So, this was supposed to be posted earlier this week. But getting football tab out/wedding anniversary (I know, right!), it’s not going up until today.
Here goes anyway.
Watsonville High hosted the Pajaro/Watsonville Jamboree last Friday, welcoming P.V., Monte Vista Christian and Seaside.
– Seaside was the big winner. They weren’t perfect, but no one was expecting them to be this early in the season. They were good enough where you could see framework of a title contender down the road. Quarterback Michael Turner has a strong arm and so much height among his receivers. The line pushes people around, and has enough size and speed that running back Kenneth Parker should have room to run. Speaking with one coach afterward, he said the biggest offensive weapon Seaside may have is Joseph Jakubowski, last year’s quarterback-turned-slot-receiver. Jakubowski was a WR his sophomore season, when he caught 47 balls for 700+ yards and 10 TDs. He’s back at that position, and considering his size (he was listed at 5-7, 160 last season), he could be a bit of a secret weapon, lost in the sea of height Seaside’s other receivers are blessed with. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him used in a trick play; after all, he threw 16 TDs and more than 1,500 yards last season.
The Spartans aren’t unbeatable, but they certainly have the edge entering the season.
– MVC lost a lot last season, but I wouldn’t necessarily refer to this as a rebuilding season — far from it. The Mustangs might have their moments early on where inexperience at the varsity level could hurt them. But after the jamboree, it’s clear there’s too much talent on this team (still) for them to revert backwards. MVC will be contending for another MBL title.
The Mustangs run the spread, which is key on the quarterback’s play, and MVC has Nick Matiasevich filling in behind center. He looked good at the jamboree, and had a couple solid vertical throws — the type that seem to give a high school secondary problems. David Hightower will be an important piece, too. He’s 6-foot-2 and will be one of Matiasevich’s biggest targets.
– Pajaro Valley is progressing, and coach Joe Gregorio was pleased with his new quarterback Eddie Medina’s throwing ability. The Grizzlies will be a run-first football team, and have an improved line to do so. But P.V.’s offense looked at its best when Medina was able to stretch the defense with a pass, setting up the run. Teams were loading the box, otherwise. Medina still needs plenty of work on his throws, but his ability to find the open receiver when the Grizzlies elect to pass will be key in how well PV runs the ball this season.
– Watsonville, I think, could be the most intriguing as the season progresses. They lost a lot of seniors last year, including their two best offensive weapons in Lamar Cowans and Fabian Serrano, from a team that went 2-8 overall. Moreover, they have a new head coach in John Montante. All of that seemed to be on display at the jamboree, with the Wildcatz going back and forth with consistency, first with a good play, then a costly penalty.
They’re learning. But they have some pieces that could develop under Montante. Quarterback Eddie Mares and running back Roger Contreras appear they will anchor the offense in Watsonville’s spread option. Once everything is moving in the right direction, this team could be potent.
– Perhaps the most interesting thing, well, definetely the most bizarre, to come out of the jamboree was when Watsonville took the field. Pajaro Valley and MVC were already involved in a session on the field when the Wildcatz, who were on the field next, came out 2-by-2 to warm up. The weird thing was, not only did they split the PV sideline, with Grizzlies players and coaches in between, but they also began warming up in the end zone. While referees tried to push them off, Watsonville, in what appeared to be a burst of adrenaline and testosterone, did a warm-up run onto the field and interrupted the PV-MVC session.
The whole thing maybe lasted 5 minutes, but it was not the way Montante wanted to begin his tenure at Watsonville.
“They got overzealous. It was bad. It did not represent the school, the coaching staff or the kids,” Montante said afterward. “These are good kids. They just made a bad mistake.”