Loyola Blue-White scrimmage prepares Cubs for season opener Friday

Loyola Blue-White scrimmage serves as final tuneup for Friday's road opener against Fairfax
Loyola's final day of fall camp culminated with the annual Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage which was played in hot, humid conditions on Saturday afternoon at Bob Smith Field before a large contingent of supporters.

Head Coach Rick Pedroarias, in his second campaign at the helm of Cub Football, was pleased with the overall play of his defense, and he lauded the play of several offensive players. The scrimmage involved basic plays and did not include most of the offensive or defensive playbooks as it was presumed that coaches from future opponents were in attendance.

Among the headliners on Saturday were senior quarterback NATHAN PRIESTLEY (6-4, 210) and senior running back HUNTER BALLARD (5-10, 180). Priestley displayed quick feet, superior decision making, good escapability and accuracy throwing the ball. Sophomore receiver CEYAIR WRIGHT (5-10, 165) made an acrobatic, leaping touchdown catch of a long distance Priestley aerial, thrown off a scramble. Wright made several other key grabs. Ballard looked outstanding at running back, showing  a good combination of speed, power and elusiveness. Senior running back SPEED FRY also demonstrated explosive play-making ability, and juniors STEVEN ARELLANO (5-10, 191) and CARTER LINK (6-0, 185) ran hard inside the tackles.

Pedroarias applauded the efforts of senior right tackle EA'SUS JIMENEZ y WEST (6-0, 250) and junior left tackle SAM DOMINGUEZ (6-3, 240). The starting guard spots and the center position have not yet been solidified. Five players are in the mix for the three starting posts, including senior guard MATT ALONZO (5-10, 205), senior guard ALEX FEOLA (6-0, 220), junior center NICK ANDERSON (6-0, 265), senior guard DANNY DIXON (5-11, 265) and junior center SHAYNE STROYKE (6-4, 303). The play of senior tight end DAVID ANAWALT (6-0, 205) caught the coaches' eyes, both in the blocking and receiving phases of the game.

Pedroarias and Defensive Coordinator Mike Gilhooly complimented the physical play of junior inside linebacker STEVEN ARELLANO (5-10, 191). The aggressive efforts of senior outside linebacker DAVID ANAWALT were also lauded.

Senior inside linebacker MARCUS AGUILAR (6-0, 215), senior defensive tackle SCOTT KASE (6-2, 230) and senior safety ALEX BLAKE (6-1, 195) were recognized as key leaders of the 'Wolfpack' stop unit. Pedroarias and Gilhooly positively noted the inspired, physical efforts of senior nose guard COLE MILLER (5-9, 180). Gilhooly is happy with the strides being made by senior safety PATRICK LARSON (6-0, 190) and the skill displayed by sophomore corner CEYAIR WRIGHT.

On Friday the Cubs kick off the season on the road against the CIF Los Angeles City Section's sixth-ranked squad, the Fairfax Lions. Fairfax likes to throw the ball, so Loyola's pass defense will be getting an early test.

Fairfax is located at 7850 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Cub Football notes
The prediction here is that Loyola's offense will be much improved this fall . . . The Cub freshman team appears to be one of the best fielded in the last 15 years as there are a number of skilled play-makers who showcased their skills in an entertaining Blue-White scrimmage on Saturday morning . . . Thirty-six Loyola grads are currently playing college football . . . Former All-League tackle COLEMAN SHELTON ‘13 is currently listed as the third string right guard for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. If the all-Pac-12 lineman who starred at Washington makes the squad, there will be three Cubs playing in the NFL this season. ANTHONY BARR '10  is an All-Pro linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings and CHRIS CONTE ‘07 is a starting safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. . . Loyola is currently ranked 24th in the Southland by the Los Angeles Times