Expectations grow for La Jolla High football

By Phil Dailey

La Jolla High School’s season last year was one that produced several ups and downs. Not only was the team trying to implement a new offense, it also was faced with tragedy as assistant coach Luis Moya died just hours before the team’s game at Serra High.

In what will be Rey Hernandez’s third season as the team’s head coach, he believes this season the team will take a big step forward now that the players have an understanding of the Wing-T offense.

“Our expectations are that we’re gonna be a better ballclub,” he said. “There is no excuse for not being a better team this year. We had a year to run the offense — everybody should know what they’re doing.”

It will help that the team will return

Bobby Schuman at quarterback, a player Hernandez said is the fastest player on the field for them. The Vikings also have two solid running backs to lean on in senior

Dillon Cromwell and junior Mark Pollin.

Another key reason for the optimism is that this year’s team will have a lot more depth than in the past. Despite having only 12 seniors, Hernandez said there are more than 30 juniors who could make significant contributions to the team as well.

“We’re a relatively young team, but it is an experienced team,” Hernandez said. “Offensively I think we have all the pieces to the puzzle.”

One downside for the team was that they unexpectedly lost three starters from defense last year. Two were from injuries in other sports and one was a transfer.

If there is one message that is being talked about by Hernandez and his staff, it’s that this team must be more competitive than it was last year when the Vikings lost seven of their games by two or more touchdowns.

“We do have a very competitive schedule, Hernandez said, “but that’s no excuse. If we can handle and be competitive with some of the teams on our nonleague schedule, there’s no reason that we can’t play with the teams in our league.”

2011 La Jolla High Schedule

Friday, Sept. 2 at Mt. Carmel

Friday, Sept. 9 at West Hills

Friday, Sept. 16 vs. Valley Center

Friday, Sept. 23 at St. Augustine

Friday, Sept. 30 vs. Santa Fe Christian

Friday, Oct. 14 at Madison

Friday, Oct. 21 at Point Loma

Friday, Oct. 28 vs. Hoover

Friday, Nov. 4 vs. Serra

Thursday, Nov. 10 vs. Mission Bay

Standout returners

Bobby Schuman, sr., QB

Dillon Cromwell, sr., RB/LB

Mark Pollin, jr., RB/LB

Josh Kilmer, sr., LB/TE

Manny Torres, sr., OL/DL

Last season

2-9 overall, 2-3 Western League

Lost to Brawley in first round of CIF Division IV playoffs