The 2017 football season was bookended by blowouts: The Broncos were soundly defeated by Laton, 58-22 on Sept. 1, and finished the season Oct. 27 with a dominating (90-6) win over undermanned Shandon.
In between, the Broncos experienced a Jekyll-and-Hyde-like rollercoaster ride in which they were humbled 66-6 by Mission Prep on Sept. 8 and handed Maricopa an embarrassing 53-0 setback Sept. 29.
Notwithstanding their three nonleague losses, Coast Union positioned itself to claim the Coast Valley League title, carrying an unbeaten CVL record going into the pivotal game against Valley Christian Academy before being blown out 72-34.
Coach Ron Garcia told The Cambrian at the outset of the season that he and offensive coordinator Charlie Casale were cognizant of the lack of “depth and experience” on their team.
After the loss to Mission Prep, a game in which previous injuries to a pair of Coast Union’s offensive weapons (Damien Fernandez and Juan Mejia) hurt the team, Garcia promised to “remain positive and continue to teach the game as best we can to these players.”
Thereafter, a number of student athletes under Garcia and Casale’s leadership learned the system and played capably. When senior Riley Kennedy went down with a broken thumb, sophomore backup Emany Plasencia stepped in and passed for 444 yards (completing 29 passes in 56 attempts). He also rushed for 148 yards during the season and showed his talent at kicking by booting most of his kickoffs into the end zone; he also handled punting and kicked 24 extra points.
Prior to his injury, Kennedy completed 35 passes in 72 attempts for 310 yards; he gained 687 yards rushing, 182 yards receiving, and was credited by the team’s stats on MaxPreps with 27 solo tackles.
Senior Eddie Camacho rushed for 143 yards (scoring six touchdowns, including three against Shandon); caught 16 passes for 210 yards, led the team in solo tackles with 36 (assisted in 37), and recovered two fumbles.
Sophomore Damien Fernandez led the team in rushing with 906 yards and in all purpose yards with 1,472 (which includes kick returns); and he caught passes for 177 yards, according to MaxPreps. He also had 11 tackles and assisted with 14.
Sophomore center and nose tackle Spencer Magnuson racked up 15 solo tackles, assisted on 24, had a pair of sacks on defense and, on offense, used his skills to snap the ball directly into the quarterback’s hands.
On defense, junior Brian Bautista had 24 solo tackles (and assisted in 34), four sacks of the opposing quarterbacks, and recovered a fumble.
Seniors Nic Robertson and Luis Aguilar each had eight solo tackles, and Robertson assisted on 16 while Aguilar assisted on 14 tackles.
The Broncos ended with a 5-4 overall record (3-1 in the CVL).