LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Within the aftermath of the resurrection of the St. Francis High football program that was the 2009 season, it is overwhelming change that, at first glance, appears at the forefront for the Golden Knights going forward.
Gone are a core group of players that include leading tackler and middle linebacker Chris Cabrera, standout lineman David Chirikian, dual-threat quarterback Justin Posthuma and Dietrich Riley, the three-time reigning All-Area Football Player of the Year who was an Under Armour All-American and arguably the most highly-recruited athlete in area chronicle.
In addition, the 2010 schedule awaiting St. Francis is undoubtedly the area's most difficult, featuring the likes of Venice, Cathedral, Chaminade, Harvard-Westlake and, most notably, reigning CIF state champion Gardena Serra. It is a slate that features six different opponents from last year's regular season.
Of course, this is just St. Francis football at first glance.
Upon further review, the Golden Knights, despite significant and high-profile graduations, are a more experienced squad with more returning starters than the previous season's team, and it is a collection of players set on maintaining, if not exceeding, the success of a program that went 9-3 a year ago and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the CIF Southern Section Western Division playoffs.