Senior quarterback John Mosqueda is the top returning player for a Ganesha team looking to make the playoffs.
The Ganesha football program has made great strides under coach Don Cayer. The Giants just missed a playoff berth last year but the potential to get one the coming fall appears to be there.
“We have some young players with a lot of potential,” Cayer said. “You never know how quickly those guys are going to catch on but I really like the pieces we have. We could surprise some people.”
The curtain comes up on the new season on Aug. 26 with Ganesha playing host to Mark Keppel, a school out of Alhambra coming off an 0-10 season.
The Giants were 7-3 overall and placed third in the Miramonte League at 2-2. Normally the top three in each league advance to the playoffs but the Miramonte is just a five-team league and the CIF had the option to take just two which it did.
It was a devastating blow for Cayer, who was looking to snap the school’s 24-year playoff drought in the sport.
“We thought we did enough to get in but other people had other ideas,” Cayer said. “This year we hope to finish in the top two so it isn’t an issue.”
Much of the room for optimism is the return of senior quarterback John Mosqueda, who threw for 858 yards last year.
Cayer also thinks Mosqueda has more talent surrounding him this year. Among the other veterans are senior wide receiver-defensive back Albert Louis and senior Kenny Johnson was was moved around to different positions but looks to be a major contributor at running back.
Among the promising newcomers are Alonzo Arce, a freshman slated to start at middle linebacker, and wide receiver Jacques Wilborn, a junior who has moved around to different schools but looks to have found a home at Ganesha.
The influx of young talent is the result for Cayer, also the school’s athletic director, working the pipeline from Marshall Middle School, Ganesha’s primary feeder school. his objective: to make sure the kids that should come to his school actually do so instead of going elsewhere.
Defending champion Pomona still appears to be the team to beat in league play but the Red Devils graduated most of their key players and there appears to be balance through the rest of the league.
Ganesha was put in Division 13 along with 84 other schools in the the new CIF alignments. That is the bottom division. Cayer said many of his assistant coaches were offended by that placement but he is taking it in stride and looking at it as incentive.
“When you look at what we have done, or not done. Where else would they put us?” he said. “We haven’t made the playoffs in more than 20 years. It’s up to us to go out there and prove we need to be placed higher.”