After ruling the county football scene for nearly three decades, Fontana High School hasn’t had much go its way in this decade. The Steelers haven’t made the playoffs since 2003, haven’t won more than two games in a season since then and saw a 29-game losing streak thrown in for good measure.
The Steelers have gone through different coaches, have seen star players transfer to other teams in controversial ways and have even seen a riot at school cause them to forfeit a home football game. Needless to say, Fohi could use a twist of luck.
However, it doesn’t seem to be coming this year. Lance Ozier is in his fourth year at the helm of the Steelers and has slowly made them a little bit more competitive every year, going from zero wins in 2006 to two wins in each of the last two years.
There’s a good chance of at least three wins this year, with the Steelers being in a weakened Citrus Belt League and having winnable games against Pacific and San Bernardino in the schedule. Fontana also has an ace in the hole, as senior quarterback Manuel Salgado is entering his third season as the starting quarterback.
Salgado had seven combined touchdowns a year ago, passing for three touchdowns and rushing for four others. The Steelers will have some size on the offensive line returning, with Blake Collinsworth and Daniel Castellanos leading the way. Fontana will have to find a running back to replace Kory Ozier, who ran for nearly 1,000 yards a year ago.
Any real improvement out of Fontana will be dependent on the defense. The Steelers gave up the most points of any team in the CBL last year, giving up 29.4 points per game. Any improvement in that statistic will come through an experienced linebacker corps led by senior Richard Thorpe.
Fontana’s schedule (Home games in CAPS, league games with *)
Sept. 11 – PACIFIC
Sept. 18 – vs. Summit (Miller HS)
Sept. 25 – SAN BERNARDINO
Oct. 2 – MILLER*
Oct. 9 – at Redlands*
Oct. 16 – vs. Redlands East Valley (U of Redlands)*
Oct. 23 – EISENHOWER*
Oct. 30 – at Yucaipa*
Nov. 6 – at Carter*
Nov. 13 – RIALTO*