John Beck’s first year at Arrowhead Christian was a harrowing one, as a rash of injuries had him with an 8-man-team sized available roster that was filled with wet-behind-the-ear freshmen who were more suited to playing at the junior varsity level.
“Last year, we had 26-28 guys and I’d guess that 15 of them were freshmen,” Beck said. “It was definitely a hard situation and a lot of these kids had to learn on the fly against a really tough schedule. They were a gutsy group last year.”
The Eagles are hoping that the desperation of 2010 will speed up the building process in 2011. ACA is still low on numbers in the junior and senior classes, as there are only 13 kids in the oldest two classes on the roster. But a group of precocious sophomores with varsity experience and a large freshman class has Beck pretty excited about the future.
“I think the future looks really bright and I think the guys that had to play last year are really going to benefit from it,” Beck said. “If they stick with it, we’ll have some fourth-year varsity players in a couple years and that will help us out a lot.”
One of those sophomores who were thrown into the fire was quarterback Sean Pena. Pena (6-1, 150) started last year as the third-string QB but injuries forced him into early duty. Another sophomore that got a lot of playing time as a freshman is running back/defensive back Josh Richardson (5-7, 165).
Richardson will be joined in the backfield by one of the Eagles’ seniors, Matt McPherson (5-11, 185), who will also play linebacker. The primary returning receiver for ACA will be senior David Donnelly (5-8, 165), who will also play cornerback on defense.
The Eagles are led in the trenches by senior nose tackle/offensive lineman Cameron Storay. The 6-foot, 250-pound Storay has the ability to get a football scholarship at the Division II or at the FCS level according to Beck. Senior William Shaver (6-1, 240) will also return on both lines.
Arrowhead Christian schedule (Home games in CAPS, * indicates league game)
Sept. 3: at Los Angeles Baptist
Sept. 9: HUNTINGTON BEACH BRETHREN CHRISTIAN
Sept. 16: BIG BEAR
Sept. 24: vs. Downey Calvary Chapel (Downey HS)
Sept. 30: at Irvine Crean Lutheran
Oct. 14: at Ontario Christian*
Oct. 21: TEMECULA LINFIELD CHRISTIAN*
Oct. 28: at Western Christian*
Nov. 4: CALVARY MURRIETA*
Nov. 11: AQUINAS*