who learned football at the foot of his father, John Barnes, the
all-time victory leader among Orange County prep coaches, for whom
Brian played at Los Alamitos.
"How soon will that happen? It's tough to say," said Barnes, 26, a
6-foot-7, 300-pound presence who played offensive tackle at Nevada.
"But we're here to compete, win games and win championships."
Longtime Estancia observers might suggest Barnes has swapped
ideological Kool-Aid for Gatorade, as he prepares for his first
season as a head coach on any level.
The Eagles, in fact, have won just two league titles (Sea View
League crowns in 1979 and 1989) in their first 40 varsity seasons.
The program has failed to win a playoff game since 1980, has won just
three postseason games in its history and has ventured to the
playoffs just once since 1995.
Barnes is not unaware of this. But he is decidedly more familiar
with the rich tradition of Los Al, where his dad provides a role
model as well as a perpetual sounding board.
"Los Al is definitely the blueprint for our program," said Barnes,
who took his players to watch the Griffins practice last spring and
has duplicated several aspects of that highly successful program,
including the spread offense.
"I have given our kids a vision for what our program should be and
No. 1 on the list is to be an exciting team to watch both offensively
and defensively," Barnes said. "Our base formation is four wide, with
one back, out of the shotgun."
Barnes, however, believes schemes are secondary to scheming in
these formative stages of building a program.
"Since I got here in April, we've totally changed things," said
Barnes, who enlisted several former Los Al players and coaches to
form much of his coaching staff. "We expect nothing but greatness
from these kids. Some kids told me our spring practice was harder
than their two-a-days [last year]. A big thing, right now, is just
getting the kids to buy in."
Barnes said there is evidence this has been accomplished.
"On our three weeks off [a CIF Southern Section mandated dead