Prep Football Sneak Peek: Los Banos players have big shoes to fill

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comJune 8, 2013 

With spring practice over, the Los Banos High football team has a little better idea what kind of team it will be this fall.

Gone is the speed of graduating senior jack-of-all-trades Delvonte Moore, receivers Keith Turner and Daeton West and running back James Sams. Now a new generation of skill players step in with big shoes to fill.

"It's tough to replace possession guy like Keith and a speed guy like Dee Dee (Moore)," Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "The hardest thing right now is we're not gonna replace all those guys. They went through the program and understood what it was about and what needed to be done."

A new crop of names will hold the spotlight in the next few years -- guys like soon-to-be junior running backs David Walker and Jordan Sams (younger brother of James Sams) -- both of whom carried the rock plenty for the junior varsity team last year -- and senior Robert Gill, plus receivers Adam Herrera and Brandon Valdez.

"Can those guys be there when they're seniors? Maybe," Caropreso said. "Three years down the road, we might be asking how we're going to replace these guys."

They will join returners such as junior fullback/defensive lineman Bailey Rodriguez (28 carries for 184 yards last year) and linemen Joshua Priest and Michael Severino, who will be seniors this fall. Tight end Alec Barcellos played varsity as a sophomore, compiling 196 yards on 16 catches with three touchdowns. Senior Phillip Martinez will also be in the mix at receiver.

A new quarterback will take over -- either junior Loggan Pimentel, who led the JV team to a successful campaign last fall, or last year's backup Tyler Cicairos. Caropreso said giving Pimentel the keys to the offense might make the Tigers more versatile, since Cicairos can play slot receiver, tight end, or split out wide.

"We were spoiled last year to have a quarterback like Corpuz," Caropreso said. "Not saying Pimentel can't throw it 30 times, but that's just not what we do. We're going to establish the run first, then throw."

This year the defense may be the more experienced side of the ball, with returners Priest, Bailey and John Tevis on the line, Darren Baty manning the middle linebacker spot alongside Ryan Selfridge and Elias Navarro and Barcellos and Chris Lonetree in the secondary.

Caropreso's conclusion was that the team is young, but still raw.

"We went to Golden Valley's 7-on-7 last weekend," he said. "We did some good things, and some bad things."

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