East County Sports

Matadors going to the tool shed

NOTE: This is the 13th and final part of the series that will take a look at each football team that East County Sports.com covers.  Each day, we will look at a different school, leading up to the final preview which will be published on the day that most of the teams in East County have their scrimmage leading into the 2015 season.  In this edition we look at how the Mount Miguel Matadors will fare in the Grossmont Hills league.

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By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
SPRING VALLEY (8-21-15) — There are three things that any team can do going into a season.  It can be rebuilding, reloading or retooling.  The Mount Miguel Matadors fall under the retooling category.

“We did lose a few of our main guys, but we got a lot of guys that got a lot of playing time last year so we have about 14 guys that got significant playing time last year,” head coach SHAUN McDADE offered.

Roster breakdown:
Quarterbacks: BENNY VALADEZ will be taking over the reins of the offense this season.  JACOB CASTILLO moved on after graduating in June and will be playing at George Fox University in Oregon.  Senior AARON GOMEZ will be the safety valve for the Matadors on varsity after being the JV quarterback a year ago.

“Benny learned a lot from Jacob and I think he will be ready to go,” McDade affirmed.

Running backs: ANTHONY GILMORE (823 total yards, six touchdowns in 2014) will return after dealing with some injuries in 2014.  Also returning will be ANTOINE HAMILTON (520 total yards, three touchdowns) to the backfield for the Matadors.  LAMARCUS BUTLER will also be in the mix.

Wide receivers: Returning will be KIKO BORJA (325 yards, two touchdowns), MARIO COKER (119 yards and a touchdown), ANDRE GORSUCH (32 yards in limited time), TAYLIN JOHNSON and JOHNNY LEE.

Johnson and Lee will be making the jump from junior varsity this season.  “They are a couple of young guys that each scored 10 touchdowns on JV last year,” the fourth year head man explained.

Offensive line: TREVON ALLEN, SHEAN ENGLISH are both two year, two way starters for the Matadors.  NICK ALFARO will get the promotion from junior varsity as will MICHAEL BLOSSOM.  JASON HERNANDEZ split time between JV and varsity 12 months ago.

“Our offensive line is very experienced,” McDade revealed.

Defensive line:  ANTHONY YARBOROUGH and DURAN MILLER will anchor the pass rush for the Red and Black.  Allen, English, ANGEL CURIEL, ANDRES OLIVARES will also get some playing time on the line.

Linebackers:  CAMERON HANSON has been making some eyes open on the coaching staff.  LAMONT YOUNG is also going to get some playing time.

Defensive backs:  MICHAEL JONES (88 tackles in 2014) will solidify the secondary with his three years of experience.  KIKO BORJA was hinted at getting some time on the defensive side of the ball.  Coker (15 tackles) and JORDAN BUTTS will be back.  Butts had to deal with some injuries early in the season last year.  DOMINIC McCALL will move from his linebacker slot on JV to safety this year on varsity.

“One of the best players in San Diego County last year was Mike Jones,” McDade said proudly.

Special teams:  JOEL BEAS will look to improve on his one of four field goals from a year ago.  He will also look to improve on his 68% extra point accuracy.  A battle is still going on in the late portions of camp to find the punter for the Matadors.

“We have a whole handful of return guys, so that will only help to make our return group with competition,” McDade mentioned.

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“It is tricky the way the playoff format is, so you want to get some games under your belt early, but you have to still go out and play people in order to stay up top and stay in the playoff picture,” McDade admitted when asked about the scheduling issues with the way CIF-SDS picks the playoff teams now.

When you play in the Grossmont Hills League, which has been documented by every coach in the league, the toughness of schedules doesn’t really need to be jacked up.  However, all of the coaches in the league have done a nice job doing just that.

The Matadors will begin at home with the Spartans of Chula Vista for their lone game in August.

September will see three games away from Spring Valley.  First will be a game against Palomar League traditional juggernaut Poway.  However the Titans were not, and will not be, remembered very well.  Week three of the season the Matadors will have a road trip to the South Bay to take on Otay Ranch.  Some people have said that with as many games as Otay Ranch will be playing against East County teams, it might be considered an associate member of the Grossmont Union High School District.  September 18th will be the “Battle of Spring Valley” when Monte Vista will travel the short 10-minute drive to Mount Miguel.  The final game of the month will be against longtime rival Serra in Tierrasanta.

October’s opening will be delayed by a week due to a bye week.  The 9th will see the Norsemen of Valhalla come to Matadorville.  Week 8 will be the annual Claymore game against next door neighbor Helix in La Mesa.  The 23rd will welcome the Grossmont Foothillers to Spring Valley for the second week of league play.  Halloween Eve will be celebrated in Lakeside taking on the reigning CIF Division II State runners-up El Capitan.

Senior night will be held when Steele Canyon comes to Spring Valley.

“I know there are quite a few good tandem running backs in the County” McDade said. “But I don’t think a lot of people are talking about ours.  But I think they will soon.”

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