This past Monday marked the first day fall sports athletes, who transferred schools this year, became eligible to play with their new schools. That means on Friday night there will be many football players making their season debuts across the Sac-Joaquin Section.
When Buhach Colony travels to Merced College to face El Capitan, it will be a mini Stone Ridge Christian reunion. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Former Stone Ridge Christian quarterback Jacob Tanori will make his debut at running back for the Gauchos (2-4 overall, 1-1 Central California Conference) against the Thunder. Former Knights Trey Paster (receiver/defensive back) and Owen Thomas (running back/linebacker) will play their first games for Buhach Colony.
“I don’t think it will be weird,” said Tanori, who is a sophomore. “We’re all friends. It’s the game. We’re not always going to be on the same team.”
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Los Banos will get a boost on defense tonight with Adrian Atangan suiting up for the first time this season. The sophomore linebacker transferred from Central Catholic.
Merced is on a bye this week, but will be able to mix in running back/defensive back Garrett Egan into the rotation next week. Egan who is a senior, transferred from El Capitan.
The sophomore Paster and junior Thomas add to the depth of the Thunder (3-3, 1-1), who are coming off a 36-22 win over Golden Valley.
The addition of Tanori comes at the right time for a banged up Gauchos team that may be without leading tackler Lucas Duda at middle linebacker and running back Ethan Meza because of injuries.
Tanori will see time at running back.
Duda was in street clothes during practices this week, trying to help the team anyway he can. Duda said he was scheduled for an MRI this week for an undisclosed injury that has been bothering him off and on this season.
“It’s tough,” Duda said. “I know I only have four games left, not including playoffs. I’m trying to coach guys up. We need somebody on the field who is going to get guys lined up right. I’m doing my best from the sideline.”
“Duda is the heart and soul of this defense,” said El Capitan coach Frank Solis. “They feed off him. I could see how his absence was effecting these guys on Monday at practice. His presence was missing. He gets the guys going.”
The Gauchos will also miss Meza, who leads the team in rushing with 387 yards and seven touchdowns.
Solis says playing Turlock and Buhach Colony in back-to-back weeks is a tough task, especially after a physical game against the Bulldogs.
“Both offenses are ground and pound teams,” Solis said. “Both offenses demand physicality. They both want to eat up yards, not necessarily with the home run plays. They just eat up yards and move the chains.”
The toughest part for the players who transferred is waiting. Six weeks can seem like an eternity as you watch from the sideline.
“I’ve never had to sit out this long,” Tanori said. “I’ve just been studying film, studying the team and trying to see where I can help. I’m really excited to get out there and help the team.”
Jansen Weekley Predictions
(Pick to win in parenthesis)
Buhach Colony at El Capitan
Pitman at Atwater
Golden Valley at Turlock
Los Banos at Ceres
Patterson at Pacheco
Central Valley at Livingston
Escalon at Hilmar
Le Grand at Orestimba
Mariposa at Gustine
Delhi at Waterford
Stone Ridge Christian at Sierra Ridge/ROP
Chowchilla at Kerman
Dos Palos at Mendota
Source : http://www.mercedsunstar.com/sports/high-school/article177321036.html