Friday, August 12, 2016

2016 Prep Football Preseason Rankings: #6 Oceanside Pirates

#6 Oceanside Pirates

Location: Oceanside, CA
School Colors: Green, Black, & White
Division: I
League: Avocado
Championships: 2 (State), 16 (Section), 21 (League)
Head Coach: David Rodriguez (2nd Season)

2015 Recap: 9-5 (2-2 Avocado West, T-2nd)

CIF San Diego Division I Champions

After a 45-0 blanking from Mission Hills set off its first three-game losing streak since 2005, it became safe to wonder if the most accomplished program in the county had lost its edge without legendary leader John Carroll.

Oceanside dusted itself off and went on to be victorious in their next five games, including a 23-14 victory over rival El Camino to earn its first post-Carroll section title.

While the 2015 campaign ended the following week with a 36-14 defeat to La Mirada in the state regional, the first season under Dave Rodriguez should be considered a huge success.

2016 Outlook

The reigning CIF San Diego Division I champions will be playing with heavy hearts as they dedicate the 2016 season to their fallen assistant coach and former player Pulu Poumele.

Despite losing 23 seniors, the Pirates will head into the season with a veteran bunch.

In an offense that returns seven starters from last season's title run, Max Shuffer will succeed Robby Beardsley as the starting quarterback.

The top three receiving leaders from 2015 have moved on, so Shuffer will look to Jake Gerardi, Julian Hicks, and Azizi Hearn, all who contributed as juniors last year.

Hicks and Hearn are also parts I & II of Oceanside's "bookend big corners", while the versatile Gerardi will kick, punt, play tight end, and defensive end.

Shuffer will also be targeting Josh Garcia, a fast and tough inside receiver who is primed to have a big senior season, and Jordan Smith, who may be one of the top two fastest players on the team. 

According to Rodriguez, Puka Taylor is having a great off-season, and is likely to be another weapon in the receiving corp.

After rushing for 377 yards as a sophomore last year, Tevin Meadows, who Rodriguez refers to as the team's emotional leader, is expected to shoulder the load as the premier running back.

Senior guard Mykel Bernal will help anchor a huge offensive line. Joining him on the left side is junior tackle Donovan Laie.

"Great athleticism for a big man," Rodriguez says.

With the loss of All-CIF center J.B. Hunter, the Pirates will depend on Dyllan Tui'see to help keep defenders off Shuffer, and clear lanes for the running backs. The 305-pound senior will be working next to experienced right guard Robert Marcial.

Isiah Taylor and Mason Buzcek will play on both sides of the line, providing depth for a defense that graduated four starters from last season, including two All-CIF selections.

An athletic secondary will be quarterbacked by junior free safety Armand Marks-Fesili and senior strong safety Jason Sroufe; while Tanner Schaul, Mikah Linnan, Jesus Gonzales, and Jacob Bernard look to uphold the tradition of great Oceanside linebackers.

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

Impact Losses

Center J.B. Hunter
WR/DB Anthony Martinez
RB Niko Mageo
WR Isaia Paopao
OL/DL Nick Zimmerman

Impact Returners

Senior WR/DB Azizi Hearn
Senior WR/TE/DE Jake Gerardi
Senior OL Mykel Bernal


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