Falcons forge on with new cast

Crescenta Valley enters season with largely unproven roster as it looks to challenge for Pacific League championship.

September 09, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimescom
  • Coach Paul Schilling, center, directs his team during practice at Crescenta Valley High.
Coach Paul Schilling, center, directs his team during… (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

LA CRESCENTA — In a Pacific League that is shaping up to be pretty top heavy, the Crescenta Valley High football team may be one of the most unproven commodities.

That's not to say that the Falcons, who finished third in league last year and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs, aren't contenders. They would seem to have plenty of talent funneled in from the program's fertile lower levels.

It's just that much of it is unproven at the varsity level, as only a handful of players are back from last year's team and nearly every key starting position has been reassigned.

"We're very unproven," said Coach Paul Schilling, a longtime CV assistant and lower-level coach, who took over for Tony Zarrillo. "I don't want to say rebuilding because we're not rebuilding, but everybody's just inexperienced. We are not young. I keep thinking that [we are] but we have a lot of seniors. It's just that they haven't played a lot of varsity football."


The Falcons' new offensive lineup has looked sharp over the summer, winning two passing league championships, and the defense has been tweaked a bit to maximize the talents of a largely all-new cast.

It appears the Falcons won't get the full picture of what they have until they actually kick off their season at 7 p.m. Friday at Verdugo Hills, but optimism abounds among the players.

"We're all coming together," senior linebacker/offensive tackle Bryan Luna said. "We all have a lot of energy going into practice and towards the games."

"We have lot of new guys and it's working out pretty good," senior wideout/cornerback Nico Domingo said. "They're stepping up, they're doing the right thing."

Offensively, the Falcons will run more or less the same spread offense that flourished last year with a cast led by quarterback Kyle Cota and running back Harry Pessy.

"We'll run the ball a little bit more, but we're mostly in the spread," Schilling said.

Junior Zac Wilkerson emerged as the starter after spending the summer in a battle for the position with St. Francis senior transfer Paul Perigini.

"They had kind of been splitting time most of the summer," Schilling said. "Just recently, we've gone more with Zac as Paul has become a starter on defense. It's been a good transition."

Domingo, junior Marro Lee and senior Kevin Fernandez will be the primary ball carriers in the Falcons' single-back formation.

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