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Schurr Looking For Further Almont Success

SchurrPreseason2MONTEBELLO - Schurr High football coach Ben Negrete said he knows if the Spartans are going to win the Almont League championship, there are several teams they are going to have to beat.

He added the team is just about ready for Friday's scrimmage at La Canada High.

"We're coming along," Negrete said. "Guys are working hard. We're a little bit banged up, but nothing serious. Normal camp stuff."
Negrete said the toughest job he has this year is filling the shoes of several top-notch seniors who graduated.

"We're replacing some of our big playmakers from last year," he said. "The young guys are coming around. We've got some people who look like they're getting ready to step up. I like their mind set. They're willing to work."

Standing out so far for the Spartans, Negrete said, are the offensive and defensive lines.

"The offensive line and defensive line are starting to show a little bit," said Negrete, who added the offensive line is being anchored by seniors guard Juan Bravo, center Albert Perez and tackle Alvin Garcia. "They're stepping it up and helping to bring up the youngsters. They have experience. I really like that."

Returning at quarterback is senior Aaron Cantu, much to Negrete's delight.

"Cantu is better than he was last year," Negrete said. "He's had a terrific offseason. He's better in all areas than last year. He may not have the same kind of stats as last year, but we have some really solid receivers.

"Cantu's real challenge this year is to be patient as the offense develops."

The receiving core is most likely going to be made up of seniors Chris Chiaromonte, Alejandro Castro and Matt Contreras and junior Willie Torres, Negrete said.

In the offensive backfield should be juniors Eric Magos, Erik Garcia, Bradley Powell and senior Abraham Gonzales, Negrete said.

"We have a combo of runners," Negrete said. "Some of the guys are power runners and a couple of guys can run for a little distance. I think we have a group of guys who can carry the load."

Negrete added the ball-carrying duties will be done "by committee."

"It keeps them fresh," he said. "They don't get banged up as much."

Perez is also anchoring the defensive line for the Spartans.

"He's a terrific player," Negrete said of Perez. "He solidifies us both ways."

And how does the entire defensive unit look?

"I think overall the defense has the potential to be a pretty good defense," Negrete said. "Our (corners and secondary are) solid. We got a couple of guys returning from the secondary."

Charmonte Castro and Torres should be starting at the safety positions, while the corners are expected to be juniors Brandon Chavez and Willie Fimbres. Also look for sophomore Ricky Fonseca "to try and work into the mix," Negrete said.

As for the team's weakness, Negrete said it could be its youth.

"Inexperience - just putting together a whole team and having everybody do their thing, who we are as a team and who are going to be the leaders on the team," Negrete said.

And the goal is to win the Almont League title, Negrete said, which won't be easy.

"There's a number of teams out there," Negrete said. "I respect all the teams and each one wants to beat us bad. They're highly motivated. It's a competitive league."

Chiaromonte agreed with Negrete.

"We're looking good," Chiaromonte said. "I can't wait. We all believe we have a chance to win the big ones. I hope to just get the ball, have our quarterback read me and just make the plays."

(Shel Segal can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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