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Vista del Lago (0-0) at Napa (0-0)

Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 by Andy Wilcox
Always next year: Folsom’s Vista del Lago fell to Napa 29-9 last year at the start of a 2-8 season, its first with varsity players.

In their third year of existence and first with seniors, the Eagles return virtually every starter and look to avenge 2008 losses to perennial powers such as the Indians, Division III section champ Casa Roble, and Division V section runner-up Central Catholic.
“We have a bit of a Fresno State philosophy, in that we will play anyone, anytime, anywhere,” said Vista head coach Chris Jones, who guided Oak Ridge to Division II section titles from ’02 to ’04.

“When I took this job I wanted to elevate our program ... by playing people that will make us better. Our kids have developed a winning culture through the summer in participating in camps and passing leagues.”
Napa head coach Troy Mott sounded like he was getting ready to play his own 2008 squad, which finished 10-2.

“Vista del Lago is much improved, as they are expected to be,” he said Wednesday. “They have been together now for four years with their coaching staff. They are well-coached and tough up front. We expect they will be prepared well for us, and we are working extremely hard for them as well.”
On reserve power: The season-ending knee injury to top returning RB Logan Hess was just the beginning for the Indians.

Mott said talented backup QB Cody Thompson will be out this week after receiving an MRI on an ankle injury last Saturday and not practicing all week.

Ellis Good will back up starting QB Charles Boyett.

Also sidelined will be OLB/TE Ryan Juchau (groin) and FB/LB Justin Dowdle (shoulder), while OT Cody Gocenhouer (ankle) is questionable and LB Michael Stewart (toe) is probable, Mott said.

“Logan Hess was a great player and ... it’s nice that we do not have to face an experienced runner like him,” Jones said.

“But we know that they will have a slew of guys ready to take that spot. Charles Boyett is a great athlete and is explosive when the ball is in his hands. I was very impressed with him at the scrimmage last week. We have our hands full with him.”

Test in the trenches: The Indians’ all-new offensive line will have its hands full against a Vista defensive line led by daunting ends Doug Drakeley (6-4, 305) and Marques White (6-3, 245) and quick nose guard Jordan Schantz, who tackled Hess for a safety to open last year‘s scoring.

“Our defensive line is our strength,” Jones said. “They are active and we try to move them around a bit.”

Indians can set the tone: Vista, which starts juniors at QB (Anthony Mull) and RB (Trey Hairabedian), only slightly outnumbers Napa in seniors.

This will be a chance for the Indians’ new leaders to get established.

“Our seniors have been great leaders thus far and our sophomores and juniors are gaining experience every day,” Mott said. — Andy Wilcox

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