s nice to start off league with a win, especially against the defending league champs.”
Burbank will host Pasadena High next Thursday at Memorial Field.

Hart Still Too Much for Burbank Football

It has been more than three decades since the Burbank High football team last defeated Hart High.

The Bulldogs will have to wait to attempt the feat against one of the top programs in California history.

Friday night Burbank showed it has improved vastly from the days of the Foothill League when it was frequently dominated by Hart.

But the host Indians still had too much in a 31-13 win over the Bulldogs at College of the Canyons.

“A couple of crucial mistakes got us down at half but we battled,’’ Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “A lot of mental mistakes cost us. We just didn’t execute in crucial spots. That’s a good team and you can’t make mistakes against Hart.”

Hart (1-2) didn’t get on the board until 15 seconds remained in the first half when running back Taden Littleford scored on a 3-yard run.

Hart took advantage of a Burbank turnover to set up its second touchdown. Littleford added a 12-yard touchdown run with 6:17 left in the first half to double the Indians’ lead to 14-0.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank (1-3) did answer back, however. Junior quarterback Aram Araradian hooked up with Ben Burnham on 49-yard touchdown with 4:29 left in the first half. Araradian finished 14 of 29 for 234 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Hart got a break  in the closing seconds of the first half when Burbank appeared to have tackled Littleford, who spun away and gained 52 yards. That set up a field goal with 4 seconds left and Hart kicker Cruz Lopez did not miss from 30 yards out.

Hart quarterback Zach Johnson, who is committed to UC Berkeley, scored on a 26-yard run early in the third quarter to help give his team a 24-7 cushion.

Araradian and Burnham hooked up on another long touchdown with 25 seconds left in the third quarter, helping cut the deficit to 24-13 going into the final quarter.

Littleford scored on a 2-yard run with 2:45 to play to cap the scoring for the Indians.

“We knew what we were getting ourselves into. That’s why we schedule these games,” Colman said. “We’d love to win and felt like we left an opportunity out there. With our nonleague schedule the whole point was to schedule up and go play some top quality opponents. We wanted to win them all, but no matter what happens it prepares you.  Now we’re ready for league. Hopefully we go on a run and get in the playoffs again and be battle tested come playoff time.”

 

Burbank Football Has No Break Down in Win Over Orange Vista

By Damaris Duran

The Burbank High football team didn’t have the best of times getting to its football game Friday night in Perris against Orange Vista High.

The Bulldogs’ bus broke down en route to the Riverside County school, causing the contest to start late.

But the Bulldogs didn’t let a minor setback before the whistle interfere with the plans they had for on the field.

With elevated spirit and energy that the team brought with them onto the field, the Bulldogs pulled off a surprising 35-21 come-from-behind victory to earn their first victory of the season.

“Control what you can control. Just lock in mentally, start visualizing and you’re ready to go,” Coach Adam Colman said about what he told his team.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The night started in Orange Vista’s favor when junior Randy Wilkins scored the game’s first touchdown in the first quarter.

But Bulldog junior Jarren Flowers helped even things up as his 45-yard interception return with 2:57 left made it 7-7.

By the end of the first quarter, Orange Vista had scored again to take a 14-7 lead.

Both teams demonstrated strong defenses that the scoreboard remained intact throughout the second quarter.

Burbank drew even again late in the third quarter as quarterback Aram Araradian completed a 57-yard touchdown pass to junior Brandon Pena.

It was anybody’s game at that point going into the fourth quarter before Burbank stepped up and took over.

With less than seven minutes remaining, once again, Araradian completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Pena to give Burbank a 21-14 lead.

On Orange Vista’s ensuing drive, senior Vincent Vang intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, the Bulldogs’ second pick-six of the night.

Orange Vista was not finished, however, as it rallied quickly to score, cutting the difference to 28-21.

To finish the night off, senior Ian Miller scored returned an onsides kick attempt by Orange Vista all the way with just 31 seconds left to play.

