The 2015 season tested the will of the Templeton High School football team.
Running back Isaac Lindsey’s nearly fatal head injury during the fourth game of the season changed the trajectory of his life and had a lasting impact of the players who were there.
This season, Lindsey is back. Though he will never take the field for Templeton again, he will be one of the captains on the 2016 team.
“It is great to have him back,” head coach Tyler Lane said. “He was such an emotional leader before the injury, and now that he is back it’s great.”
Lane is entering his first year as head coach following the departure of Dan Loney, who is now an assistant football coach at Paso Robles.
With a young quarterback and a thin roster, Lane has his work cut of for him. Templeton will look to use its overall team speed and a spread attack to improve on last season.
Templeton at a glance
2015 record: 6-5 overall, 2-2 Northern League
Templeton got off to a 4-0 start before the shock of the Lindsey injury sent the team into a three-game losing streak, making it hard for the team to recover. The Eagles made it to the postseason but lost in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs to Valley Christian, 77-54.
Jordan Bernal (QB), Michael Capelli (RB), Clint Howland (LB), Matteo D’Alfonso (WR), Jaret Butz (WR)
Templeton lost four big weapons on the offensive side. Bernal threw for 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns and led an offense that gained nearly 400 yards per game. D’Alfonso and Butz provided size at wideout and combined for 14 touchdowns. Capelli was the team’s leading rusher with four 100-yard games and scored 12 total touchdowns, and Howland led the team in tackles by a large margin.
Nate Avery (RB/LB, Sr.), Dylan Prins (RB/LB, Sr.), Isiah Harrold (RB/LB, Jr.), Chase Howland (DB, Jr.), Colton Wiggons (OL/DL, Jr.)
Avery missed three games with a shoulder injury but still scored 10 touchdowns. This season, Avery will be the primary running back and will take on a new role as a linebacker alongside Prins, where Templeton should be strong. Harrold, who played well with limited touches as a sophomore, will get more looks this season as a running back and receiver. Chase Howland was second on the team in tackles last season and will look to fill the void left by his brother. Wiggons will take on a new role as run stopper on the defensive line along with his duties holding down the offensive line.
Under The Radar
Morgan Scovell (QB, Jr.), Jack Trimble (QB, Soph.), Zack Hewitson (RB, Jr.), Colton Anderson (OL/DL, Sr.), Gaston Bryars (RB, TE, Sr.)
Heading into the first game, Scovell — who has been primarily a baseball player and didn’t play football last year — is getting most of the reps at quarterback. But Trimble, who quarterbacked the junior varsity team last year, is expected to get some playing time this season. Hewitson and Bryars will fill out Lane’s spread attack. Anderson will be a key part of the Eagles defensive line.
@Santa Ynez (Sept. 23), @Lompoc (Sept. 30)
Last season, Templeton faltered in the back end of the preseason schedule. This year, the Eagles have two difficult games before the first league game against Nipomo. Templeton doesn’t need to win against Santa Ynez and Lompoc, but strong showings will set the tone heading into the back half of the season.
Templeton is ranked in the top half of Division 10, which includes Mission Prep and San Luis Obispo. Out of 38 teams in the division, Templeton comes in at No. 8 and No. 203 out of 306 teams in the CIF-Southern Section.