Bulldog fall football preview

By DAMON BALDWIN

Ramona High School’s 2012 historical run to the CIF championship game last season is in the record books and the community has had a chance to exhale after a phenomenal playoff run that packed the stadium for weeks in November here in “Football Land.” This season promises to be extremely exciting in Ramona.

The Bulldogs will compete in the always tough Palomar League again and come CIF playoff time, they will compete in the very tough Division 1 bracket in the newly designed football playoff divisions.

The Bulldogs have what many experts are saying is the toughest 10-game schedule in the San Diego Section. Ramona will play four teams in the new “Super “Open” Division and five teams in Division 1. The Bulldogs will have six home regular season games, and the Athletic Department is hoping for record crowds this year as the exciting 2013 season begins.

The coaching staff began the 2013 season with 11 football practices in the spring.

Team Preview Capsule

Offense: Sophomore Marco Cobian takes the reigns as the quarterback for the Dawgs. Many of the Division 1 college scouts who traveled to RHS this last month remarked that this kid will be special. His future as a QB is open-ended meaning. He can take his game to the highest level if he chooses! Finding a backup to Cobian is priority and Christian Dominguez and Tanner Williams have the ability to start on most varsity teams, so this will be strength for the Dawgs.

The running back should once  again be a force for Ramona. Potential county rushing leader Nathan Cherek and super junior Brandon Gansch will anchor the 1-2 combination that the Bulldog offense requires. This tandem reminds me a lot of the Ryan Morgan-Tyler Jackson tandem that was legendary here three to four years ago. Teddy Schenck and Justin Villagrana will also carry the ball and provide depth.

Tight end promises to be a strength for the Dawgs. Division 1 college recruits Matt Lawler and Christian Drews (University of Utah) will headline a very deep position. Drews will actually move to the hybrid spot of the H-TE and will play fullback. Ben Barnat and T-Bone Williams will be main players at this group along with All CIF potential Lawler.

The wide receiver group will have the most new faces, but starters Garrett “playmaker” Binkley and Tanner Williams return. Garrett Dart, Colton Harris, Colton Jansen, and Wyatt Scott all provide excellent depth and ability. Wyatt Kent moves from tight end to wide receiver.

The offensive line is the biggest question mark as it will have three new starters. Returning starters Patrick Hastings and William Rieve will anchor the line with all of the other positions being fought for through August camp. If this group can come together, another run at the CIF title will be possible.

Defense: The defense will be led by returning 2012 defensive Player of the Year linebacker Travis Kerchner and All North County Defensive Lineman Hastings. Coach Stephon Pace will lead a veteran group that has been in the system now for three years.

The linebacker looks to be the strongest part of the defense with Division 1 College Prospects Kerchner and Drews. Drews has had an incredible off season and is now standing at 6’2” and 225 pounds, and moving very well. Kerchner and Barnat both return 15 to 20 pounds stronger and are ready for the tough schedule and long season ahead. Schenck, Jansen, and sophomore Grady Vazquez are all competing for starting spots.

The defensive back group has many returning players and will be tested early with Grossmont in the second game. Tanner Williams returns at safety along with Binkley and Cherek at corner. Cherek will be needed to play both ways. Dart, Scott and Soph Adam Paredes are in the mix. There are many players from the JV squad who have moved up and looked good in early spring drills.

The defensive line is one area that must play better in 2013. The group of players is mostly the same as on the offensive line. The potential is fantastic and Coach Brent Harvey is ready and prepared to take on the challenge as this area will dictate how successful the defense is this season.

Dallas Domnitz and Hastings anchor the inside with T-Bone Williams and 6’6” Lawler anchoring the defensive end spots. T-Bone has moved to rush end and the team needs his leadership at this position. Lawler has committed to play college football for Air Force Academy after he was recruited by many big football schools as a defensive end and tight end so we’re looking to see him do great things this season as a two-way player. Michael Hoover looked good early in spring drills. Like the Ramona offense, the defense has many different packages that utilize many different players. Many kids will be counted on early to step up and play solid varsity football.

Special Teams: This area should be very strong as both kickers, Tyler Vargas and Brandon Duarte, return. This tandem may be the best in San Diego this year. Punters Tanner Williams and Jansen will compete for that spot and the long snapping position, which is so critical, will be challenged by Schenck (last year’s starter), Keyshaun Crichlow and Karl Sapper, who is up from the JV squad. Short snapper Trae Rodriguez returns for PAT and field goals.

The Special Teams areas will be coached by the entire staff and not led by one person.

Coaching Staff: Ramona continues to operate one of the strongest North County football programs with the least amount of on-campus coaches in the county. I have only TWO on-campus fulltime coaches in WR Coach Mike Ernst and JV Assistant Coach Billy Clark. The rest of the coaching staff comes from other jobs and occupations. I love my staff’s dedication and commitment to the kids.

The staff is mostly the same as last season with the addition of Chris Lohman (former all-league offensive lineman in 2005 and RHS graduate) and Rheynard Morgan moving to the running back position after mostly working with off-field quality control and equipment.

Offensively, I will coach the offensive line and coordinate the offense; former three-year varsity player Erik Ernst will handle the QB duties and coordinate the JV offense; Lohman will handle the JV offensive linemen; and  RHS teacher and NJROTC leader Mike Ernst will coach the wide receivers.

Defensively there are slight changes as Defensive Coordinator Stephon Pace will coach the secondary for the varsity, while 25-year coaching veteran Gene Andrews will move to linebackers. Andrews will also coordinate the JV defense. Brent Harvey who has been in the program for seven years will become a fulltime varsity coach and handle the defensive line. Harvey is a very bright coach and is someone who will be a future varsity coordinator. Phillip Skora will handle the JV defensive line and assist Harvey with the varsity line.

Clark is now back after a short break and will handle the JV defensive backs and wide receivers for the offense. Jeremy Drews will lead the freshman staff, which is mostly new but has a tremendous background at all levels of football.

The freshman staff has added former RHS and college lineman George Cobian and Shawn Boyd, along with longtime youth football coach and administrator John Pecoraro. Ben Cass returns for his second season on the freshman staff along with newcomer Robert Mason.

Bulldog Angels and Managers: The Bulldogs currently have 10 “Bulldog Hydration Specialists” and one manager in Emma Lisowski. The staff is looking for more managers and hydration people. These positions are invaluable.  Filmers are also needed. If interested in any of these positions, send me an email at dbaldwin@ramonaused.net.

Related posts:

  1. A preview of Ramona’s Bulldog football team
  2. Bulldog football coaches wrap up spring training
  3. Fifteen Bulldog football players named all Palomar League
  4. Spring football ends June 10
  5. New faces, new responsibilities on RHS football coaching staff

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Aug 13 2013. Filed under Columnists, Columns, Featured Story, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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