Saturday, August 6, 2016

2016 Prep Football Preview: Vista Panthers

Midfield logo at Dick Haines Stadium courtesy of Google Maps

Vista Panthers

Location: Vista, CA
School Colors: Red, Black, & White
Division: I
League: Palomar
Championships: 7 (Section), 22 (League)
Head Coach: Dave Bottom (1st Season)
2015 Record: 4-7 (2-2 Avocado-East, 3rd)

2016 Outlook

By David A. Willauer - Contributing Writer

After 12 seasons that featured back-to-back section title game appearances and a championship victory in 2010, Vista decided to cut ties with longtime head coach Dan Williams.

He was replaced by Dave Bottom, who coached the last three seasons at Everett Alvarez High in Salinas.

The David Bottom era at Vista is set to begin with a huge test, as they open the season at home against former league foe San Marcos. The game takes place on Thursday, August 25th, and will be the first San Diego Section regular season contest of 2016.

“We're going to rededicate Dick Haines Stadium,” said Bottom. “The administration has done a good job, and hope to get the excitement back into Vista Football.”

The Panthers return a lot of players, but the heart and soul of the squad is Suni Lesu, who is expected to be a force on both sides of the line.

Sophomore Josh Davis will succeed Trevino John as the starting quarterback, while senior Abraham Lopez will be expected to fill in for last season’s top rusher and cornerback.

Replacing last season's leading receivers will be senior tight end Elijah Davis and junior track runner Nick Stormo, who will also utilize their talent on defense.

Joining Lesu on the offensive line is Garret Macias. They're the only two players returning from last year.

Both players will be assisted in the front seven by hard-hitting senior linebacker Rey Serrano.

“We're going to be a highly energized and aggressive football team,” proclaimed Bottom. “These guys have been working hard and motivated.”

“We won't be as big as we were last year, but we're going to be strong and very fast.”

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


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