First of all, I apologize for the extended break between posts. Between vacations and the general slow nature of the summer, I haven’t been on here in a while. But with football season coming up, I plan to make up for that a bit with some team previews.
I’ll first start off with Colton because, quite frankly, Harold Strauss was the first coach I was able to get in contact with today. Strauss, as you guys probably know by now, will be coaching his final season with the Yellowjackets, as he has been named to replace David Drake as Colton’s athletic director.
His last team could be his best team. Last year’s team – which had a bunch of starters who couldn’t legally drive – grinded out a 6-4-1 record and had eventual Central Division champion Rancho Cucamonga down 10 points in the second half before falling 21-17 in the first round of the playoffs.
Well, those Yellowjackets can drive legally and should be considered the favorite to win the San Andreas League. After winning in 2006 and 2007, last year’s third-place finish is something that Colton is looking to put in the past.
“Everyone was real disappointed with where we finished in the SAL,” Strauss said. “We weren’t disappointed with the effort, which was very good – quite frankly, we probably overachieved considering our youth. But there is a program standard here of winning titles, and we are disappointed when that doesn’t happen.”
Colton also has a tradition of sending players to Division I schools, with Allen Bradford (USC), Shareece Wright (USC), Damien Holmes (UCLA), Daniel Sorensen (BYU) and Nat Berhe (San Diego State) advancing to that level in recent years.
This year should be no different, as three players – kicker Alejandro Maldonado, defensive back Derrick Malone and defensive back Jonathan Mack – are expected to get D-1 scholarships. Maldonado has already verbally committed to Washington, Malone has 10 offers from the likes of Nebraska, Arizona State and Washington while Mack has offers from schools like Nebraska, Iowa State and UNLV. Two juniors, running back Tyler Irvin and linebacker Rodney Hardrick, are also receiving quite a bit of college attention according to Strauss.
So what does this all mean? Colton should be back to being Colton. Depth could be an issue, but speed, especially on defense, is a big selling point for a Yellowjacket run in the playoffs. They also have a dual-threat quarterback in junior Jordan Mixon that Strauss is high on.
“When we had our guys run at the combine this summer, all of our defensive guys ran a 4.6 or under,” Strauss said. “That’s serious speed and that’s something we are excited about.”
Colton’s schedule (home games in CAPS, league games with *)
Sept. 11 – VISTA MURRIETA
Sept. 18 – LA QUINTA
Sept. 25 – PALM SPRINGS
Oct. 2 – CHAFFEY
Oct. 9 – at Kaiser
Oct. 16 – ARROYO VALLEY*
Oct. 23 – at San Bernardino*
Oct. 30 – CAJON*
Nov. 6 – at San Gorgonio*
Nov. 13 – at Pacific*