The 30th season of Santa Margarita football was not typical of what you would expect from the programs rich history. The Eagles closed out their 2018 campaign with a 3-7 overall record and went winless in Trinity league play, 0-5. Despite putting up impressive offensive numbers throughout the season, a daunting non-league schedule, which included two out-of-state powerhouse teams in Cherry Creek (Colorado) and Orem (Utah), made for a skewed overall perception. Cherry Creek, the third ranked team in Colorado, beat the Eagles by a final of 21-14. Two weeks later when facing Utah’s sixth best team, the Eagles dropped a thriller by the score of 51-46. One week later, the Eagles opened up Trinity league play against Orange Lutheran, where they lost on a walk-off field goal, 39-37. With so many close games, the Eagles were knocking on the door of a completely different record.
In an offseason that saw several key players depart for different schools, the Eagles welcome several new faces and some key returners that look to bounce back from a heart-wrenching 2018 season and flip the script in 2019.
New Man at the Helm:
The Eagles welcome first year head coach Brent Vieselmeyer. Brent Vieselmeyer joins the SMCHS Eagles from the University of Kansas where he most recently held the position of offensive analyst. Prior to coaching last season with the Jayhawks, Vieselmeyer was with the Oakland Raiders of the NFL for three seasons. He joined the Raider franchise in 2015 after spending 15 years coaching at the collegiate and high school levels. While at Oakland, Vieselmeyer held positions as assistant linebacker coach and safeties coach.
Vieselmeyer began his coaching career at Orange Lutheran, where he spent eight years as defensive coordinator. He led the Lancers to the 2006 Division II California state title and the 2004 CIF-Southern Section Championship. They were also CIF-SS finalists in 2000, 2001 and 2003.
Vieselmeyer retained the 2018 Eagle Football staff and added a couple of key pieces including Tim Holt, offensive coordinator who comes to SMCHS most recently from the Oakland Raiders where he was the offensive line coach. Also adding to the new staff is Jeff Love, assistant head coach/quarterback coach who comes to SM from the University of Kansas, where he was the director of football technology as well as the quarterbacks coach. A third addition for this season is Luke Del Rio who is making his coaching debut this season. Del Rio will coach the Eagle Tight Ends. Del Rio was a state champion quarterback at Valor Christian High School where he played for Vieselmeyer. In addition to his state championship at Valor Christian High School, Del Rio was an Elite 11 quarterback, first team all-state, and team captain for the Eagles. Luke Del Rio began his college career at the University of Alabama where he was the backup QB as a true freshman to three-time national champion quarterback AJ McCarron. He then moved to Oregon State where he served as the backup to current Los Angeles Rams quarterback Sean Mannion. Del Rio played his final three years at the University of Florida where he would go on to be 7-1 as a starter in the SEC. Career highlights include, a win over Georgia, a 320-yard 4 touchdown performance against Kentucky, and then in his senior year, came off the bench to lead a 14-point comeback against Kentucky to extend Florida’s winning streak over the rival Wildcats to 31 games. Del Rio also served as a team captain for the Gators in 2016 and served on the leadership committee.
A New Season is Upon Us:
The Eagles will open up their 2019 campaign on the road when they travel Friday night to take on Redlands East Valley in a game that will be played at Citrus Valley High School with kickoff set for 7:00pm. REV is coming off a 7-4 record, having gone 4-1 in the Citrus Belt League before losing in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs when they lost to Norco, 52-22.
Key Returning Players:
#22 Nick Barcelos (Senior, 6’0, 210, LB/RB)
#33 Greg Doyle (Senior, 6’3”, 215, DE/LB)
#53 Derek Wilkins (Junior, 6’5”, 250, DE)
#72 Jason Schillig (Senior, 6’2”, 280, OL)