By Phil Dailey
La Jolla Country Day will take a big step up in competition this season as the Torreys move from the Pacific League to the Coastal League. Joining crosstown rival Bishop’s, along with Francis Parker, Horizon, Santa Fe Christian and Christian, longtime head coach Jeff Hutzler said his team is ready for the move.
“The kids and families are excited for it,” said Hutzler, now in his 10th season at LJCD. “Everyone here wants to step up and feel like we’re ready for it. Our big thing is that we got some really good ball players in this program, but any injury is going to kills us. We’re an injury away from disaster.”
The Torreys played in the Coastal League last back in 2000. That season the team had to drop football mid-season because of the lack of players. From 2001 to 2004, Country Day played 8-man football with a ton of success that included three CIF titles. In the Pacific League, the Torreys won four league titles and never finished worse than second in six seasons.
“The expectation is that we’re gonna compete. We’re stepping up,” Hutzler said. “A lot of people consider the Coastal League to be the best small-school league in California and maybe one the best small-school leagues in the nation.”
Bishop’s head coach Joel Allen thinks the Torreys will be competitive based on the way they played them the past few years.
“They play us well every year,” Allen said. “Physically they are there, mentally they have to get there.”
There’s not much doubt that the Torreys have the players to make the leap. The team will be led on offense by a slew of juniors, including playmaker Sage Burmeister at running back and Eddie Garcia at quarterback to run the spread offense.
One downside for the Torreys this season is the lack of depth, which could take its toll.
“We have a lot of competing to do and our goal is to stay healthy and compete in this league,” Hutzler said, “which we know is going to take a lot of work.”
2011 La Jolla Country
Friday, Sept. 2 vs. Tri-City Christian
Friday, Sept. 9 vs. Calipatria
Friday, Sept. 16 at Vincent Memorial
Friday, Sept. 30 vs. Army-Navy
Friday, Oct. 7 at Escondido Charter
Friday, Oct. 15 vs. Horizon (at Helix)
Friday, Oct. 21 vs. Santa Fe Christian
Friday, Oct. 29 at Bishop’s
Friday, Nov. 4 vs. Christian
Friday, Nov. 11 vs. Francis Parker
Eddie Garcia, jr., QB/S
Sage Burmeister, jr., RB/S
Sammy Ayala, sr., C/DE
Nick Schlossberg, sr., TE/LB
Colin McMahon, jr., RB/LB
8-4 overall, 6-1 Pacific League
Lost to Francis Parker in CIF Division V quarterfinals