Season Outlook

The 1994 Santa Margarita squad will have a new look to it’s offense and defense, going to the split back veer and 4-3 to utilize the personnel. The strengths of the team will be the offensive and defensive lines, the linebackers, tight ends and special teams. Areas that seem to be solid are the quarterbacks and receiver positions. The question marks lie on the running back and secondary spots. There are few returning players in these positions.

The offensive line will be big, solid and experienced. The tackle position is led by seniors Kris Farris and Josh Beckett, who moves to guard. The only weakness is the lack of depth. THe tight end position is once again a part of the Eagle offense, due to the return of Ruben Vaughn and Tim Pringle. The two could be used in a two tight end set.

The defensive line is experienced and has some of the best players in Eagle history at the positions. Rik Glover was a solid player at nose guard in 1993 and will move to end this year. Vaughn returns at the other tend to form a strong outside team.

The linebackers should be solid with the return of Matt Lucas. There are some standout players competing for the two outside jobs.

All aspects of the special teams should be a plus for Santa Margarita due to the return of Ryan Korinke. He was a solid kicker last year making all of his PATs. Griffin has shown excellent skills at punting.

With Brad and Brian Finneran graduating as record-breaking receivers, the Eagles will have a lot to replace. However, the depth is the best it has ever been with Brian Griffin and Matt Nickels returning. With the loss of Derek Yankoff, the Eagles will turn to Chris Collins to run the option. Depth is added with sophomore, Mike Thompson and Senior Brian Garrigan.

The Secondary also loses the Finnerans at both safety spots, but there is some experience at corner with Griffin. The other spots are wide open. The running back position will be won in two-a-day drills. There are no running backs with Varsity game experience returning. The Eagles were in a similar predicament the last two years with the loss of three-time All-CIF player Josh Ireland and Chris Tiernan.

The 1994 schedule is the toughest one in the history of the school. There are six new opponents this season, and most are used to the postseason play. The opener is against crosstown rival Trabuco Hills. The Mustangs are the defending CIF champions.  Game two is the home opener versus Glendora. The Tartans advanced to the Division IV Semifinals before losing to Irvine. Huntington Beach the Division II runner-up is the next opponent for the Eagles at home. The team is on the road in game four at McFarland before closing out the preseason against Fountain Valley, a division II semifinalist.

The Sea View League lost three of its weaker teams and added El Toro from the South Coast League. Once again the Eagles will open at home against Woodbridge, which returns a number of defensive players. El Toro is the next opponent on the road before the Homecoming game against Corona del Mar. The Eagles will travel to Davidson field to face Newport Harbor in game nine. SM has an 0-2 record there.

The league final will be Saturday night verses Irvine. This could very well be for the league title, and the previous two games have been very exciting. Irvine has never lost a Sea View League game. Once again the Eagles’ road to the CIF Playoffs will be heavily contested.