The Bonita Vista Barons will, in the words of head coach Greg Raby, be fielding a “very, very young” team in 2012.
“The (summer) passing tournaments were a great experience for us because they allowed us to find out what our strengths and our weaknesses were,” the BVHS coach said.
Despite the general lack of returning experience, the Barons didn’t fare too badly in summer tournaments, finishing fourth at an eight-team gathering at Chula Vista High School and reaching the consolation quarterfinals at an event hosted by Southwestern College.
Leadership this season will come in the guise of tight end/defensive lineman Gabe Bell, quarterback Austin Kane, linebackers Moises Villalpando and Luke Parra, wide receivers Atal Khaliq and Caleb Su and running back Josh Santos.
Bell, Villalpando and Khaliq rate at the top of Raby’s 2012 depth chart.
The second-year BVHS head coach sees his team’s strengths this season at the running back and wide receiver positions; the Barons’ weaknesses focus on inexperience in most other areas.
Bonita Vista returns three offensive and three defensive starters.
Kane will be making his debut as the starting QB.
Most of the returners, except perhaps Santos and Khaliq, saw limited action last year.
Khaliq caught 15 passes for 145 yards while Santos rushed for 360 yards on 70 carries. Su was credited with 55 yards on 10 carries.
Bell, Khaliq and Su each scored one touchdown last year.
Bonita Vista finished 3-7-1 in Raby’s head coaching debut in 2011, ending with a 48-0 loss to Westview in the opening round of the Division II playoffs. The Barons finished 0-4 in Metro-Mesa League play and will need to come together through their early season schedule if they are to avoid another cellar finish.
The intangible quantity in 2012 will be the lack of a home field. Because of construction at Southwestern College, Bonita Vista will play all of its regular season home games at neutral sites. These include games at Otay Ranch, Olympian and Eastlake high schools.
Bonita Vista Barons 2012 Schedule
31: Bonita Vista at Montgomery, 7 p.m.
7: Bonita Vista at Lincoln, 6:30 p.m.
14: Grossmont vs. Bonita Vista at Otay Ranch High School, 7 p.m.
21: Scripps Ranch vs. Bonita Vista at Otay Ranch High School, 7 p.m.
28: Hilltop vs. Bonita Vista at Olympian High School, 7 p.m.
5: Bonita Vista at Otay Ranch, 7 p.m.
12: Bonita Vista at Chula Vista, 7 p.m.
19: Bonita Vista at Eastlake, 7 p.m.
26: Mount Miguel vs. Bonita Vista at Eastlake High School, 7 p.m.
2: Bonita Vista at Olympian, 7 p.m.