If the San Bernardino Valley College football team is to make a run in the American Division Mountain Conference, the Wolverines are going to have to improve on defense. Head coach Kevin Emerson is hoping a shuffling of the coaching staff will result in just that.
Offensive line coach Pat Meech, who served as head coach before Emerson’s arrival, is no longer with the program. He took a position on staff at King High school close to his home in Riverside.
Emerson said he will handle that position this season which freed him up to hire another full-time defensive coach. That person is Kenny Lawler, a former head coach at Pasadena City College and assistant at Mt. SAC. He is also no stranger to the program having served as SBVC’s defensive coordinator in 2010 when it last won a conference title.
Frank Sullivan is making the move from Chaffey and will coach the defensive line. Other coaches who are helping with defense are Chauncey Turner and Austin Smith (a graduate of Pacific HS and Boise State).
The Wolverines gave up 30 points or more in seven of their 10 games last season yet went 6-4 overall and 5-2 in conference play, finishing behind Southwestern and Mt. San Jacinto. SBVC gave up an average of 34.8 points and 442.5 yards per game. That yardage allowed total was seventh of eight teams in the conference with East LA only five yards worse.
“We absolutely need to get better on defense,” Emerson said. “We made it way too hard on ourselves last year. That will be our main focus.”
SBVC graduated 16 sophomores, the most notable being wide receiver Stacey Howard, defensive lineman Jay-James Eakins and linebacker Alvis Mahome.
The Wolverines open the season with a 7 p.m. game at Antelope Valley on Sept. 7. Their home opener will be the following week with Glendale providing the opposition.