East County Sports

Solid Cougars are perennial contenders

Steele Canyon junior Mikel Oliver

2016 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL – PREVIEW

STEELE CANYON COUGARS

 

By Bill Dickens
© EastCountySports.com

 

RANCHO SAN DIEGO (8-25-16) – Reaching the semifinals for the last two seasons, the Steele Canyon Cougars are geared for the hat trick and maybe better.

Even more impressive is the Cougars have advanced to the playoff quarterfinals in 10 straight seasons following an 8-5 record last year.

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SEAN MILLER

Steele Canyon will bolster its 2016 attack behind veteran junior lineman MIKEL OLIVER (6-4, 240), seniors offensive tackle/defensive tackle KYREE WOODS (6-2, 285), offensive tackle/defensive end SEAN MILLER (6-3, 255) and offensive tackle/defensive end CALEB O’GORMAN (6-2, 240). Three of the four were starters a year ago.

“Our strength will still be in our offensive line,” said Cougars coach SCOTT LONGERBONE.

The senior trio are big time college prospects. Woods is actually a 4-year starter and is Ivy League eligible as well as O’Gorman.

“We’ll get to prove how good we are right away as we play four of the top 15 teams in the county to start the season,” Longerbone said.

The Cougars took a major setback when versatile offensive standout SEAN TODD suffered an ACL injury during summer passing league that led to surgery this week.

“That put a real big gap in our offensive plan,” noted Longerbone.

Hoping to fill the void are receivers JORDON ANDERSON and JACOB JONES.

“As far as running backs, we’ll have a bunch of fresh faces bidding for playing time,” Longerbone added.

Newcomers – running back DEONTAE McKINNEY, linebacker JON MARTINEZ and offensive lineman IAN MILLER – will figure into the mix.

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THOMAS FISHBURNE

Steele Canyon’s returning leader THOMAS FISHBURNE completed 1419 yards and 9 touchdowns last year.

Other Cougars that figure to contribute include junior linebacker AMIR HARRIS, strong safety/wide receiver COLTON LARCEVAL, linebacker WAYNE BARELA and returning standout corner XAVIER LEASAU, BRENDIN WILLIS will split his duties between wide receiver and quarterback.

“Every week there is somebody in the Grossmont Hills League that can beat you,” said Longerbone.

Steele Canyon opens the season at Torrey Pines on Friday (Aug. 26) at 7 p.m.

Then the Cougs  play at Madison (Sept. 2) before hosting Granite Hills on Sept. 9.

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