Justin Randall considers himself pretty fortunate. He just landed his first “head” coaching gig and he is in a place where the cupboard is hardly empty – Carter.
Preparations for the season are underway and Randall, son of Colony Head Coach Steve Randall, has a hard time containing his enthusiasm.
“We have really good kids here,” he said, “I stepped into a good situation. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”
Previous coach Alex Pierce moved over to Los Osos and Randall was chosen as his successor. He spent last year at Citrus College. Before that he spent four years working for his father at Colony. He also had a year at Ontario as an assistant coach.
Despite being one of the younger head coaches in the area at 26, he says he considers himself an “old-school” coach from having hung around his father and his coaching contemporaries.
“I have been around the game my while life,” he said. “I can’t imagine not being part of it.”
Randall will be the team’s defensive coordinator while Steve Johnston, who had been with Randall’s dad at Colony, will be offensive coordinator.
Last year the Lions went 5-5 in the regular season with a 3-4 mark in the tough Citrus Belt League. Randall will have several key players returning. He is most high on senior safety-wide receiver Justice Hamilton whom he says has the potential to be one of the top players in the Inland Empire.
Many of the Lions top players will be asked to contribute one both sides of the ball. Among the others are senior linebacker-running back Lemusu Toailoa, last in the line of talented football-playing brothers, senior lineman Daimon Ross and senior receiver-corner Keion Guyton.
Randall likes the combination he will have at running back in Toailoa and D.J. Thomas and thinks the strongest part of the defense will be the secondary.
The biggest question mark will be at quarterback where senior Wayne Schuster, junior Eddie Torres and sophomore Serbando Lopez are battling for the starting job.
The Lions won;t have to wait long for an interesting storyline as they open the season against Los Osos, headed by their former coach. Stay tuned.
Aug. 25 – Los Osos
Sept. 1 – At Rancho Verde
Sept. 8 – San Jacinto
Sept. 22 – At Miller
Sept. 29 – Redlands
Oct. 6 – Redlands East Valley (At Citrus Valley)
Oct. 13 – Yucaipa
Oct. 20 – At Citrus Valley
Oct. 27 – At Cajon
Nov. 3 – Eisenhower