“I’m just hoping that last year was an aberration with the type and amount of injuries that we had,” said Rome, whose team opened last season with a 20-13 road loss to West L.A. College. “With the sophomores that we have returning, we hope that what happened last year will be a motivational tool.”
West L.A. College, which went 4-6 last season, might be the perfect test for the Vaqueros.
Rome, who will begin his second year with the Vaqueros after serving as offensive coordinator the previous six seasons, said the Oilers will run different offensive schemes.
“They tend to run a spread-style offense,” Rome said. “So, for example, we are going to have to stop the quarterback on an option.
“It’s always a good test for us because they always seem to have tremendous athletes and they have a multiple-dimension offense. They return a lot of people, and we hope that we can get a better idea of where our talent level stacks up.”
Those expected to have big seasons for the Vaqueros include Nick Bryant, Josh Stangby and Stephen Miller.
Bryant, a wide receiver/H-back, was named to the all-conference second team as an all-purpose player last season after he caught 23 passes for 280 yards and one touchdown.
Stangby also earned all-conference second-team accolades as a standout on special teams. Stangby had 20 kick returns for 400 yards. Plus, he had 13 rushes for 178 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with six tackles and 683 all-purpose yards.
Miller started part of last season at quarterback. He turned in some good performances, one of which included him completing 20 of 38 passes for 318 yards in a conference road game against Moorpark College.
“He started the last three games of the season for us,” Rome said. “We’ve since worked with [Miller] on his weaknesses and mechanics, and we are correcting them.”
The running backs expected to start are former All-Area members Joe Wiggan and Jorge Chaidez.