Monday, August 22, 2016

2016 Prep Football Preseason Rankings: #2 St. Augustine Saints

#2 St. Augustine Saints

Location: San Diego, CA
School Colors: Purple & Gold
Division: I
League: Western
Championships: 5 (Section), 13 (League)
Head Coach: Richard Sanchez (8th Season)

2015 Recap: 10-3 (3-0 Eastern, 1st)

St. Augustine had a few slip-ups against intersectional opponents during the regular season, but their dominance over foes from San Diego would lead them to its fourth consecutive appearance in a section championship game. Much like their previous title game outing, the Saints found themselves in a thrilling battle, only this time the Open Division title was on the line. While top-seeded Helix prevailed 44-30, the Saints had a season to be proud of. It was capped off by four-year standout Elijah Preston winning the Silver Pigskin Player of the Year award.

2016 Outlook

Last year St. Augustine boasted a veteran team that was arguably its most talented and decorated in program history. This year they'll be trying to fill the void they left behind by a senior class that played a huge role in winning two of four straight section title games.

Nowhere is that void bigger than on the offensive line.

Being asked to carry the load is senior Max Ramirez, junior Mohammad Khalil, and junior Keoni Hughes. They'll be joined by Jonathan Lewis, who was a dominant nose-guard as a junior, and will likely play on both side of the ball this season.

With all-time leading rusher Elijah Preston moving on to the collegiate ranks, St. Augustine will have some giant shoes to fill in the run game. Darrell Broussard has been the early leader through camp, but several players have taken snaps during the off-season, so the ground attack will most likely be a committee when the season kicks off.

The passing attack will be powered by Rodney Thompson, who returns after throwing for 1705 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior. The explosive dual-threat is expected to be a field general this season while helping new starters function in their roles.

The Saints are looking for a third wideout to step up and complement Tariq Thompson and Noah DiNapoli.

On defense, the linebacking corp is full of talented individuals fighting for starting jobs. According to team officials, Andrew Alves, Brenden Silvia, Issac Hall, David Ambagtsheer, Kaori McGowan, and Tysean White have all been working tirelessly to make the Saint's flex-defense into one of the top units in the county.

Unfortunately, the flex only has four positions for linebackers, so someone might have to switch roles or move to offense.

The defensive line is looking like one of the fastest the program has had in years, and senior Courtland Koonce will be the heart of that unit. His return from an ACL injury suffered last year will be crucial to the success of the front-seven.

Nothing breeds success like competition, and the coaching staff is hopeful that this camp will help the program maintain its status as one of the most consistent winners in the San Diego Section.

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

Impact Losses

OL/DL Michael Alves
WR Jacob Baker
RB Elijah Preston
LB Quinn Seau
RB/LB Francoise Sims II

Impact Returners

Junior LB/TE Andrew Alves
44 tackles & 15 sacks in 2015

Junior OL Mohamed Khalil
Started 12 games in 2015

Senior QB Rodney Thompson
2015 All-CIF San Diego 2nd Team Offense

Senior DB Tariq Thompson
2015 All-CIF San Diego 2nd Team Defense


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