2013 Oak Ridge
Aug. 30 – Vista del Lago W 38-0
Sept. 6 – Rocklin, 7:15
Sept. 13 – @ Franklin, 7:15
Sept. 20 – @ Grant, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 – Vacaville, 7:15
Oct. 4 – Bye
Oct. 11 – @ Folsom, 7:15
Oct. 18 – Sheldon, 7:15
Oct. 25 – @ Ponderosa, 7:15
Nov. 1 – Pleasant Grove, 7″15
Nov. 9 @ Jesuit, 1 p.m.
Team: Oak Ridge
League: Delta River League — Ponderosa, Folsom, Pleasant Grove, Jesuit, Sheldon.
2012 record: 12-2 overall; 4-1 league
Head coach: Eric Cavaliere
Assistant coaches: Mark Watson (quarterbacks, passing game); Chris Williams (cornerbacks, tight ends); Darren Jonutz (Defensive Coordinator, linebackers); Aaron Brackney (offensive line, run game); Kevin Lopina (wide receivers); Kevin Placek (defensive line), Cavaliere (running backs, safeties).
Key games: Aug. 30 season/home opener vs Vista del Lago; Sept. 20 at Grant; Sept. 27 vs Vacaville; Oct. 11 Delta River League opener at Folsom; Oct. 18 Homecoming vs Sheldon; Nov. 1 Senior Night vs Pleasant Grove.
Intro — The Trojans came very close to another section title last season but finished as the runner-up. Since joining Division I, Oak Ridge has steadily improved. All that’s left is getting over the hump or more specifically, get past Granite Bay who ended Troy’s season each of the past two years. Two playoff wins at Burbank the past two seasons were epic.
Cavaliere has the program’s focus set on goals that have immediate impact. Yes, win the section banner, yes, get into position to win league, yes, make the playoffs and yes, win in the playoffs. More importantly, though is the game in front of them.
Offense — Expect to see balance. Oak Ridge will show a lot of different formations, shifts and motion while utilizing its personnel. Shot gun, running, throwing … it’s all in the Trojans’ arsenal.
Key returning players are quarterback/wide receiver Jacob Sipes. running back Josh Wellman, fullback Tanner Hughes, receiver Justin Priest and tight end Trent Buenzli.
Oak Ridge’s offensive line will be inexperienced but a huge key to its success. In the trenches, Troy has young, good athletes which bodes well for the future.
Along with Sipes, Cavaliere and Co. feel that quarterback Ian Book also gives them an excellent chance to win. With Sipes holding value elsewhere (receiver. defensive back), the Trojans have a quarterback controversy of the best kind. Book quarterbacked Troy’s season-opening win over Vista and had solid numbers.
“The question us coaches have to answer is what the best team on the field will be,” said Cavaliere before the season started.
Defense — In a word, speed, as Cavaliere sees a lot of players that can run to the ball. Returning to the fold are defensive backs Victor Bunce, Colton Giorgi and Sipes, and linebackers Thomas Mahlman and Buenzli.
Like on offense, the defensive line, except for Austin Clarke, is new.
Special teams — An Oak Ridge strength led by Sipes, an All-Section punter. The kicking is handled by incumbent Ryan Lamb with Tyler Franzen and Adam Walter in the mix.
League: The Delta River is a grinder with no weeks off. Folsom is nationally ranked and Pleasant Grove is a perennial power.
“It’s a good strong league and a lot of fun,” Cavaliere said. “If you don’t play your best … you lose.”