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Crescenta Valley High football looks to put pieces together this spring

Football: Falcons use spring to evaluate new talent, see how it fits with their 22 returning upperclassmen.

June 08, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • CV's football player Ben Rees runs through a play during practice at Crescenta Valley High School on Thursday, May 30, 2013.
CV's football player Ben Rees runs through a play… (Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

Despite graduating 26 players and three of its primary offensive weapons, there's an excitement around the experience the Crescenta Valley High football team will have back in 2013.

That's not to say the Falcons aren't dealing with some unknowns this spring — 22 to be exact.

"We're going through this kind of thing where we've learned everything and now we're starting over and learning again," said Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling of spring football.

As always, fundamentals, conditioning, the weight room and chemistry building were still a priority this spring, but Schilling said the focus was on seeing what the 22 new players joining the varsity squad have to offer.

"We're trying to see what they can do," Schilling said. "Some of them came up from the [junior varsity] and we're trying to see if this guy's going to play for us. … That's our goal for the spring, see what we've got. This is a pretty deep group, from the first guy to the last guy, they're very deep."

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Perhaps Crescenta Valley will be deepest at quarterback in 2013 with three players with experience last year at the position returning. The revolving door for CV signal callers last season seems to have closed already in the spring, though.

The youngest of the trio Brian Gadsby, an incoming junior, is in line to take the reins from returning seniors Joe Torres and Ben Rees, who both played quarterback last season.

Torres and Rees have used the spring as a chance to grow into their new roles. Both will spend some time at wide receiver, alongside promising 6-foot-2 receiver Connor Van Ginkel, and in the defensive back field.

"So far it's been pretty good, we still have a lot of work to go through for the regular season, but hopefully we get there," Rees said. "I just want to help bring the team together, show senior leadership and do the best I can at whatever position they put me at."

While the Falcons went a disappointing 5-5, 3-4 in Pacific League to fall out of the playoffs into the No. 5 spot in the standings in 2012, they finished the year on a winning streak with victories over Hoover (21-19) and Arcadia (23-7) with Gadsby under center.

Although CV hasn't set any goals for the upcoming season, Schilling acknowledged a league title is something his team is always shooting for.

With 22 returning upperclassmen — 12 seniors and 10 juniors — there's reason for optimism, but Schilling's had to remind himself there could still be some growing pains.

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