The Los Banos High School football team will have a different look this season.
Out with the power offense. In with the spread.
“I just don’t think we have the physical, smash-mouth kids anymore. If you’re going to run power football, you’ve got to have that,” Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. “Not saying we’re not physical enough, but we’re going to a zone concept, and now instead of it being a power scheme, putting your head in there all the time, it’s an area deal (for blockers). We’ve got some athletes.”
New quarterback Adam Herrera, a junior who played outside linebacker and started the last two games at running back as a sophomore on varsity, will have three large targets.
Senior Alec Barcellos (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) played tight end last year and will play wide this season with Dalton King. Former starting running back David Walker (6-4, 200) and former offensive lineman Anthony Machado (6-0, 170) will handle slot duties. Fullback Daniel Fernandez will take over at running back, and former quarterback Loggan Pimentel moves to middle linebacker.
“It’s different. You’ve got to go out there and be a leader. Show the team you have confidence,” Herrera said about stepping into the quarterback role. “When you have confidence, that’s when the team starts to build up. You know, ‘I trust my quarterback.’ That’s what I want them to do is trust me. I have the ball. Now I have to be a leader out here.”
Barcellos is excited about the changes. He spent the summer working on routes with Herrera and position coach Imani Percoats. He’ll also play outside linebacker, moving from strong safety.
“Outside, we’ll have mismatches for sure with me, and then Machado and Walker controlling the middle, they’re going to be able to run crossing routes for days,” Barcellos said. “And we’re going to be able to block a lot better on littler guys. We’re just going to be better, hopefully.”
While the spread may come as a surprise to those who are accustomed to the Los Banos tradition of power football, the Tigers think they can make it work.
“I don’t think it’s a shock. You’re going to see people that will see it a little different, because they’re not accustomed to it, but as a whole, I think it’s good,” Caropreso said. “The kids are excited, and that’s the main thing. As long as the kids are excited and into it, I think that’s where you want it to be. We’re going to be up-tempo, no-huddle; it’s going to be a totally different offensive philosophy than you’ve seen before.”
With a defense that has carried the Tigers since running back James Sams and quarterback Chris Corpuz left two years ago, the Tigers feel the changes will get them back to the balanced squad that went 11-2 in 2012 and 10-2 in 2011.
“With what Imani and coach Caropreso have going for the offense this year – they’re scheming up a lot of stuff – I think we’re going to put a lot more points on the board than we did last year,” Barcellos said.
Former position coach Darin Heredia takes over as defensive coordinator, and Caropreso will take over offensive play-calling duties, with former defensive coordinator Jon Betschart taking over the junior varsity team and former offensive coordinator Jeremy Siemiller coaching the freshmen.
“Darin’s been in our system since (Dennis) Stubbs came here, and then when Jon came here they’ve been working together,” Caropreso said. “I think that should make the transitions easy.”
Candidate profile: Alec Barcellos
Position: Wide receiver/linebacker
Last Year: Barcellos was one of the top receivers and tacklers on the Tigers.
Qualifications: Barcellos brings the work ethic of a kid who grew up on a farm. He spent many weekends this offseason working on his routes with assistant coach and former Oregon State receiver Imani Percoats.
Endorsement: “He’s gotten better at running his routes working with coach Percoats. He’s worked his butt off all summer. He wants to play college football and he knows what it’s going to take. He has the heart of a tiger.” – Los Banos head coach Dustin Caropreso
Los Banos Tigers
Head Coach: Dustin Caropreso
Key Returners: Alec Barcellos, Sr., 6-3, 185, WR/OLB; Bailey Rodriguez, Sr., 6-0, 230, FB/NT; David Walker, Jr., 6-4, 200, slot; Daniel Fernandez, Jr., 5-10, 190, RB; Adam Herrera, Jr., 5-9, 165, QB; Gilbert Fuentes, Sr., 5-10, 140, S.
Key Losses: Josh Priest, OL; Darren Batey, MLB; Michael Severino, OL/DL.
Key Newcomers: Evan Duran, Jr., 6-0, 245, C; Andrew Costa, Jr., 6-1, 245, OL; Anthony Machado, Jr., 6-0, 170, slot.
Rivalry Games: Westside War vs. Dos Palos, Crosstown Clash vs. Los Banos
Stadium: Carlyle G. Loftin Stadium