The 2005 Eagles are an experienced bunch with 48 returning lettermen, 22 returning seniors and 18 starting positions manned by 13 key returning players. There is great team speed, more size and better depth in the offensive line that in past years. The offense should score plenty of points, but the keys to success will be the development of a running back since the returning players have 19 career carries among them and developing depth in the defensive front seven.
The defensive front will be anchored in the middle by All-CIF candidates Brad Dixon and Tom Roby. The defensive end spots will be held down by Andrew Johnson and 2004 Most Improved Player (DL) Fred Carrera. 2004 standout Sean Aldridges’ younger brother, Kyle, a junior, will sport his siblings #29 and be the Eagles’ new middle linebacker. First Team All-Serra League DE Ross Cumming was moved to outside linebacker and will be joined by hard hitting Joseph Pellizzon at the other outside backer spot.
The Eagle pass defense has allowed only nine touchdown passes in the past 33 games since the end of the 2001 season. Senior SS JD Dawson and speedy 2004 Rookie of the Year FS Ryan Maxwell will anchor the secondary. Dawson forced a school record three fumbles at Loyola, and Maxwell (4.41 40 time) was the Serra League’s 100-meter and 200-meter champion this past spring. Senior John Angelo and junior Matt Meyer will man the corner spots and split time at running back.
Record holding kicker Mike Fowle, who’s 48-yard field goal at Servite set a new school record for longest field goal, will be replaced by either senior Hunter Bestard or junior Mike Lacy. Punting duties will once again be held by 2004 Special Teams MVP and Academic Award winner Thomas Hull.
The passing game should be outstanding with acclaimed senior QB Jon Daniels returning. Jon enjoyed one of the best junior seasons of any QB in Eagle history with his 144 completions and 1,763 yards. His 1,822 career passing yards are already 8th best on the Eagles’ all-time list. Daniels was the team’s 2004 Offensive MVP. Daniels and Tom Roby lead the team with four Player of the Game honors each.
The receiving crew will be led by the Serra Leagues top returning WR Jacob Gordon (2004 Most Improved - Skill) as well as Maxwell and Conner Plante. Senior Derek Cisna and newcomers Chad Torres and Nik Dialynas will vie for playing time.
Up front the Eagles will be led by 2007 Division I-A prospect Matt Bahr along with Dixon, Roby and returning starters Daniel Rodriguez and 2004 Most Improved (OL) Taylor Carlson.
1996 CIF Division V and Sea View League Defensive Player of the Year Damien Minna (SMHS Class of ’97) continues to recover and show progress after his unfortunate accident at Lake Mead on August 21st. For more on Damien’s condition and how you can help go to www.damienminna.com.