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Montgomery Aztecs re-tool with talented core of returners Phillip Brents | Fri, Sep 02 2011 12:41 AM

The Montgomery Aztecs had a season to remember in 2010: an 8-4 overall record, runner-up finish in the inaugural Metro-Pacific League standings and a trip to the quarterfinal round of the San Diego Section Division III playoffs following a 44-7 first-round win over visiting San Marcos.

Massive hits to graduation, particularly on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage, have the Aztecs looking to regroup in 2011.

“Replacing 30 seniors will be tough but we have a good core of returners,” MOHS head coach Julio Alcala said.

Diego Rodriguez set the standard last season with 2,360 rushing yards and 31 total touchdowns en route to earning Metro-Pacific League Offensive Co-Player of the Year honors. Also exiting due to graduation were quarterback Jordan Lippman (568 passing yards, seven rushing TDs) and stellar rusher-receiver Manny Quiambao (728 rushing yards, 12 total TDs).

Alcala’s career coaching record stands at 35-47-1. He believes his team has enough remaining depth to capture this year’s league title.

Key returning varsity players include five senior all-league performers in 2010: linebacker/fullback Joel Castro, senior wide receiver/defensive back Miguel Rodriguez, senior defensive/offensive lineman Angelo Alvarez and senior defensive backs Ernie Lopez and Robert Smith.

Those five seniors are buttressed by a crew of other players with varsity experience, including senior offensive linemen Freddie Cordova, Josh Effinger and Tony Aviles, junior offensive lineman Isaac Rodriguez, senior wide receiver John Gies, senior kicker/punter Armando Serna, senior place-kicker Joey Gonzalez, senior defensive lineman Juan Leyva and senior linebacker Sal Nunez.

Newcomers expected to make an impact include junior tight end Jaime Arredondo, junior running back/defensive back Marcos Mathis, junior running back Charles Williams, junior receiver Austin Morga, senior defensive back Luis Villapando, junior fullback Deontae Bishop and junior quarterback Harley Armada. 

Alcala lists his team’s biggest strength this season as is strong offensive and defensive lines. Effinger (6-4, 250) and Cordova (6-3, 250) are both considered college prospects, as are Castro (6-1, 240) and Alvarez (5-11, 250).

Arredondo stands 6-3 and weighs 220 pounds while Isaac Rodriguez stands 6-0 and tips the scales at 260.

Montgomery competed locally in summer passing tournaments at Southwestern College and Chula Vista High School. The Aztecs went 3-0 in their three opening round-robin games at SWC with victories against Foothills Christian (33-30), Granite Hills (24-16) and Serra (33-29) and finished the second day with a 22-17 playoff loss to Otay Ranch.

Montgomery went 0-3 at the CVHS get-together with losses to Chula Vista (36-21), La Jolla (15-11) and Bonita Vista (25-8). La Jolla defeated Olympian to win the team title while Francis Parker topped Bonita Vista to finish in third place.

The Aztecs kick off regular season play Sept. 2 with a home game against Central Union (5-5 last year) and also host El Cajon Valley on Sept. 9, San Marcos on Sept. 16 and Crawford on Sept. 23.

From there, the schedule gets a bit more challenging. Montgomery plays at reigning Metro-Mesa League champion Eastlake on Oct. 7, hosts reigning Metro-South Bay League champion Mar Vista on Oct. 14 and plays at Metro-South Bay League runner-up Hilltop on Oct. 21.

The Aztecs kick off Metro-Pacific League play Oct. 28 at Mater Dei Catholic before hosting Sweetwater on Nov. 4 and Castle Park on Nov. 10 to close out regular season play.

Montgomery Aztecs 2011 Schedule

2: Central Union at Montgomery, 7:30 p.m.
9: El Cajon Valley at Montgomery
16: San Marcos at Montgomery
23: Crawford at Montgomery
30: Bye
7: Montgomery at Eastlake
14: Mar Vista at Montgomery
21: Montgomery at Hilltop
28: Montgomery at Mater Dei Catholic
4: Sweetwater at Montgomery
10: Castle Park at Montgomery

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