The offense will have a completely new look after the graduation of the Finnerans. The emphasis will return to the running game a little more than the past two seasons, but not as much as the 1991 team. The offensive set and running game will be the split back veer primarily, while the pass offense will be similar to the previous two years. Coordinator Tim )’Hara is back for his third season at that position as well as coaching the quarterbacks. Jamie Larkin returns to the offensive staff as the tight ends coach. Three years ago Larkin coaches the receivers in the split back veer. Brett Kohorst will be in his second year as the line coach. Kohorst has been the line coach at Servite before joining the Eagles. H recently was a coach for the North squad in the Orange County All-Star game two years ago. Matt Rink will return to the offense as the running back coach. He was the coordinator in ‘91 and also coached the backs. New to the staff is Shawn Cahill, who played receiver at North Dakota State’s two National Championships teams from 1988-1992. His knowledge of the split back veer system should benefit the team tremendously.
One of the biggest reasons the Eagle went back to the split back veer ws the presence of junior Chris Collins. He was the starting running back and leading rusher last year for the Eagles after starting his freshman year as a quarterback at Tustin. Another asset Collins has is his toughness. He was a First Team All-Sea View League linebacker and that will help him running the option. Collins strength will be his quickness, size (6’2”, 205) and ability to read the defenses. He also has a strong arm and should extend the defenses with the long ball.
Backing up Collins is the sophomore Mike Thompson and senior Brian Garrigan. Thompson (6’0”, 170) excelled at the freshman level and his strength is his arm. He will play at the JV level while serving as the backup on Varsity. He finished the summer camp impressively during the passing league. If he is called to duty, the offense will look more like the 1992-93 version with one back.
Garrigan who is projected to be the starting running back, will be able to fill in if needed. He served as the backup last year and played sparingly. He toughness and confidence are his strong points. Garrigan (5’11”, 180) has proved that he can come in cold and perform well as he did last season and during the summer.
Junior Jeff Aylor will be one of the leading candidates on the JV team. He impressed the coaches during the spring with his running ability. Aylor has a strong arm and played well as a sophomore on the JV team last year.
The quarterback spot lacks the experience it has had in the past, but there is depth and youth to build on. In the past the quarterbacks at SMCHS have excelled with two previous All-CIF players, Trevor Yankoff and Sean O’Brien. Last year Derek Yankoff was an All-Sea View League quarterback. “We will try to allow the quarterback to be successful early in the year.” said O’Hara. “We’ll try to keep the reads and the audibles simple and expand as the year goes on”.
“The line is the heart of the offense. How it performs is indicative of the entire offense.” These are the words of Head Coach jim Hartigan. The 1994 offense will be experienced, large and quick. Leading the way are seniors Josh Beckett (6’5, 305) and Kris Farris (6’8”, 285).
Beckett is a returning starter who will move to guard in ‘95. He will strengthen the center of the line for an improved run game. His pass blocking abilities are excellent and he is a top prospect in the nation. Farris will be the left tackle to protect the QB’s backside on the pass. He was the Lineman of the Year in ‘93 and has excellent feet and quickness. He is a member of the Reebok Top 100 players in the nation and is also being heavily recruited.
Adding quality depth to the line at center will be senior James Leonard (5’9”, 200, Junior Scott Sieverts (5’10”, 190) and senior Matt Lucas (6’0”, 200). Leonard will probably start and his intelligence to make the calls will be crucial to the success of the team. Sieverts and Lucas are starters on the defense and quality backups. Battling for the other guard and tackle spots are juniors Jeff Clark (6’0”, 225), Brian Berg (5’10”, 225) and Chris Carney (6’5”, 205), and sophomores Bryce Jackson (6’3”, 220) and Ryan Thigpen (6’1”, 200). Clark is coming off an arm injury which could delay his return. he is strong and smart. Carney will likely start at a guard and was moved to the Varsity as a sophomore. Berg will probably be used to rotate with some of the two-way players. Jackson has worked hard and is battling for a starting spot. Regardless, he will play a lot in ‘94. Thigpen will back up the tackles and will probably be a two year starter at center after this season.
Some other players needed to add depth to the positions are primarily defensive players. Seniors Adam Peyrebrune (6’0”, 170), Jarrett Rumph (5’9”, 180) and Colin Best (5’11”, 175) and junior Brandon Sanchez (6’1”, 190) will fill those roles. Peyrebrune will back up both the guard and tackle spots. Best was moved from receiver to tackle this year to help add depth to the position> Rumph is battling for a starting spot on defense, but can play guard or tackle. Sanchez will be one of the top JV linemen and could be moved up to Varsity full time if needed.
One of the strong points of the offense will be the tight ends with sophomore Ruben Vaughn (6’2”, 222) returning and senior Tim Pringle (5’11”, 183) and junior Eric Brown (6’2”, 185) adding depth. Vaughn was a force last season and is bigger and stronger than ever. Pringle was very impressive in the Spring and Summer, which will allow the Eagles to employ a two-tight end set. A surprise was Brown, who sat out last season. He adds depth as an excellent receiver. The JV team is loaded as well with juniors T.J. Henricks, Alex King and Jason Levine.
With the loss of the Finnerans most everyone thinks the passing game is dead at SMCHS. This is not the belief of the coaches as the ‘94 crew has a host of talented players with more depth than last year’s team. Leading the way is two-year starter Brian Griffin (5’11”, 180). He has excellent speed and great hands. The senior had few problems with most defenders in the summer passing league.
Another senior, Ryan Korinke (6’1”, 157), saw plenty of action last year and has a knack for finding the open area. Two juniors, Danny Clark (6’0”, 160) and Matt Nickels (6’2”, 170) will be starters. Clark moved to the #2 receiver at the end of summer. He has great hands and is not afraid to go over the middle. Nickles was part of the Varsity as a sophomore and is a threat both deep and underneath.
Another impressive player in the summer was sophomore Brett Crowder (5’11”, 150) He showed his ability to catch the ball in traffic and has good speed. Another junior Gregg Pichler (6’0”, 150), will be a backup on Varsity as well as playing at the JV level. The JV team also has some depth. Among the top candidates are juniors Matt Jordon (6’0”, 160) and Jason Campbell (5’10”, 150). These two have a slight edge after the summer. Others include juniors Brian Meihaus (5’11”, 150), George Caston (5’9”, 145), Jay Schreiber (5’11”, 150) and Adam Carrillo (5’9”, 150). One of the keys to the position is the ability to block on the option, which has been de-emphasized the last two years.
The 1994 Eagle running backs are extremely young and the race to fill the two starting spots is wide open. Senior Brian Garrigan (5’11”, 180) is the front runner. He gained 47 yards rushing as a junior from the quarterback position. No player has taken a hand off in a Varsity game. At the end of summer football senior Steve Gribben (5’11”, 180), junior Jeff Zaist (5’11”, 175) and sophomore Billy Newman (5’9”, 170) seem to have the edge on the others for the remaining starting spot.
Junior David Munoz (5’10”, 160) and sophomore Brett Zinn (5’7”, 154) are right behind and could move up once the pads go on. Senior Rik Glover (6’0”, 215) is the designated blocker and power back and will also be used in short yardage situations. Junior Rob Taylor (5’10”, 180) and Gino Canori (5’7”, 160), and sophomores Jason Medina (5’9”, 180), Damien Minna (5’10”, 170) and Billy O’Connor (5’9”, 160) will see most of their action on the JV level. The running backs may be asked to move to a receiver in a one back set on passing downs, as well as lining up in a power set in short yardage situations.