READY FOR MORE: Quarterback Andrew Elffers will be a key for Maranatha this season.
Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
By all accounts, Maranatha High School football coach Pete Karavedas’ first season with the Minutemen was a success.
Maranatha won its first six games en route to an 8-3 season that ended with a 9-0 loss to San Gabriel in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
But Karavedas, who came to the Pasadena school after an assistant coaching stint at Whittier Christian, doesn’t want his Minutemen to rest on their laurels when his team opens the season Friday at home against Antelope Valley.
“Our boys are not looking to start 6-0 (again),” Karavedas said. “We don’t care about that. We want to win (the Olympic) League. We’re looking forward, not just to be good but great. You can be satisfied with 8-3 or are you going to push yourself to achieve more?
“We can stay where we’re at, but if we want to be great we have to do more. We want more, so we need to give more and work more.”
The Minutemen, expected to challenge 2011 co-Olympic League champions Whittier Christian and Cerritos Valley Christian this season, have the ability and talent to achieve their goals.
Senior Andrew Elffers, who has plenty of Division I interest, is one of the top quarterbacks in the area. Combined with a defense that features league defensive MVP Matt Hall at linebacker, the Minutemen are thinking great things.
But they have a tough challenge on Friday. Antelope Valley was just 2-8 last season, but traditionally faces a tough schedule while competing in the Golden League.
The Antelopes are led by running back Cameron French, who rushed for almost 1,200 yards last season.
“They are very athletic and play at an elite level,” Karavedas said. “They did not win a lot of football games last year, but they play a lot of tough teams.
“We want to schedule up. It’s going to be tough, but we want that. They are very impressive. If we can do the little things right, be more disciplined than them, we can come out on top.”
Maranatha comes into Friday’s opener a little shorthanded, thanks to the possible absence of three starters.
The list includes offensive lineman Jorge Costello, who is recovering from a concussion he suffered over the summer and might not be ready until Week 3, and senior defensive lineman/tight end Logan McClain, who transferred from Blair and may not be eligible.
McClain would not be eligible until Oct. 1 if Blair fields a team and plays at least two games.
The Vikings, according to coach Johnny Lopez, have 22 players in camp, although some reports list the number closer to 14.