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High school football 2023: Sea View League preview, top players

OCVarsity is previewing every 11-man team in Orange County before the 2023 high school football season begins.

SEA VIEW LEAGUE PREVIEW

ALISO NIGUEL

Top players: Luke Jones, RB, Sr.; Marcus Macabitas, DB, Sr.; Hunter Najm, QB, Sr.; Jarett Sabol, RB, Jr.; Ayden Sanchez, WR/DB, Sr.; Raman Valizade, OL, Sr.

What to expect: Aliso Niguel has nine returning starters on offense including quarterback Hunter Najm who is entering his third year as the team’s starter. His two biggest weapons are scholarship athletes in other sports: Jarett Sabol (USC baseball) and Ayden Sanchez (Mercer lacrosse). Sabol ran for a school-record 330 yards with four touchdowns in a loss to Crean Lutheran in last season’s playoffs. The Wolverines ran for 162 yards per game last season and all five offensive linemen are returning along with both running backs. The defense is inexperienced but Marcus Macabitas is a good cornerback and junior linebacker Hudson Schilling is a name to keep an eye on.

Aliso Niguel quarterback Hunter Najm scrambles away from Fountain Valley linebacker Ben Pham in a non-league football game at Huntington Beach High School in Huntington Beach on Friday, September 23, 2022. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)Aliso Niguel quarterback Hunter Najm scrambles away from Fountain Valley linebacker Ben Pham in a non-league football game at Huntington Beach High School in Huntington Beach on Friday, September 23, 2022. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

EL TORO

Top players: Nick Brown, OL, Sr.; Cody LeCompte, RB/DB, Sr.; Josh Quitugua, LB, Sr.; Sebastian Robles, LB, Sr.; Shane Stocker, WR/DB, Sr.

What to expect: El Toro’s six leading tacklers from last season are all returning which is cause for optimism. Cody LeCompte led the defense with 73 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. The offense averaged less than 200 yards per game last season, but quarterback Ben Armendariz is back along with one of the better offensive linemen in the league, Nick Brown. Armendariz has a strong group of returning receivers to throw to in Mekhi Mitchell and Shane Stocker. El Toro surprised some people when it won the Surf City passing tournament at Huntington Beach. “It also showed we had the mental and physical fortitude to compete for an entire day and get contributions from several players, not just one or two guys,” coach Randall Reynoso said.

SAN JUAN HILLS

Top players: Colton Chase, WR, Sr.; Jake Javorsky, LB, Sr.; Sullivan Land, RB, Sr.; Trevor Newkirk, OL, Sr.; Weston Port, LB, Jr.; Chris WIlliams, WR/DB, Jr.

What to expect: The Stallions dominated the Sea View League last season after going 0-7 in nonleague play. San Juan Hills has one of the best linebacker duos in the county in Jake Javorsky and Weston Port. Javorsky was among the county leaders with 129 tackles with 16 for a loss and Port had 97 tackles, 23 for a loss. San Juan Hills has two sophomore quarterbacks competing for the starting position: Tristan Zale and Mater Dei transfer Timmy Herr. Either quarterback will be aided by returning Sea View League Offensive Player of the Year Sullivan Land at running back. Chris Williams sat out half the season in 2022 after transferring from Mater Dei but has offers from Colorado State and Louisville. The offensive line is led by 6-foot-7 tackle Trevor Newkirk who has an offer from Northern Arizona.

TRABUCO HILLS

Top players: Taylor Bowie, RB/LB, Sr.; Brody Brown, OL, Sr.; Mikey Gray, TE, Jr.; Ben Holland, WR/DB, Sr.; Ryan Luce, WR, Jr.; Lucas Short, DB, Sr.

What to expect: Trabuco Hills is faced with the tough test of replacing one of last season’s top quarterbacks in Will Burns who is now a two-sport athlete at Texas Tech. Senior quarterback Jacob Perry was good when he played last season and his supporting cast is mostly returning. Taylor Bowie had 13 rushing touchdowns in 11 games and Ryan Luce had 918 yards receiving. Lucas Short is a three-year starter at cornerback and leads the defense. All three of the teams that have eliminated the Mustangs from the playoffs since coach Mark Nolan arrived went on to win CIF-SS championships. “It is our firm belief and conviction that to be a championship program, you either win it or the team that wins it has to beat you,” Nolan said. “That has been the case the last three years.”

Trabuco Hills' Taylor Bowie is grabbed from behind after a gain against San Juan Hills. San Juan Hills vs. Trabuco Hills in a Sea View League football game at Trabuco Hills HS. Photographed on Friday, 10/21/2022 in Mission Viejo, California. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)Trabuco Hills’ Taylor Bowie is grabbed from behind after a gain against San Juan Hills in a Sea View League football game at Trabuco Hills HS on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, in Mission Viejo, California. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

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