The Chaffey High School football program has always relied on the running game. The last few years it has been Mikey Dean as the featured back.
Well Dean has graduated, leaving many to wonder what the Tigers will look like in 2016. Veteran coach Chris Brown might be able to use that to his advantage, particularly in the first few games with opponents not able to rely much on previous film.
Dean rushed for almost 4,000 yards and a school record 53 touchdowns in the last two years.
But the new version of the Tigers takes the field for the first game on Aug. 26 at Grand Terrace, an opponent it beat 14-6 in the third game of the 2015 season in which they finished 8-3 with a first-round playoff loss to Chino.
“It will be a little different not having Mike back there,” Brown said. “We’re going to try and throw the ball a little more and work some option stuff. We have dual threat quarterback and we want to use him.”
That quarterback will be senior DeQuan Futrell, who saw some time at that position last year and appears to be ready to step into the starring role this season.
Among the others Brown will be looking for big contributions from are senior wide receiver Joshua Rice, junior running back Nick Silva, promising sophomore David Ciminski who will see time at receiver, running back and even at safety and junior Princeton Kauvaka, the team’s fastest player who can also be utilized at multiple positions.
Brown also thinks he has one of the better tight ends in the area in 6-4 junior George Wusstig who will also play at defensive end.
Of course it always helps to have returning linemen. The leaders there are senior Joe Mizer and sophomore Daniel Godina. Siope Tovi is expected to start as a sophomore.
Leaders on defense will include junior DE Malakai Tovi, senior DB Nick Gonzalez and junior DB Paul Perez.
Colony remains the top dog in the Mt. Baldy League and Brown says the Titans will be a heavy favorite. But as has been the case the Tigers should be in the mix for a playoff spot. They were third last year behind Colony and Don Lugo.
“We might be a little better than last year even without Mikey because we’ll be more balanced,” Brown said. “Guys worked hard over the summer knowing there was going to be opportunity for then to step up.”