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Sea View League football preview: What to expect this season

The top players and season outlook for all four teams in the Sea View League:

SEA VIEW LEAGUE

ALISO NIGUEL

Top players: Jack Gill, RB/LB, Sr.; Chad DeSilva, LB, Sr.; Hunter Najm, QB, Jr.; CJ Besuzzi, LB, Sr.; Luke Guttenberg, DE/OL, Sr.; Jarret Sabol, WR, So.

What to expect: Aliso Niguel missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016 but a mixture of senior leadership and young players is cause for optimism in 2022. The strength of the team is its linebackers. Chad DeSilva and CJ Besuzzi are big multi-sport athletes who can stop the run and rush the passer. Junior quarterback Hunter Najm started a few games at the end of last season and he will get an opportunity to lead the team this season from day one. Jack Gill might get 20 touches per game at running back and Najm is a threat to run the ball as well. The Wolverines could be a second-place team in this league if they can stay healthy in October.

EL TORO

Top players: Josh Vivonia, WR/DB, Sr.; Nick Brown, OL, Jr.; Thomas Frum, RB/DB, Sr.; Derrick Ford, DL, Sr.; Clay Cafferty, LB, Sr.

What to expect: El Toro is the biggest mystery team in this league. The Chargers graduated their leading passer, two leading rushers and three leading receivers from a team that won the league championship last season. Josh Vivonia returns at corner and receiver after grabbing six interceptions last season. Thomas Frum returns at running back after having a 100-yard rushing game against Aliso Niguel and eight catches against Trabuco Hills. Tustin transfer Ben Armendariz might be the starting quarterback and Mehki Mitchell is a receiver who got a lot of targets at the Huntington Beach passing tournament. Clay Cafferty is a returning all-league linebacker who will likely lead the team in tackles. El Toro will need a lot of their players who lack varsity experience to step up in order to be a playoff team this season.

SAN JUAN HILLS

Top players: Weston Port, LB, So.; Michael “Butter” Tollefson, QB, So.; Brayden Bockler, TE/DE, Sr.; Ryan MacDougall, OL, Sr.; Enzo Benzan, OL/DL, Sr.; Chris Pioche, DB, Sr.

What to expect: San Juan Hills is the clear favorite to win the league this season. The Stallions, who were in the South Coast League last season, missed the playoffs with a 3-7 record in 2021 and played one of the toughest schedules in the county. Linebacker Weston Port is one of the top sophomores in the nation with offers from Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State among others. Quarterback Michael Tollefson is also a highly-ranked sophomore with numerous offers. Brayden Bockler will get his chance to be the team’s top receiving target this season and Ryan MacDougall may be the best offensive lineman in the league. San Juan Hills beat its Sea View League opponents by a score of 108-26 in two games last season so the Stallions could walk through this league with ease.

Trabuco Hills quarterback Will Burns looks to get past Long Beach Polys Christian King as the Mustangs take on the Jackrabbits in Long Beach, CA, on Friday, November 5, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

TRABUCO HILLS

Top players: Will Burns, QB, Sr.; Lucas Short, DB, Jr.; Henry Sturn, DL, Sr.; Oscar Gameros, DL, Sr.; