Castle Park coach Hans Graham had high expectations for his team last year but it just didn’t work out. A spate of ill-timed injuries and suspensions (related to an on-campus incident) left the Trojans with a 2-8 overall record, 1-2 in Metro-Pacific League play.
Graham bleeds Castle Park colors and neither his enthusiasm nor optimism has been daunted by last year’s largely forgettable season.
“We’re fast — a completely different team than last year,” the CPHS coach said. “I’m big-time excited about this year. Last year was last year. We’re past that. We’re short on big kids but strong on skills.”
Graham said the Trojans will vary their offensive scheme in 2012 because of the different type of players on board this season.
“We’ll still run the wing-T but we’re going to do some things to take advantage of our speed,” Graham said. “I think we’ll have some fun.”
The Trojans did plenty of that during summer passing tournaments by racking up some lofty offensive numbers.
Senior quarterback/punter/kicker Juan Luna, senior fullback/linebacker Daniel Hernandez, senior safety/receiver/tight tend Aaron Leon, senior running back/defensive backs Nicolas Rascon and Genaro Alonzo, along with senior receiver David Anderson, should be the focus of what has the promise to be a high-powered offense.
Hernandez rushed for 709 yards and scored five touchdowns last year to lead CP while Leon rushed for 225 yards and Anderson collected 315 receiving yards (and scored three total TDs).
Luna averaged 80 passing yards per game. The best appears to come from all of the aforementioned players.
Mix in some experience from linemen Robert Stretch (a junior) and Dominic Camacho (a senior) and impact newcomers Jordan Danielson and Adrian Tolbert, both sophomore receiver/running backs, and Graham and his coaching staff might have a contender to unleash on the rest of the Metro-Pacific League.
“I’m hoping we’ll be strong defensively but you’ll never know until you play somebody good,” said Graham in advance of Friday’s scrimmage against Morse. “We’re a very different group of kids (than last year). I think we’re faster. I’m sure we’ll be competitive within our league. Turnovers and luck often play big parts in the outcome of games.”
The Trojans carry a one-game winning streak into their regular season opener this season after ending last season on a high note by winning their Warrior Bowl rivalry game against Montgomery.
Castle Park Trojans 2012 Schedule
31: Kearny at Castle Park, 7 p.m.
7: Instituto Mexico at Castle Park, 7 p.m.
14: San Diego at Castle Par, 7 p.m.
21: Castle Park at Hoover, 6:30 p.m.
28: Castle Park at Otay Ranch, 7 p.m.
5: Castle Park at Hilltop, 7 p.m.
12: Castle Park at Mar Vista, 7 p.m.
19: Sweetwater at Castle Park, 7 p.m.
26: Castle Park at Mater Dei, 7 p.m.
2: Montgomery at Castle Park, 7 p.m.