East County Sports

Griffins, Jaguars set to resume series

Grossmont's Robert Whitehead / GC FOOTBALL

2021 COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

EL CAJON – Community College football is back in California following a one-year hiatus.

And only time will tell if the cancellation of the 2020 season locally has leveled the playing field in San Diego County.

We could find out this Saturday.

The Grossmont College Griffins will face the 24th-ranked Southwestern Jaguars in the season opener at DeVore Stadium on Saturday at 6 (Southwestern is expected to live stream the game here).

Spectators are allowed to attend without any designation of vaccine status. Admission to Saturday’s game is free.

The Griffs are the designated home team in this one after a site change.

While the Jaguars garnered their historical respect from pollsters, the Griffins feel they have been able to assemble a stronger roster than in the few previous seasons.

Grossmont will have veteran Brady Abt as its starting quarterback.

Abt passed for 1,000 yards and five touchdowns back in 2018. Yes, 2018. Three years ago.

Coming back from the 2019 team are receivers Perry Steele (Steele Canyon) and Payton Monson. The pair combined for 38 receptions two years ago.

Grossmont has some experienced defensive returnees from that season, as well.

Robert Whitehead (Steele Canyon) had 55 tackles and three interceptions in ’19.

Chance Lovato (El Capitan) had 28 solo stops two seasons back.

Rock Gonzalez (Olympian) had 26 tackles in the last regular season.

Other local freshmen on the GC defense include Jagger Giles (Helix), Antoine Walker (Steele Canyon), Xavier Hamlett, Colton Guerrero (Steele Canyon), Jeremiah Fletcher (Helix), and Ulolo Samoata (Steele Canyon).

Area freshmen listed on the Griffin offense include quarterback Elia Kirisimasi (Steele Canyon), receivers Chris Carter (Steele Canyon) and James Johnson (Granite Hills), and specialist Nathan Hughes (Santana).

Meanwhile, Southwestern head coach Ed Carberry claims very few returnees.

One addition has been well-publicized and that’s the addition of Jace Fuamatu, the former Fresno State Bulldog.

For now, Southwestern has to be considered at least a touchdown favorite if not more, despite the implied positive shift Grossmont’s way.

The Griffs are still coming off back-to-back 1-9 seasons, including a 42-3 loss to Southwestern in ’19.

However, an improvement in the season win-loss record may be expected at Grossmont with the team’s shift into the American Conference’s Mountain Division, where it will compete with  Mt. San Jacinto, Victor Valley, College of the Desert, Pasadena City, and Compton.

WEST LOS ANGELES at No. 19 SAN DIEGO MESA – The Olympians are the highest-rated of the four county teams entering the season.

The Olympians were 7-4 in 2019. West LA was 5-4 out of the American Metro, where it finished second in ’19 with a 4-1 record.

Former Grossmont Foothiller Julian Sanderlin returns for Mesa after recording 6 1/2 sacks in 2019.

2020-21 San Diego CIF Defensive Player of the Year John Carroll (Helix) is on the Mesa roster.

Mesa should be a considerable favorite here by at least three touchdowns.

PALOMAR at VICTOR VALLEY – The Comets have some veteran defenders returning led by linebacker Vavega Sialoi, who had 43 tackles in 2019.

The Comets were 3-7 overall in 2019 and remain in the National Conference’s Central Division, where they went 0-5 in ’19.

Victor Valley went 4-6 in the American Conference’s Mountain Division.

Palomar should win this one by around three touchdowns.

 

2021 JCAB PRESEASON COACHES POLL

    2019    
RK SCHOOL Record Pts. PR
1. College of San Mateo (2) 12-1 217    2
2. Riverside City (5) 13-0 214    1
3. Ventura (1) 8-3 183    10
4. Modesto (1) 9-3 174    4
5. City College of San Francisco 8-3 173    11
6. Fullerton 5-5 165    21
7. American River 8-3 161    6
8. Mt. San Antonio 7-4 157     12
9. College of the Canyons 9-3 152    3
10. Butte 8-3 147    9
11. Laney 6-5 131    19
12. Fresno City 8-3 121     7
13. Long Beach City 7-3 120   8
14. Saddleback 9-2 113    5
15. Sierra 7-4 89    16
16. Santa Rosa 2-7 75    nr
17. Cerritos 7-4 74    13
18. El Camino 7-4 72    15
19. San Diego Mesa 7-4 63    17
20. Golden West 5-5 46    nr
21. Bakersfield 3-7 43    nr
22. Shasta 7-4 31    18
23. Chaffey 10-0 25    14
24. Southwestern 6-5 24    21
T25. Chabot 4-5 18    nr
T25. Diablo Valley 3-7 18    nr

Others included: Moorpark & Sacramento 17, San Bernardino Valley 15, Palomar 13,
Allan Hancock 11, Antelope Valley 10, East Los Angeles 8, San Joaquin Delta 7, Siskiyous 6,
Sequoias 5, Pasadena 3, Contra Costa & Reedley 2, Los Medanos 1.

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