It’s a new year, and a lot of new faces for Templeton High’s football squad.
The Eagles have just four returning starters from last season when they went 7-4 overall and 4-2 in the Los Padres League, where they finished third.
Templeton coach Dan Loney said the Eagles are “basically starting from scratch” and trying to find the right positions for players and developing their skills.
“I haven’t been around this type of atmosphere before where we graduated so many seniors,” Loney said. “Our goal as coaches is to kind of do the Moneyball aspect of it. We’re going to find the best 11 and get them on the field and hopefully we’ll have productivity as the season goes on.”
Loney said juniors Brody Camping and Clay Villars, vying for playing time at quarterback, have shown different skill sets and strengths.
“Villars throws the ball a little bit better, and Brody runs it a little better,” Loney said. “They work hard at fixing what they don’t do well. Both are competitors. They’re helping each other out and they’re competing at those spots.”
Other impact players are likely to be running back Chris Romero, wide receivers Elijah Brooks and Spencer Martinelli, linebacker Robert Silva, and defensive lineman Max Schneider.
One of the players who started last year, Austin McIntyre, will have two years of varsity under his belt.
“The more years, and the more experience you have, the more comfortable you get on game nights,” McIntyre said. “You’re not so nervous. You’ve been there before. The jitters go away.”
McIntyre said this will be his first season at center, however, and he has been working hard on his shotgun snaps as part of an option package.
“The snap has to be there, and at the right speed,” McIntyre said. “The ball can’t be on the ground or else it could be going the other direction.”
Camping said after a recent practice his learning curve has included making better reads and good decisions in the option game.
“I’m a lot more comfortable with pre-snap read and also, during the play, running the option,” Camping said. “I’ve been working hard since January. I’ve been striving to be a good leader.”
Last year’s crop of seniors included standout quarterback Alex Elterman, receivers Andy Garretson, Tobey Isbell and Tyler Murphee, who accounted for about 1,500 combined passing yards.
But other teams in the league will see big changes on the roster this year too, and Templeton players are ready for the challenge, they say, of competing with anyone.
“I think the league will be pretty equal this year,” Camping said. “I think we’ll be ready to go.”