If the Mark Keppel High football team is to have a stellar year this season, it is going to have to have a championship-type performance from Danny Moreno.
Moreno, a senior, is hoping to be on the field for nearly every down, as he can play both offense and defense at the positions of quarterback, wide receiver, running back, linebacker, safety and defensive lineman.
His coach, Aaron Sepulveda, already seems to know that.
“Danny can play any position on that football field,” Sepulveda said. “He’s definitely very dynamic. Danny’s someone who we’re going to utilize to our advantage. We’re going to exploit his ability to the maximum as far as able to exploit any mismatches that we’re able to identify in our opponents or in situational football.”
Sepulveda added he’s looking for big things from Moreno.
“He’s going to be at wide out when we need big plays,” Sepulveda said. “He’s going to run the ball to dominate the play clock, the time of possession game. Defense as well. Danny has a knack for being at the right place at the right time. He has a knack for going up and intercepting the football or causing a fumble. We’re definitely going to try and squeeze every ounce out of him.”
The stats from last year on Moreno are all positive indicators for this season. Moreno passed for 530 yards and caught 24 passes for 510 yards.
In the opener against Ganesha High – which Keppel won, 22-18 – he rushed for 53 yards and threw for 122. He also had the game-winning sack on fourth down.
And scoring 11 touchdowns all season, Moreno scored them in a variety of ways: a pass as a quarterback, a rush, a reception and an interception return while playing linebacker.
Moreno, a resident of Monterey Park, said he is just trying to get focused on the season along with his teammates.
“We’re out here trying to work hard,” Moreno said. “Every single player is here trying to work hard. This team is a young team. We probably have only about eight seniors. We’re pushing the weights. Every single person is executing the plays and I feel something wonderful is going to happen this year.”
He added he wants to help the Aztecs any way he can as they go for a winning season.
“I’m going to lead the team as much as I can,” said Moreno, who stands at 6-foot-2, 192 pounds. “I’m going to demand the ball as much as I can. I’m going to push the team and I’m going to be vocal out there. I’m going to be the leader.”
In addition, Moreno said while the Aztecs haven’t been winners in several decades, he thinks that will change come September.
“I can tell, we have something to look forward to,” he said. “We’re going to change things this year. Everyone knows it.”