Thursday, August 28, 2014

2014 Prep Football Preseason Rankings: #2 St. Augustine Saints

#2 St. Augustine Saints

Location: San Diego, CA
School Colors: Purple & Gold
Division: I
League: Eastern
Championships: 4 (Section), 13 (League)
Head Coach: Richard Sanchez (6th Season)

2013 Recap: 11-2 D-II Section Champions (4-0 Eastern League, 1st)
The Saints set a team record in points scored (583) and made their second straight section championship appearance. They earned their first title since 2006 after routing Mission Bay 49-0.

Early Outlook

After ending last season on an eight-game win streak, the Saints are tied with Sweetwater for the longest active streak in the county. That will be put to the test when they kick off the 2014 schedule with road trips to Oceanside, Madison, and Loyola in Los Angeles.

Senior Tommy Goodridge will succeed Joe Joe Hudson as the starting quarterback. He'll be handing off to junior Elijah Preston, who rushed for 3,175 yards and 32 touchdowns since making his varsity debut as a freshman. 

The offensive line should remain stout with the return of three starters from last season (Junior RG Mike Alves, Senior C Chris Gesell, & Senior LT Daniel Ramirez).

With 25 scholarship offers, two-way athlete Frank Buncom IV enters his senior season as one of the most sought after college prospects in the county. He'll be joined on defense by junior linebacker Quinn Seau, who earned all-league honors as a sophomore last season.

Saints head coach Richard Sanchez took some time out of his team's preparation for Oceanside to answer some questions about the upcoming season.

SDFN: Can you talk about the current state of the team and your expectations for 2014 season?
Sanchez: We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made as a team and as a program over the summer. We had the opportunity to participate in the USD full contact camp early in the summer, where we were able to scrimmage against some really good teams and get some of our younger players some extremely valuable experience. We had a successful summer in various passing tournaments, winning the South County tournament at Southwestern College for the second year in a row. We have an awful lot of talent, particularly on the offensive line, and a quarterback who, although it’s his first year as a starter, he has a lot of experience and a ton of savvy about him, but we do have a lot of players stepping up into new roles this year.
We are also about to face what is probably one of the toughest schedules in the entire CIF San Diego Section. We open the season at perennial powerhouse Oceanside, then go to Madison, travel up to Los Angeles to face Loyola High School; we face Eastlake, who is always one of the top teams in the county, and we also head up to Riverside County to play a Vista Murrieta team that seems to always be involved in the State playoff picture. And that’s just our non-league opponents. Let’s not forget about Cathedral Catholic, our biggest rival and annual championship contender.
So we’re optimistic, but we know it’s going to be one helluva grind, and we’re going to have to play our best in order to be successful. If we do somehow manage to win a championship, we’ll certainly have earned it with this schedule.

SDFN: What will it take for the Saints to make a run to the state championship?
Sanchez: With the new playoff format and the schedule we face, it’s going to be incredibly tough. We just missed out the last two years, but this year, since we expect to be placed in the San Diego Section’s Open Division, it’s going to be that much more difficult. But really, what it boils down to, is we have to win. If we take care of our business, the rest will take care of itself. If we can manage to get through our schedule relatively unscathed, I expect we’ll be right there in the hunt for a state title.

SDFN: This program is becoming known for having talented underclassmen. Are there any young players on the roster that you're expecting to make an impact this season?

Sanchez: We have a young freshman, Isaac Taylor, who like Frank Buncom three years ago, has stepped in and earned a starting corner position. He’s looked really good through fall camp. We have a whole new receiving corps, including Darrell Broussard, Terry Wright, and Jordan Brooks. While they’re untested, they have an awful lot of talent among them. And of course there’s our returning juniors who all either started or played significant roles since they were freshmen: Elijah Preston, Quinn Seau, and Francoise Sims.
Impact Losses
DL Nick Allard
OL/DL Cole Habib
WR/DB Ryan Harris
RB Tyler Herburger
QB Joe Joe Hudson
TE Ethan Sanchez (USD)
OL/DL Zach Smith
OL/RB Derek Vierra
Impact Returners
Junior OL/DL Mike Alves 6'4" 324lbs
- 2013 All-Eastern League Second-Team Offense

Senior CB/WR Frank Buncom IV 6'2" 195lbs
- 2013 All-CIF San Diego Second-Team Defense
- 2013 All-Eastern League First-Team Defense

Junior RB Elijah Preston 5'6" 175lbs
- 2013 All-CIF San Diego Second-Team Offense
- 2013 All-Eastern League First-Team Offense

Junior LB Quinn Seau 6'0" 202lbs
- 2013 All-Eastern League Second-Team Defense

2014 Schedule
August 29 @ #3 Oceanside (R)
September 5 @
#9 Madison
September 12 @ Loyola (Los Angeles, CA)
September 19 vs. Otay Ranch
September 26 vs.
#5 Eastlake (R)
October 3 @ Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA)
October 17 vs. Mira Mesa*
October 24 vs.
#4 Cathedral Catholic* (#)
October 31 vs. Scripps Ranch*
November 7 @ Lincoln*

*League Game
(R) Revenge Game
(#) Rivalry Game


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