crosstown rival Costa Mesa.
The Eagles lineup includes no returning starters and less than a
handful who saw substantive action last fall.
Magnolia, on the other hand, went 1-9 in the debut campaign of former
El Modena coach Bill Backstrom last year. The Sentinels' malaise appears
to be rooted much deeper, since the program has lost 17 of its last 20
games and has not made the CIF Southern Section playoffs since 1982.
But, barring a tie, tonight's showdown will propel one program toward
a brighter future.
Estancia will need to turn up its intensity, according to Noonan, who
becomes the ninth coach in the 37-season history of the program.
Noonan a longtime assistant who worked most recently at Capistrano
Valley High, has brought renewed enthusiasm and a whole new aesthetic to
Estancia will debut its winged helmets and new maroon home jerseys
tonight. The Eagles also abandon last year's wing T for a more
traditional two-back pro-set offense, which will be triggered by junior
quarterback Lewis Bradshaw, a transfer from Newport Harbor.
On defense, the Eagles will unleash an attacking four-four scheme in
which players will be encouraged not to waste time reading keys, but
merely explode toward the general direction of the ball carrier.
Noonan, as well as his players, are extremely excited to kick things
"We have to be prepared," Noonan said. "We are prepared, we just have
to play like we're prepared. We can't afford turnovers and mistakes and
we can't give up anything on our special teams."
That preparation included Friday's scrimmage against Cabrillo of Long
Beach, during which Noonan said his defense struggled against the much
"Cabrillo was very big and physical," Noonan said. "If Magnolia saw us
scrimmage, it will probably try to run the ball against us. Run defense
is a concern for us."
Noonan is more confident in his secondary, which includes returning
lettermen Mitch Valdes and Ryan Grimes, as well as talented transfers
Nate Harriman and Jermaine Snell.
Harriman, a speedster from Texas, and Snell, a late fall arrival from