By Aaron Castro
I went camping with the Bonita Bearcats on Wednesday morning. The Bearcats officially opened fall camp at 7:45 AM. It was a wonderful thing to see, 60 degrees and overcast, typical California weather.
Not football weather of 100 degrees…and for all of those players practicing on Field Turf, make that 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Much has been made about the senior class that has recently moved onto the realms of adulthood and higher education. Bonita went 12-2 last season making it to the Southeast Division finals, one minute away from having a ring instead of a finalist patch for their letterman jackets.
It was the first time players and coaches have seen each other in three weeks, except for seeing the one coach that was tasked with opening the doors to the weight room.
At the quarterback position sophomore Tanner Diebold has the edge over senior Aaron Burgett. The Bearcats return several players on the offensive side of the ball in standouts Garrett Horine, Reggie Turner, Cameron Griffin and Austin Venegas. The O-line is going to be anchored behind returning center Nicholas Pichotta.
LT DJ Theard, LG Spencer Hoff, RG Sean Kroah and RT Alec Broussard, are expected to fill the spots around Pichotta. O-linemen, Brandon Algorri, Vince Bellomo, Carl Attman, and Adam Ung are capable backups that will be expected to shore up the line this coming season.
In the first few games of the 2010 season there were several injuries to the offensive line, which allowed many of the backups to get serious playing time. Although this group has some shoes to fill, they return with experience and ready to protect Diebold.
Defensively Bonita returns FS Horine, MLB Pichotta, OLB Seth Balentine and DB Toure McCulley. McCulley is also expected to see a lot of on offense at receiver. Turner and Griffin are much in the same mold as Giamani Johnson since they will both be playing linebacker. Sophomore Thomas Loy was mentioned by Coach Eric Podley as a defensive stopper at linebacker.
As far as special teams is concerned the Bearcats return the second team all state kicker in junior Brandt Davis who has been continuing to improve his accuracy on longer range kicks.
Two new faces to the coaching staff are former Bearcat standout Free Safety Jason Wells who just completed his career at University of Washington, and former Wilson Wildcat Chuck Lacey coming over from ULV.
Quote of the day from the Coach Gardner: “You fellas sittin’ there talking! You ain’t rotating in you ain’t learning; you ain’t learning you ain’t going to be playing on Friday!
Check out the interview with Bonita HC Eric Podley as well as video of practice
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