The Colonel and Nine will have a lot to talk about this offseason
And now it’s time for a little something we’ll be doing to wrap up the seasons for most local teams. Will I get around to everybody? No. But I will certainly do all teams in the top 25. We’ll start with Amat, because nothing says “hey, look at this!” like Amat.
Biggest win: 31-28 over Crespi
Worst loss: 31-21 to Tesoro
The Good: The emergence of Jalen Moore at running back and Nine at quarterback as two of the top performers in the Serra League was nice, considering the Lancers were replacing their top QB, RB and WRs from last season. Amat averaged 35 points per game this season. Those numbers helped Colonel Hagerty’s boys march to a 9-0 record and had Robledo and the Amat nation mapping out trip routes to Mission Viejo. It was an exciting first nine weeks (10 actually).
The Bad: The defense, which actually carried the show early, turned out to be not-ready-for-primetime later in the season. Amat was hurting in its back seven due to lack of experience and, quite simply, lack of the needed talent to make consistent stops at the level. Turnovers also hurt the team late in the season, and you couldn’t chalk them up to inexperience because by that time, everybody had nine weeks of what they call “big-boy ball”.
The Ugly: Losing to Tesoro in the first round was a horrific step back for a program that was on the rise. In 2009, the Lancers actually won in the first round. In fact, during the 2000s, Amat’s biggest problem has been the second round. But this year it was the first round and it was a seeded team … and the loss was to a Tesoro team that lost to Chino Hills and was banged up going into the game. As I’ve said all along, the excitement about Amat football is definitely back, but the tangible results are not. When the two actually meet, it should be epic.
Sad to see you go: Julian Gener OL/DE, by far one of the top defensive players in the Valley. Wallace Gonzalez WR, you don’t find frames like his, well, ever. Christian Orduno OL/DL, Amat’s one D-1-looking talent in the trenches.
What to look forward to: Whereas Amat was inexperienced in the skill spots entering this season, it will be oozing with experience next year. QB Rio Ruiz, RBs Jalen Moore and Zach Shay, WR Adam Sanchez, TE Sal Velasquez, all return.