(Duarte) – “Hey it’s a lot better than it was at this time last year,” said Duarte Coach Tip Sanders on Monday afternoon. He’s right about that. Last year at this time the Falcons had six guys out. They didn’t have spring workouts. Sanders just kept them in the weight room and waited for more kids to show up.
By the time the season rolled around in September the roster was close to 20 but the Falcons still struggled through a 0-10 season. This year Duarte has 22 guys currently working out at spring drills and Sanders fully expects that number to grow.
“I have about 40 players signed up. I’m just waiting for them to show up,” Sanders said. “I’m hoping by the summer they will all be out here.”
If Sanders does get 40 however, he will still be short on experience.
“By the end of the season last year we had about 22 guys on our JV squad but only two have shown up so far,” Sanders said. “I don’t understand it. I’ve gone into the class rooms to talk to them and they tell me yeah coach I’ll be there but I’m still waiting.”
Michael Nunez is one player that played on the varsity last year and is returning for his senior year. He will be playing linebacker on defense and more than likely Sanders will find a spot for him on the offensive side of the ball as well.
Joey Oseguera will join Nunez on the linebacking corp and with the low numbers will be counted on to go both ways.
It’s early but Victor Roman is the favorite to grab the starting quarterback spot and will Aaron Castillo will line up at tight end and will split wide if necessary.
The Falcons have some talent and some size on the front lines but depth will be an issue. A couple of key injuries could decimate the team.
“You just need about 15 kids that will buy in and really stay with the program. If that happens then you’ll be all right,” Sanders said.
Duarte has three non league opponents including Sanders’ former school Blair before beginning Montview league play.
In his second season at Blair, Sanders guided the Vikings to the Rio Hondo League title. While a league championship might be too lofty expectation for 2010, things already look a lot better than 2009 for Sanders and Duarte.