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Glendale Community College football hopes youth will lead way

Football: With only eight returners, Glendale Community College looks for successful 2013 campaign.

August 31, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • Lineman run offensive blocking drills during football practice at GCC on Monday. With only eight returners, the Vaqueros will be youthful in 2013. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Lineman run offensive blocking drills during football…

GLENDALE — From a numbers perspective, 2012 was a down year for the Glendale Community College football team.

The Vaqueros finished 2-8 overall last season and 0-7 within the American Division Pacific Conference, which extended the team’s conference losing streak to nine games.

From a slightly different perspective, the Vaqueros’ opening day roster of 72 players was significantly smaller than that of Santa Monica (84) and Los Angeles Pierce (96), both of which finished first and second last year in conference, respectively.

Yet, given those numbers, there is only optimism at Vaqueros camp, as the team prepares to begin its 85th season Sept. 7 at home versus Compton College at 6 p.m.

“In community college football, you shed 50% of your team, theoretically, every year. With this team, we’re particularly young and this group is looking to make its own statement,” said Vaqueros Coach John Rome, who is starting season No. 6. “This is a group that is learning and has a few key sophomores who will help with experience.”

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Perhaps the new blood will mesh with the team’s eight returning starters who are primed to use last year’s experience as fuel rather than an anchor.

The Vaqueros’ offense averaged 16.6 points per game last season, which was third-lowest in conference, as five different quarterbacks took at least one snap for a position that only averaged 117.4 passing yards per game, while contributing nine touchdowns versus 13 interceptions.

This season either freshmen Sean Murphy, formerly of Valencia High, or Jonathan Santos, from South East High, will win a lively quarterback competition.

Murphy threw for 3,939 yards and 38 touchdowns versus 14 interceptions his senior year, while Jonathan Santos tossed for 2,809 yards and 39 touchdowns against 12 interceptions.

“Right now, it’s an open competition, but either one is a strong option,” Rome said.

Perhaps the biggest loss for Glendale was the transfer of bulldozing running back Collin Keoshian, who continues his career at Illinois State after a banner 2012 year in which he rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns on 236 carries.

Freshman Marquise McGuire, La Salle High graduate Amir Evans and Bellarmine-Jefferson standout Josh Martinez are pining to fill the void.

While Martinez is the lone arrival from Bell-Jeff, his Guards head coach, David Machuca, also defected and will run the offense for Rome.

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