Aug 19, 2014 8:44 PM by Matt SantaMaria
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - There are big shoes to fill at Bishop Diego High School this year. And a lot of them.
The Cardinals - who advanced to the CIF semifinals last season - return just a single starter from last year's 10-3 team.
"We we're a very senior laden team last year in terms of our starters," said Bishop Diego head coach Tom Crawford. "The reality is that we're going to have a lot of young guys that are going to step up."
The good news, the lone Cardinals starter who returns was one of their most productive offensive players in 2013. Senior-to-be Abel Gonzalez rushed for nearly 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns for Bishop Diego last season.
Gonzalez and the rest of the Bishop Diego backfield won't have offensive lineman Joe Salcedo leading the way this fall. Salcedo, one of the top offensive lineman in Southern California last season, is now a freshman at San Diego State.
"We might have some growing pains, but I think that's going to be part of the process and I think we're going to be alright."
Bishop Diego opens regular season play at Oak Park on August 29th. They host rival Nordhoff - who beat the Cardinals twice last season - on November 7th at Santa Barbara City College.