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Orange Coast Football Position-by-Position: OCC aims to improve

Experience at QB among reasons Pirates believe they may achieve first winning season since 2006.

September 05, 2013|By Barry Faulkner
  • Cameron Biedgoly is slated to start at quarterback for Orange Coast College.
Cameron Biedgoly is slated to start at quarterback for… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

While most coaches are drawing up plays and arranging depth charts, Orange Coast College football coach Mike Taylor spent much of his preseason writing letters to professors on campus, urging them to admit his players into congested classes.

Taylor, who lost would-be returning receivers Buzzy Yokoyama and Bryan Keller to academic ineligibility this season, said last week he had 10 players who were still awaiting word on whether they would get enough classes to constitute the required 12-unit load.

"I wrote 155 personal letters to professors," Taylor said. "I felt like a mailman. I was up in the office stuffing envelopes into mail boxes."

With no winning seasons since 2006 and only three winning records in Taylor's previous 14 seasons at the Pirates' helm, OCC has become second class on the field. But Taylor is hoping experience at quarterback, more talent at receiver and running back and a more athletic defense will help this year's squad buck that trend.

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The Pirates, who are 5-23 in conference play and 18-32 the last five seasons, open their schedule at Moorpark College on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Here's a position-by-position look at the Pirates:

Quarterback: Sophomore Cameron Biedgoly, who threw for 1,359 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games last season, is the projected starter this season, having won a three-man battle for the job with Jon Newsom and Chad Knox.

The strong-armed Biedgoly set a school record with five touchdown passes in an overtime loss to Santa Ana last fall, when he completed 28 of 50 for 417 yards. Biedgoly connected on 97 of his 176 attempts in seven games in 2012, with five interceptions. But, arguably the least mobile of the top three here, he was sacked 18 times.

Newsom, a nimble runner, completed 90 of 169 for 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns with seven interceptions in nine games last season. He was sacked 23 times.

Knox, a bounce-back from the University of Wisconsin, has garnered praise from Taylor and second-year offensive coordinator Rudy Caamano. Knox completed nine of 13 passes for 86 yards during Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage, and opens the season ahead of Newsom (10 of 13 for 128 yards and two TDs in the scrimmage) into the No. 2 position.

Taylor said the experience of Biedgoly and Newsom provide a huge advantage in triggering the no-huddle, spread-option offense more efficiently this season.

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