Barstow in rebuilding mode

After a hiatus for vacations and things of the like over the past few weeks, we are getting back to business on the blog with team-by-team high school previews. Over the next month, we’ll be showcasing every county school east of the 15 and south of Barstow, where we’ll start off today.

The first two years of the Jose Rubio era in Barstow have been fruitful, as the Aztecs have a combined 17-8 record and made a run to the Eastern Division championship game in 2008. But the bulk of the contributors from the last two years have moved on, as 27 seniors depart from last year’s 7-4 team.

“I guess you could say we are rebuilding,” Rubio said. “On offense we return our quarterback and center basically, while on defense we lost our linebackers and defensive tackles. We’ll be young but we are excited to see what some of these guys can do.”

Offensively, Barstow might stray from its double-wing offense a bit more this year. While Rubio said similar things last year to no real change, having a returning starting quarterback in senior Steven Deverell and a big offensive line led by 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior center Dylan Barton and 6-6, 280-pound junior tackle Bobby Alvarez – along with a new offensive coordinator – has Rubio convinced that the Aztecs will go to the air a bit more.

“I’m not the offensive coordinator any more, so I think that’ll help us move away from the double-wing a bit,” Rubio said. “With our offensive line, you’ll still see us run some out of that formation, but I feel like Steven has the ability to open up our offense a bit.”

The Aztecs are frightfully young at running back, as they’ll feature either diminutive 5-5, 120-pound junior Ricky Burns or sophomores Tracy Venable and Dominic Silva. The RBs will be used in the passing game, along with senior WR Dex Yarber and senior 6-4 WR Stokey Coney, who has 4.4 speed according to Rubio.

Barstow returns four starters defensively – two defensive ends and two DBs. Seniors Chris Smalls (6-2, 230) and Jonas Niusulu (6-2, 225) will play at DE, with Yarber playing at CB and Deverell starting at safety. Niusulu has lost weight since last year, which will allow him to play some at linebacker as well.

2010 Barstow schedule (home games in CAPS, league games with *)

Sept. 3 – APPLE VALLEY
Sept. 10 – at Kaiser
Sept. 17 – PARACLETE
Sept. 24 – at Quartz Hill
Oct. 8 – at Sultana
Oct. 15 – GRANITE HILLS*
Oct. 22 – at Ridgecrest Burroughs*
Oct. 29 – at Victor Valley*
Nov. 5 – SERRANO
Nov. 12 – SILVERADO*