Monday, February 19 , 2018, 10:13 am | Fair 51º


Bishop Diego Football Preview

Cardinals have the size and experience to tackle a challenging schedule

An experienced, physical offensive line that opens holes for a powerful, fast running back will be the bread and butter for the Bishop Diego football team this fall.

The Cardinals return four O-line starters from a squad that went 12-1 and advanced to the CIF Division 3 semifinals. They'll be paving the way for 6-foot-2, 205-pound John Harris, who is looking forward to a big junior season after being slowed by an injury last year. He still rushed for 620 yards on 63 carries and scored eight touchdowns                 

"I hope to play better than last year, a lot more yards and no injuries. That's my goal," Harris said.

Having so much experience on the front line is something different at Bishop.

"It's a little bit different because in the past, most of our experience was in the skilled position players," Coach Tom Crawford said. "With this team, our real experience and depth is in the line."

The Cardinals actually have veterans all over the field, which will bode well for the tough schedule they face — non-league games against Righetti, St. Joseph, La Salle, Mission Prep and Santa Fe Christian.

"The good news for us is we have a solid group of guys that got playoff experience and we do return a large number of guys on offense and defense that started in multiple games," Crawford said. "So, there is a sense among the guys that they know what to expect."

Bishop will be going with a new quarterback. Junior David Gladdish, the varsity back-up last season, and sophomore Jake Engel from the JV team will share reps in the early going.

Here is a look at the Bishop Diego Cardinals:
League: Tri Valley
CIF Playoff Division:  5
Head Coach: Tom Crawford
Coaching Staff:  Ralph Molina, Def. Coordinator/DBs, Steve Robles RB/LB, John Hazelton OL/DL, Ron Heller TE/DL, Gabe Molina WR/DBs, Larry Blanco OL/DL, Mick Luckhurst Kickers/Special Teams, Dan Peeters, Special Teams, Larry Urzua, DL,  Kristy Lash, ATC
Returning Starters: John Harris RB/DB 6-2, 205, Jr.; Hector Nolasco OL/LB, 6-1 225, Sr.; Gavin Callow OL/DL, 6-0, 270, Sr.; James Renick OL/DL, 5-11, 221, Sr.; Mike Agnoli TE/DL, 6-5, 210, Sr.; Will Goodwin TE/LB, 6-1, 195, Jr.; Ashton Borgeson FB/LB, 5-9, 187, Jr.; Evan McKeegan RB/SS, 5-10, 195, Jr.; Dylan Streett WR/FS, 6-2, 180, Jr.; Isaiah Veal, WR/DB, 5-11, 165, Jr.; Eddie Miranda, OL/DL, 5-8, 255, Jr.; Jack Luckhurst, K/P, 5-10, 145, Soph.; Austin Bohnett, WR/DB, 5-9, 140, Sr.
Returning Players: Tyler Green, DE/OL, 6-2, 180, Sr.; David Barrios, RB/LB, 5-6, 155, Sr.; David Gladdish, QB/FS, 5-9, 160, Jr.; Chris Jablonka, OL/LB, 6-0, 195, Jr.; Mark Soracco, RB/QB/DB, 5-8, 165, Sr.;  Elijah Whitney, WR/DB, 5-7, 155, Sr.; Harrison Wilkinson, OL/DL, 6-4, 245, Sr.; Tommy Murillo, WR/DB 5-7, 135, Jr.
Promising Newcomers: David Alvarez, WR/DB, 5-9, 140, Sr.; Jake Engel, QB, 5-7, 135, Soph.; Adrian Guillen, OL/DL, 5-8, 275, Jr.; Mitch Heller, OL/DL, 6-2, 235, Jr.; Brian Kim, OL/DL, 6-0, 240, Jr.; Nic Kislow, RB/DB, 5-5, 140, Jr.; John Lindsay, TE/DL, 6-1, 180, Jr.; Nick Martel, WR/DB, 5-5, 145, Jr.; Matthew Pate, WR/DB, 5-7, 135, Jr.; Dario Perez, OL/DL, 6-2, 230, Jr.; Edgar Perez, RB/LB, 5-5, 155, Jr.; Victor Ramirez, WR/DB 5-7, 145, Jr.; David Solis, RB/LB, 5-8, 185, Jr.; Jacob Songer, OL/DL, 6-3, 250, Jr.; Sten Carr, RB/LB, 5’10, 161, Jr.; Xavier Carrol, OL/DL, 6-1, 239, Jr.; Luis Mendez, QB/WR, 5-11, 165, Jr.
Team overview from coach Crawford:  Coming off a successful 2015 campaign, we have high expectations for our Bishop squad going into 2016.  Although we lost a talented senior group, led by playmakers AV Bennett (UCLA), Matt Shotwell (Cal Poly) and Mike Sorocco (Illinois College), we return a group of seniors and juniors who received extensive experience last year and we will have to rely upon that experience to be successful in dealing with what may be the toughest schedule we've ever put together, including placement in a CIF Playoff Division 5

Eight returning players on defense started multiple games and seven on offense return. Coupled with the largest squad we've had in 15 years (we anticipate 38 varsity players), the strength of this squad might be in its expanded depth, particularly along the offensive and defensive lines.

Four offensive linemen starters and 3 defensive line starters return and the numbers and size of linemen is a plus compared to prior years. Key returnees include Hector Nolasco, a two year starter at tackle on the offensive line, and Gavin Callow, another starting returning offensive linemen. The defensive line will be anchored by Eddie Miranda at tackle and Mike Agnoli at DE, both returning starters from last year. 

Skill position players offensively including returning RB John Harris who has played on varsity since a freshman, and Agnoli and Will Goodwin, both experienced TE/WR who share that position. Outside receivers include returning starter Dylan Streett and AV Bennett's role will be filled by several young men who got experience there last year —Tommy Murillo, Isaiah Veal and newcomer Victor Ramirez. 

On defense, in addition to the guys mentioned above, junior Ashton Borgeson returns as a starting inside linebacker joined by returners Evan McKeegan and Goodwin while the secondary has returners Veal, Streett and Austin Bohnett. We believe a strength of our squad will be our kicking game and special teams, with returnee Jack Luckhurst (sophomore who did the kicking as a freshmen) and a group led by senior David Barrios.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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