“[We’ll] get home, get some sleep, wake up tomorrow, watch some film and get back to work,” said Coach Colman. “We got Hart next week and it’s a great program, great team, so we’ve got to get back to work.”

 

 

 

Burbank Football Falls Short Against Golden Valley

The Burbank High football team may be on the short end of the scoreboard, but coach Adam Colman is trying to get his team ready for the tough challenges that lie ahead.

Friday night Burbank ran into another tough challenge, as it faced Golden Valley at Canyon High in Canyon Country.
For the second week in a row, Burbank fell short in a 43-28 defeat.

“We played well against Moorpark, but football is not a do it once and you’ve done it. You have to prove it every week. I think we got rolled into a sense of complacency,” Colman said. “Both with our performance and them not having had a game, what we have to go off of the kids look at their record and think oh that’s great. They were playing in the Foothill League. That’s not a (typical) 2-8 team. They were young last year. We know the Foothill League is a battle, no matter what place you finish.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank had a difficult time stopping Golden Valley’s 6-foot-4, 210-pound running back Johnathan Kaelin. Kaelin rushed for 289 yards in just 13 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns.

“On film he stands out more as a receiver,” Colman said. “He was tough to tackle.”

Burbank got a fine performance from junior quarterback Aram Araradian, who finished the game 28 of 40 for 365 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Golden Valley led 15-0 before Burbank got on the board with 8:07 left in the first half as Araradian and Isaac Glover hooked up on a 32-yard touchdown pass.

Down 21-7 late in the first half, the Bulldogs missed two great opportunities to make things interesting as Golden Valley was twice called for roughing the passer that gave the Bulldogs automatic first downs in the red zone.

Burbank got as close as the 4-yard line with 12 seconds left in the half, but fumbled to ball away, allowing the host Grizzlies to go into the intermission up by a pair of touchdowns.

Glover scored on a 7-yard run with 9:46 left in the third quarter to make it 28-14.

The Bulldogs actually scored a touchdown on the one play that Araradian had to sit out after limping off the field.

Kuba Raymond threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Pena. Araradian immediately returned for the two-point conversion as he hooked up with Vincent Vang.

Burbank added another touchdown with 6:35 to play as Araradian hooked up with Ben Burnham on a 15-yard touchdown.

Burbank Football Gets Another ‘Moral Victory’ in Loss

Burbank High football coach Adam Colman is tired of playing great, but coming up short on the scoreboard.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Friday night Colman got a great effort from his young Bulldogs against a Moorpark High team loaded with players who will be playing their trade on Saturdays in future years.
In the end, the Bulldogs fell just short, losing the season opener 14-7 at Memorial Field.

“Downey a couple of years ago, Hart last year, the CIF championship, We’ve been really close in a lot of big-time time games. I just want to get one,” Colman said. “I’m tired of moral victories. That’s the frustrating part. But those kids played with a lot of heart. I think it took them a quarter to really believe.”
Colman said he schedules difficult opponents like Moorpark, which will be in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs this year should it qualify for the postseason.

“We’re a young team. There’s a lot of returners from last year, but they’re still young. For them to believe,” Colman said of his players. “There are some legit football players on that team. When you can line up with those guys and go toe to toe you probably should have won if you did a couple of things differently, you can never walk into a game scared.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank junior quarterback Aram Araradian, who has spent some time on the varsity the last two seasons, grew up quickly. He completed 13 of 27 passes for 227 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Running back Isaac Glover was solid, carrying the ball 18 times for 72 yards.

The Bulldogs hurt themselves on offense by being called for a false start 14 times. They had just two more penalties the rest of the game.
Burbank had a chance to strike in the second quarter after getting the ball on the Moorpark 3-yard line following a snap on a punt that went over the head of Blake Sturgill, who is also Moorpark’s quarterback.
But penalties prevented the Bulldogs from getting on the board.

