Some say it’s harder to stay at the top than get to the top. Count Colony High School football coach Steve Randall among those who agrees.
“You’re on everyone’s radar when you’re the defending champion,” he said. “We’re not going to sneak up on anyone.”
Well the Titans (12-2) are confronting the challenge of defending head on. They’re playing as tough a non-league schedule as you’ll see so they should be prepared by the time Mt.Baldy League play rolls around.
The Titans graduated 30 or so seniors, with a dozen of those being significant impact players.
Leading the returning cast is senior quarterback Josh Thompson, who has thrown for 4,465 yards and 37 touchdowns in the last two years. He separated his shoulder later in the regular season and was thought to be lost for the season only to return for the title game against Los Altos.
“He worked really hard in the off-season to get stronger,” Randall said. “He has looked good. We’re looking for more good things out of him this season.”
Some of the other vital cogs in the offense are gone. Look for Fred Harrison to shoulder some of the load carried by the departed Ryan Kinard with Tyrone Hatchett pitching in as well. Senior Tre Bland and sophomroe newcomer Oscar Noyola will be among the big bodies up front clearing the way.
Hugo Malana and Marcos Valencia headline the receiving core.
The offense will be a bit different this season. Chalk that up to the departure of offensive coordinator Kevin Davis who left for the head position at Etiwanda.
Randall says his team will not go up-tempo all the time as it did last year. Instead it will pick and choose its spots. Thompson will also be more over center as opposed to in shotgun formation.
“I like going up-tempo but it hurt as at times,” Randall said. “So we’ll be more conventional at times.”
Randall singles out the defensive line as the team’s strong suit. Returner Tyrique Faatiglia will head the effort along with a couple of newcomers in junior Jacob Chagolla.
Other key defenders include defensive back Khalil Dorsey, who had 11 interceptions last year, as well as newcomer Dallas Trena and linebacker Elijah Arellano.
The Titans begin defense of their title on Aug. 28 with an opener at West Covina, a foe that made it to the second round of the playoffs a year ago.