By Ryan Nakamura
Photo by Matt Scholtz
South Pas football looks for a promising start to their 2016 season under Head Coach CB Richards. The Tigers garnered attention last year after they compiled an impressive 8-3 record and headed to the CIF playoffs for the first time in over a decade, but many think South Pas can make a farther run into the playoffs.
The Tigers showcased an experienced offense under the guidance of senior quarterback Adam Arellano along with receivers Jalen Ross and Ben Quirk in their first game at Rosemead High School. The team’s 35-20 win against Rosemead gave spectators a glimpse of their offensive capabilities.
The Tigers were able to follow up their preseason with another win against Santa Clarita Christian last Saturday, September 3. The Tigers heavy running offense led by junior Jackson Totleben and Ross showed the crowd that the Tigers are able to switch up their plan of attack, along with having a lockdown secondary defense, with senior Jonathan Calderon tallying two interceptions, with one of them being a pick six. Junior Fernando Sornoso also chalked up an interception of his own against the Cardinals pass heavy offense. The Tigers 30-27 win also highlighted several other areas of improvement South Pas made during the offseason.
Some people however are not convinced the Tigers can live up to the hype seen last year. Losing players like Max Luck and Anthony Bakhshi will drastically change how South Pas will be able to operate on offense and defense.
“Last year we relied a lot on Luck for our pass offense but this year, these guys will try to build more of a team effort in that area. I think our quarterback position will be stronger in regards to having Arellano giving us a mobile quarterback to work with,” Richards said. “If we got the running game going then our pass game will be able to open up and vise versa.”
Perhaps South Pasadena’s biggest challenge will be the team’s two final RHL games. The Tigers will be facing off against San Marino on October 27, and Monrovia High School on November 4, the following week. South Pasadena lost to both teams by 35 or more points in the 2015 season.
“I would definitely say playoffs will start once we face off against San Marino and Monrovia so it’ll be exciting to see what happens,” Richards added. “I want us to look forward to playing these two teams because it’s what people live for. To face off against teams like these and say we can do that as well.”