By Zach Cavanagh
In our annual San Juan Capistrano high school football preview, we delve into everything you need to know about the upcoming football season. Click the links below to read the team-specific previews, scroll through the PDF version here for more photos and interviews.
The 2019 high school football season in San Juan Capistrano is already shaping up to be one of the more exciting in recent memory for the city’s collection of five teams.
San Juan Capistrano boasts some of the best and most electric players in Orange County football, as well as teams poised to make noise in their respective playoff divisions.
San Juan Hills features possibly the most versatile player in all of the CIF-Southern Section in senior Joey Hobert. The Washington State commit will run the ball, play receiver, punt, kick, play defense, return kicks and occasionally take direct snaps as a “wildcat” quarterback.
The Stallions enter the season as favorites in the Sea View League and ranked No. 6 in Division 4. Can San Juan Hills utilize its skill positions and pressure defense to make a lengthy playoff run?
JSerra boasts one of the most explosive and dynamic running backs in Orange County in senior Chris Street. The Cal commit should have plenty of running room behind a stalwart Lions offensive line that includes Michigan commit Jeffrey Persi. JSerra also has a defense full of talented and experienced juniors, including Jaden Genova and Siale Suliafu, who are looking to make a name for themselves.
JSerra appears to again be the third-best team in the Trinity League behind Mater Dei and St. John Bosco, but can the Lions, ranked No. 5 in the combined Division 1 & 2 grouping, upset the balance of power and advance to their first CIF-SS semifinal?
St. Margaret’s will be boosted by one of its strongest group of linemen in school history, led by 6-foot-6, 260-pound Kyle Juergens. The USC commit will be the leader in the trenches as the Tartans look to carve up an impressive nonleague schedule and prepare for another fight through the playoffs.
St. Margaret’s should cruise through the San Joaquin League, but how far can the Tartans, ranked No. 10 in Division 6, go against the big public schools in the CIF-SS playoffs?
Speaking of the San Joaquin League, St. Margaret’s and Saddleback Valley Christian welcome Capistrano Valley Christian back as a league foe, as the city’s trio of small private schools fight for league playoff spots.
Capistrano Valley Christian is coming off its first 11-man football league title since 2000, but with a 21-man roster, how far can the Eagles push this season? Saddleback Valley Christian had a late turnaround to earn a playoff appearance last season, but can the Warriors get back again competing against tougher league competition?
All five teams open in Week 0 with four games on Friday, Aug. 23 and one on Saturday, Aug. 24. For news, in-game updates, scores, photos and videos all season long, follow along on Twitter @SouthOCSports.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports.