According to first-year coach Bobby Madrid, the Aztecs - who have already started the 2010 season on a losing note - have a roster featuring 19 sophomores, approximately five juniors and just three returning seniors.
"We're a very young team this year," Madrid said before opening the 2010 season opener at home in a CIF non-league contest against La Puente Bassett a week ago. "A lot of these kids played on the freshman team last year. They are going to find out real quick the difference between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m."
Finishing the 2009 season with a 1-9 record (0-5 in Almont League), the Aztecs' sole win last year ended a 40-game losing streak last October, defeating El Monte's Mountain View High, 36-0, at Aztec Field. The win, which occurred on Oct. 2, 2009, came almost exactly four years to the date of Keppel's last victory, coincidentally against Mountain View on Oct. 1, 2005.
With last year's team was made up primarily of seniors, Madrid, who replaced Raul Solis, called up 19 players from the freshman team.
Still, despite what should be an uphill battle in the 2010 season, Madrid says there are four notable players to pay attention to during this campaign, including running backs/linebackers Esquiel Jimenez, Johnnathan Marty, receiver/defensive back Matt Chidez, and guard/defensive end James Yee.
Both Chidas and Yee are returning seniors. The other returning senior is Johnny Tran.
Starting under center at the outset of the 2010 season is junior Tyler Takeshita, who, according to Madrid, is less of a pocket quarterback and more of a scrambler.
Madrid added he hopes to rely on his ground attack early on while Takeshita grows into the quarterback position before playing the vertical game.
The Aztecs, currently on a seven-game losing streak, return to the field tonight at Workman High for its first road contest of the season.
Prior to its lone win in 2009, Keppel won its first three games of the 2005 season before losing its next 40 games between Oct. 1, 2005, and Oct. 1, 2009.
According to MaxPreps.com, the Aztecs have not won a game away from Aztec Field since at least 2004.