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Kentridge poised for bounce-back season | Prep football preview
Kentridge High returns to the football field after a crushingly poor showing in 2013, when the Chargers scored 104 points in 10 games and went 2-8.
According to new quarterback Brian Brown and defensive lineman Braiden Beckman, they're ready to bounce back with a veteran team of second-year returners.
"We knew we were going to have a lot of returning players," Beckman said.
The team, almost completely new last year, now features 12 returning starters and eight newcomers. Beckman will be one of the top returning players from last year's defensive lineup.
This is Brown's first season starting at quarterback, having been called in to the role after Jordan Lawson transferred schools in the spring. Brown was slated as a running back.
When coach Marty Osborn first proposed the idea to him, Brown said he was reluctant, but has since grown into the role.
"I got called down to coach O's office, and the coaches told me 'we figure you're the next best guy up,'" Brown said. "At first, to be completely honest, I was against it."
But Brown, in his first year on varsity, said that after he mulled it over he decided to take the role.
"What's going to make the team better? It's clearly me stepping up and taking on that job," he said.
While both boys agree that Lawson was a good player, they believe Brown will provide better offensive depth between his strong throwing arm and his ability to run the ball.
"Offensively, we put in a new playbook, and that kind of fits the personnel that we have," Brown said.
He says that in particular he'll be looking to senior wide receiver Rashaun West and junior running back Malik McFerrin to support him in his newfound offensive duties.
Brown and Beckman have put in work in the offseason. Beckman estimates that he's been training for more than 20 weeks since January, and has worked with a personal trainer to improve his speed, strength and range of motion during the off season.
For Brown, much of his time was spent on building his speed, conditioning and passing skills after finding out he would be quarterback.
After last season's showing, Brown says that the team came into their new season looking to rebuild. With the loss of Lawson, Brown says the team plans to be less reliant on a star QB and more playing to the strengths of each individual player.
"We have a whole bunch of returning guys," Brown said. "They're more knowledgable with the game and also on a higher level of play, having returned a year after playing varsity football. They know the game speed and they know what it takes to be the best."
Chargers at a glance
Braiden Beckman, sr., fullback/linebacker 6-feet-2, 215 pounds; Connor King, sr, kicker/punter, 5-10, 170; Anthony Randolph, sr., wide receiver/defensive back, 5-10, 160; Rashaun West, sr., WR/LB 6-2, 195; Johnny Chen, junior, WR/LB, 6-2, 195; JT Meier, jr., offensive and defensive lineman, 6-0, 275; Vincent Fesili, jr., OL/DL, 5-11, 260; Dillon Haisch, sr., defensive end, 5-10, 185; Malik McFerrin, jr., RB/DB, 5-7, 165; Jordan Johnson, sr., RB/DE 5-8, 180; Scott Moore, sr., LB, 5-8, 165; Sam Mullins, jr., WR/DB, 5-9, 170.
Brian Brown, jr., quarterback/DB, 6-0, 200; Jake Philpott, sr., RB/DB, 5-10, 160; Kaleb Corpuz, sr., OL/DL, 5-11, 260, Devante' Archie, sr., WR/DB, 5-9, 145; Brayden Poffenroth, jr., tight end/DE, 6-0, 210; Jordan Omatsu, sophomore, RB/DB, 5-6, 155; Connor Dugan, so., RB/LB, 5-11, 195; Rontrell Parker, jr., OL/DL, 6-3, 290; T.J. Timai, jr., OL/DL, 5-8, 210; Tanner Conner, jr., WR/DB/LB, 6-2, 177. Andrew Paino, jr., RB/LB, 6-0, 195; Fotu Matuu, jr., OL/DL, 6-1, 263.