Two years ago, it was as good as it has ever been for Hesperia football. The Scorpions, under head coach Robert Kistner and running back Gavin Santos, rolled through the Mojave River League en route to a school-record 11-1 season. But those moments might as well have been decades ago as far as Hesperia is concerned.
All remnants from the 20 wins in 2007 and 2008, including Kistner, are gone. Left in their wake is a group of three returning starters that are coming back to a team that was 3-7 last year under brand-new coach Jeremy Topete. As Topete enters year two, he realizes that building Hesperia back up isn’t a small task.
“I guess you can say we are officially rebuilding right now,” Topete said. “We really do not have many kids coming back that have played at this level. It’s going to be a challenge but it is one that we are ready to face.”
The guys that are returning will have another year in Topete’s system, something the coach is looking forward to. But the desire that the Scorpions have to improve will have to compensate for a lack of size, as senior offensive lineman/nose tackle Devin Diggs (6-2, 285) is the exception to the rule.
“We aren’t very big on either line, which means we are going to have to work hard on technique,” Topete said. “We have some younger guys that might eventually be there, but for now we aren’t going to be very big.”
Joining Diggs as returning starters are senior linebacker/offensive lineman Joey Medley (5-9, 185) and safety/wide receiver Branden Maddison (5-9, 170). Senior offensive lineman Joe Quesada (5-10, 225) also played quite a bit last year for the Scorpions.
Junior James Manibusan, who was the backup quarterback a year ago, will take the reins this year. Manibusan (5-10, 175) will have Maddison to throw to and a group of three running backs to hand off to in senior Daron White and juniors Daniel Rodriguez and Kavon Burnett. White (5-6, 150) and Rodriguez (5-6, 160) are your traditional scatbacks while Burnett (5-10, 165) adds a tiny bit more size.
Hesperia 2010 schedule (Home games in CAPS, * indicates league game)
Sept. 3 – RIDGECREST BURROUGHS
Sept. 10 – GRANITE HILLS
Sept. 17 – at Victor Valley
Sept. 24 – at Palm Desert
Oct. 1 – JURUPA VALLEY
Oct. 8 – at Kaiser
Oct. 22 – APPLE VALLEY*
Oct. 29 – at Sultana*
Nov. 5 – OAK HILLS*
Nov. 12 – at Serrano*