H-SPORTS

Aug 12, 2013 8:02 PM by Andrew Masuda

Arroyo Grande football reloads, ready to pursue third straight league title

The high school football season officially starts eighteen days from Monday, August 12. In the Pac 7 League, Arroyo Grande has to be looked at as one of the favorites. The Eagles won a share of the league title last season and won it outright along with a CIF title in 2011.

Arroyo Grande will look to fill a number of holes left by departing seniors. But with high numbers of players coming out this season, the Eagles are primed to reload, not to rebuild.

All-League quarterback Matt Willkomm is gone. Mikey Gutierrez will take over the reins of the offense after backing up Willkomm last season. He completed 10 of his 19 passes for 148 yards in limited duties last year. With Willkomm out with an injury, Gutierrez started against Hart in a CIF first round game and went 9 for 18 for 133 yards in the 48-6 loss.

Two-way star Grant Alton is back, as is running back Michael Jordano, who led the team with ten touchdowns last season. Alton recorded 123 tackles, including 14 tackles for lost yardage last season, along with 15 catches for 230 yards. Jordano rushed for 403 yards on 87 carries a year ago to go with 67 tackles.

"Our offensive line has a little bit more experience this year so we'll rely on hopefully running the ball a little bit more," said veteran head coach Tom Goossen. "I believe in what the kids have been doing, I believe in how they've been approaching things and I like our team, how it's shaping up."

The Eagles will also benefit from the return of Tyler Auerbach, who missed much of last season with a torn ACL after a standout sophomore campaign. "We've had a good couple years here at Arroyo Grande. We've had a couple good winning years. I think we know what it takes to win league championships and go pretty far in CIF," said Auerbach, who recorded 22 tackles in 5 games last season to go with 75 tackles and 5 interceptions as a sophomore.

Arroyo Grande starts the season with a home game on August 30 against Lompoc. The Braves have beaten the Eagles the past two seasons.

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