The game remained scoreless until late in the first half when Sturgill scored on a 1-yard keeper. Moorpark surprisingly didn’t move the ball as well as one might expect given that it has a massive offensive line. Moorpark left tackle Jonah Monheim, who is 6-foot-5 and is 290 pounds hold offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, and USC among others. The Muskateers have three more linemen at more than 250 pounds as well as 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end Lucas Egurbide.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank tied things with 7:08 left in the third quarter as Araradian found Brandon Pena on a 31-yard touchdown.

Moorpark scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown with 4:09 left, as Sturgill hooked up with Ashton Benner on a 17-yard touchdown.

Burbank put together a nice drive to nearly tie things. But Moorpark sacked Araradian at the 25-yard line in the final minute of the game.

The Bulldogs go on the road next week against Golden Valley at Canyon High School in Canyon Country.

 

Burbank Football in a Good Position Again

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

A pattern has developed for the Burbank High football program and that’s a good thing.

The team is generally young and talented in odd years and championship ready in even years.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Things don’t figure to change in 2019 as Burbank looks like it has more than enough talent to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs for an eighth consecutive year.

Burbank once again has a number of solid underclassmen to go along with a solid but not as spectacular senior class.

“(There’s) a lot of guys that played important roles on last year’s team. They weren’t the guys getting their names in the paper or scoring the touchdowns necessarily, but they know what it takes, which is nice,” third-year head coach Adam Colman said. “Varsity isn’t a new experience for them. It is something that they are used to. They have a little chip on their shoulder to show now that we belong. It’s a fun group to coach. There’s a lot of competition. We’ve got a lot of positions that are two deep, two to three deep at most.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Most notably gone from last season’s 7-4 squad are quarterback Matthew Porras (Whitworth University) and two-way stars Erik Harutyunyan (UC Berkley) and Duncan Smith (Fresno State).

They won’t easily be replaced.

Junior left-handed quarterback Aram Araradian (6-foot, 175 pounds) takes over for Porras but is hardly new to the role as he has seen game action on the varsity each of the last two seasons.

Senior running back Issac Glover (5-9, 195) who missed part of last season due to injury is back at full strength and will be the main threat out of the backfield. Junior Max Mendieta (5-7, 165) could also see time carrying the ball.

Araradian’s passing options are solid with senior Ben Burnham (6-1, 175), junior Brandon Pena (5-10, 165) and sophomore Jack Sapyta (5-10, 155) all returning.

Senior Vincent Vang (5-3, 125) is a slotback who will replace older brother Chadz Vang, who graduated.
Senior Devin Householder (6-3, 200) will take over the tight end position that was held down by Smith for the last two years.

The offensive line returns two starters in senior center Armando De La Cruz (5-7, 250), who will be a three-year starter, and senior Craig Rushton (6-2, 265).

Senior Seth Jones (6-2, 270) , who spent time at tight end last year, will also fill a role on the line. Juniors Rene Amirian (6-1, 235) and Danny Akopyan (5-9, 220) figure to also see significant playing time on the line. Another name to look for is sophomore Jakob Zuniga (6-2, 275), who transferred from Hoover since the Tornadoes will not play varsity football the next two seasons.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The defensive line will boast many of the same players who are also on the offensive line along with senior Thomas Chiaravalle (5-8, 205) and sophomore Steilen Varga (5-10, 265).

The linebacker core is led by senior Tyler Murphy (5-8, 185). Mendieta, Glover, and Householder also figure to see time as linebackers.

Others to watch for are juniors Austin Blacano (6-3, 225), Kube Raymond (5-10, 185) and Lucas Sheppe (6-1, 205).

In the defensive secondary, senior Ian Miller (5-10, 165) leads the way. Juniors Owen Cusumano (5-10, 165) and Jarren Flowers (6-0, 175) are also both very talented. Vang, senior Oaklee Spens (5-6, 150), senior Shawn Wilson (6-1, 170) and junior Kaze Gibbs (5-5, 145) figure to add depth.

Colman said there is no clear favorite for the Pacific League title.

“It is going to be very competitive across the board. Pretty much every team has improved since last year,” he said. “Top to bottom there are no sleepers. Everyone is going to be competitive. I could see it shaking out four or five different ways.”