Above: St. Paul football players David Cabral, left, and Tyler Carrillo are the third and fourth members of their families to be impact players for the Swordsmen. (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer )
By Steve Ramirez
SANTA FE SPRINGS – David Cabral and Tyler Carrillo are St. Paul High School legacies.
The seniors are the latest in the line of their respective families who have not only played football for the Swordsmen but excelled while doing it.
Cabral, the team’s fullback, is the fourth Cabral to put on the Blue and White, joined by his father, Lou, who is also an assistant coach, and brothers Nick and Louie.
Carrillo, who starts at tight end, is living up to the tradition of brothers Andrew and Matthew, who also played tight end. Matthew Carrillo also played at Mt. San Antonio College and Old Dominion.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Carrillo, who figures to be a key player for the Swordsmen when they host Cathedral in their annual homecoming game at 7:30 p.m. Friday. “I can’t really describe it. I used to watch my older brothers play, and now it’s my turn.
“I was the ball boy, and can remember watching them play. They are the reason I wanted to come here.”
Cabral would also like to become the fourth member of his family to play for a CIF-Southern Section title.
His father helped win the Big Five Conference title in 1981, with brothers Nick and Louie playing in divisional title games, respectively, in 1998 and 2007. Louie helped St. Paul secure its last CIF-SS title, the Swordsmen beating Palmdale for the Western Division championship.
“I just want to keep that tradition going,” Cabral said. “I remember coming here and wondering, `How am I going to be playing with guys that are so big?’ But when I got here, they taught me how to just play football and not be scared, no matter how big, how fast, these guys are, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Both are important components for the Swordsmen, who are 5-1 and ranked No. 5 in the CIF-SS Western Division.
Cabral is a big part of St. Paul’s pro-set offensive attack, rushing for 828 yards and six touchdowns last season. He’s also an impact player at linebacker.
His value, though, goes beyond what can be found between the lines.
“David is just one of those rare guys that when he walks into the room, everyone listens to him,” St. Paul coach Marijon Ancich said. “He’s got the ability to get everyone’s attention, and his leadership qualities are second to none.
“On the field, he plays way above his head, and the other players see that. He’s got a vital role and (he’s) not afraid to step forward and go to it.”
Carrillo, a three-year starter who’s a two-time All-Mission League tight end, also is a key player for the Swordsmen.
He combines solid blocking skills with deceptive speed and great catching ability that comes in handy when quarterback Paul Telles breaks the run game and uses play action to surprise the defense.
“He’s a vital guy who has played really well for us,” Ancich said. “He blocks and can catch passes, and there’s nobody else on the team who can combine the two like he can.
“It seems they’re either a lineman or a receiver. They are not both. He’s both. He’s vital to the team.”
Cabral’s play has been limited this season, but he has managed to rush for 82 yards in two games, including 48 in a 31-6 loss to Chaminade in the Mission League opener.
While he looked good in his comeback, though, the final result was unsatisfactory for the senior.
“It was good to get back playing,” he said. “Even though I did OK, it hurts to lose, because it’s a team effort. It’s not about me, it’s about this team, and we came out with a loss.
“But we just have to step up. We have guys coming back and it helps out this team a lot.”
But Carrillo, who suffered a knee injury against Chaminade, said it’s all about getting back to the basics, which he’s ready to do beginning Friday.
“The first five, we should beat those teams,” he said. “Chaminade is a great team. We just couldn’t execute. We just have to continue to work hard.”