Cambrian: Sports

New eight-man football era launches Friday

The Bronco varsity offensive team is ready for their season opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, on the Coast Union campus. This is the first game since Coast Union switched back to the eight-man football format. In this photo there are 11 players; some players will be shuttled in and out depending on offensive schemes. In front from left are Fernando De Alba, Kisslev Justo, Chuy Nunez, Grant Magnuson, Alex De Alba and Lionel Salas. In back are Emmany Godinez, Austin Eide, Nolan Baldwin, Alex Bautista and Tommy Howard.
The Bronco varsity offensive team is ready for their season opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, on the Coast Union campus. This is the first game since Coast Union switched back to the eight-man football format. In this photo there are 11 players; some players will be shuttled in and out depending on offensive schemes. In front from left are Fernando De Alba, Kisslev Justo, Chuy Nunez, Grant Magnuson, Alex De Alba and Lionel Salas. In back are Emmany Godinez, Austin Eide, Nolan Baldwin, Alex Bautista and Tommy Howard. PHOTO BY JOHN FITZRANDOLPH

Coast Union’s football program has used both the eightman and 11- man format through the years. Enrollment has shrunk in recent years and Coast Union is returning this year to eight-man football.

Beginning at 7 p. m Friday, Aug. 31, on their home field, the Broncos will face Orcutt Academy — and the team is hoping for a strong local turnout of fans.

Given that the same speedy and talented players that won seven straight games last year as junior varsity players will be on the field this year, it is reasonable to assume these student athletes will be aggressive in pursuit of success.

As a warm-up to the launch of the eight-man football program, Coast Union’s head coach Chuck Garcia and offensive coach Charlie Casale took the team on a four-hour drive Saturday, Aug. 25, to a place that was really warm—Canoga Park, where it was 95 degrees.

There, the Broncos scrimmaged against eightman teams from Faith Baptist (of Canoga Park, ranked No. 2 in California) and from Avalon High School (in Santa Catalina, ranked No. 3 in the state).

Coast Union had 40 plays against each of these very tough teams. Garcia said, “I wanted to challenge them. It was a step up for our kids but they did fine. We’re very happy with the way the kids played.”

In those 80 plays, the Broncos gained about 225 yard passing and roughly 135 yards on the ground, Garcia reported. Avalon stopped the Broncos’ run game cold on several occasions, and the team from Catalina pulled some “trick plays” on Coast Union.

But head coach Garcia rated his players’ efforts as “a very good transition,” and, he added, “to get out there the first time and play against good teams—we’re very happy with that.”

Meanwhile the Bronco junior varsity “dominated against both teams,” the coach continued. “They were very good and we’re very pleased with their performance.”

After the scrimmage the host school, Faith Baptist, treated the visitors from Avalon and Coast Union to a swim party, topped off with the quintessentially ideal meal for high school football players: pizza.

As to Friday night’s opening game against Orcutt Academy, Garcia said: “The team we’re playing is going to be under siege. We’re going after them.”

For those who can’t attend, the game can be heard live on KMGQ-FM at 103.5.

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