'No breaking point'
The old adage, "Rome wasn't built in a day" may prove not to apply to Cub Football under new head coach RICK PEDROARIAS '84, as despite the pundits' prognostications of a difficult season, Pedroarias' mantra is "no breaking point". If the 65 squad members under his tutelage continue their development in the realms of physical and mental toughness, Loyola may just surprise in 2017. It is too early to make any predictions, but the staff is inculcating an ethos of discipline and toughness in their troops which could reap positive results this season despite a slate which includes several teams ranked in the state top 50.
Blue-White Day Saturday
All three Cub teams will participate in intra-squad scrimmages on Saturday on Blue-White Day with the freshmen getting underway at 9:00 a.m, the sophomores at 11:00 a.m. and the varsity at 1:00 p.m. The scrimmages will be held on Hank Hernandez Field at Shepherd Park.
Historic evening practice on Wednesday night
For the first time in history, Loyola's varsity football team practiced under permanent lights on Bob Smith Field on Wednesday night. In the past, the Cubs practiced at night under less than luminous rented lights during Camp Week. The recently installed high powered lights at Smith Field shone brightly in their first use by the football program and will illuminate the field well for the scrimmage against Redondo Union on August 18 and the five home games which will be played on Smith Field this season.
Starting offensive lineup taking shape
Loyola's first game (at home against Fairfax) is just 15 days away. After the first two weeks of fall practice the starting lineups are beginning to take shape, but some position battles are still being waged. On offense, seniors BRAYDEN UTLEY (6-3,232) and TY MAHAR (6-1,267) are locks to start at right tackle and center, respectively. Junior E'ASUS JIMENEZ y WEST (6-1, 252) looks like he has a secure lock on the job at right guard. Senior left guard WILL ANDERSON (6-0, 263) is trying to hold off sophomore SAMUEL DOMINGUEZ (6-2, 222), while juniors SCOTT KASE (6-2, 212) and MARCUS AGUILAR (6-0, 204) are contending for the left tackle slot.
Seniors JACOB McBRIDE (5-8, 174) and MICHAEL GRAVES (5-8, 178) are hard-nosed ball carriers, but standout junior HUNTER BALLARD (5-10,175), who is recovering from injury, will make his presence felt in the backfield as well. He is expected to be ready for action possibly as soon as the first game.
The starting receiver rotation includes speedy senior ALEX JOHNSON (6-1, 171), senior DAKOTA SMITH (6-2, 209), junior ALEX BLAKE (6-0,192), senior slot DEAMIL AGUILAR, JR. (5-8,155), senior TOMMY VANIS (6-1,210) and sophomore KEVIN PARADA (6-0, 185).
The quarterback competition may be the most watched as junior NATHAN PRIESTLEY (6-4, 192) and freshman MILLER MOSS (6-0, 181) are both highly talented. That position battle may not be decided until early in the season. Is a two-quarterback system possible? We'll have to wait and see.