Mesa Plans to Be a Factor in League Race This Season

Murrieta Mesa High football players have been working hard in preparation for Friday's season opener. In the first five years of the...

Murrieta Mesa High football players have been working hard in preparation for Friday's season opener.

In the first five years of the school's existence, the Murrieta Mesa High School football team has built the foundation of a winning football team. The signs of success are there.

Last season, the Rams went 5-0 in nonleague games to open the season. But against the tough competition of the Southwestern League, Mesa failed to win a game, finishing the season 5-5 and missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

The challenge this year is to become a factor in the league race -- and the Rams appear to have the talent to contend.

"We have a lot of young returning players," said sixth-year coach Justin Schaeffer (left). "A lot of sophomores got a lot of varsity experience last year. The challenge is that we are by far the smallest team in the league, both in numbers and physically."

The Rams are not short on talent, however, as they prepare to host Indian Springs High of San Bernardino Friday at 7 p.m. in the season opener.

Junior quarterback Peyton Uhl (6-1, 202) returns after passing for 1,606 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to second-team all-league honors. Another second-team all-league pick returning is junior running back McKinley Ross (below), a 5-10, 202-pound speedster who rushed for 555 yards and 6 TDs a year ago.

Schaeffer said his team had to rebuild the offensive line, and the defense has a lot of new players. Even so, several other talented players appear ready to fill key roles in 2014.

These include senior wide receiver Bryan Phan; wide receiver and defensive back Joseph Pinkava; and lineman Tommy McCraw (6-1, 244).

Junior wide receiver Austen Salcedo caught 26 passes for 257 yards last year, while Pinkava caught 42 for 402. Placekicker Mateo Thompson kicked field goals of 49 and 52 yards last season.

Quarterback Peyton Uhl passed for 1,606 yards last season for the Rams.



Related

Sports 4154672065792403697

Post a Comment

emo-but-icon

Follow Us








Subscribe Via E-mail

item