The 1993 Santa Margarita squad will have a similar look to the 1991 team in terms of returning starters. With only five players - Brad Finneran, Brian Finneran, Derek Yankoff, Robert Craven, and Ryan Korinke - back, the Eagles must learn to fill gaps left from a 9-3 team a year ago.
The strengthes of the team will be the receivers, secondary, defensive line and special teams. Areas that seem to be solid are the quarterback and offensive line positions. The question marks lie on the running back and linebacking spots.
With the Finnerans returning as record-breaking receivers, the Eagles should be solid on the outside. The inside receivers are young, but very talented. With this in mind, Santa Margarita could be throwing the ball more than they did in 1992.
The secondary also returns the Finnerans at both safety spots, but there is inexperience at corner. Yankoff started at one corner most of the year in 1993, but will see limited action dur to his responsibility at quarterback.
The defensive line is inexperienced, but could have some of the best players in Eagle history at the position. Joe Hauke will play rush linebacker quite a bit. Rik Glover is a solid player at nose guard who should create havoc for opponents.
All aspects of the special teams should be a plus for Santa Margarita due to the return of Korinke. He was solid as the kicker last year and should take over the punting responsibilities as well in 1993. Long snapper Mike DeFries also returns as a stable player in the trenches.
With the loss of Sean O'Brien, the Eagles will turn to Yankoff as the signal caller. Yankoff played at B back last season while backing up O'Brien, and he has been bery impressive in Summer drills. Depth is added with outstanding sophmores, Chris Collins and Craig Harrison.
The offensive line will be big and solid, but is also young and without much depth. Craven started last season as a guard, but he will move to center in '93. Frank Brenes started three games last year and has been strong at one of the guard spots. The tackle position is led by juniors Kris Farris and Josh Beckett, each weighing well over 260 pounds.
The running back position will be won in two-a-day drills. There are no players with Varsity game experience returning, and two of the top three contenders are sophmores. The Eagles were in a similar predicament last year with the loss of three-time All-CIF player Josh Ireland, but Chris Tiernan stepped in and played exceptionally well.
The linebackers are also without any returning players, and will look for someone to step up in the two-a-day drills. Lack of experience and depth are concerns of the staff, but there are some standout players competing for the two inside jobs.
The 1993 Schedule is identical to last year's. The preseason will put the Eagles on the road in the opener against St. John Bosco, the home opener is the following week versus Notre Dame, and they will conclude the preseason at Buena Park. All three teams look to improve on last season's record, while Notre Dame and Buena Park each finished second in their leagues.
The Sea View League will again be a tough road for every team. Unlike 1992 when Irvine ran away with the league and CIF titles, the league seems to be more balanced.
Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor are said to be much improved, while Irvine reloads with their abundance of talent. Tustin returns a lot of talent and has a new coach with teh departure of Marion Ancich.
Woodbridge is coming off a down year and should respond much better this season. They return one of the top linebackers in the county. Saddleback and University can upset anyone on a given week, and could prove to be in the playoff hunt.