It may be early in fall practice but veteran head coach Rick Candaele has reason to be optimistic. He has 83 players out – the most he has had in his 14 years at the helm.
The Stags are coming off a 3-6 season which may not look like much. But CMS proved a formidable foe much of the way. It lost to then-defending SCIAC champion Occidental 28-27. If it weren’t for a couple of glitches in the kicking game, the Stags win it and send shockwaves throughout the country since Oxy was nationally ranked at the time.
The team also had a rash of injuries at the end of last season that no team could have overcome.
CMS was young last season, particularly in the skill positions. Those players are all back, a year older, wiser and stronger.
It should make for a good conference battle, with Pomona-Pitzer also bringing back much of what was a young team. La Verne should also be better with coach Andy Ankeney having his first year under his belt.
Of course conference juggernauts Oxy and Redlands remain the teams to beat. And Cal Lutheran returns some key players. It should make for an interesting season.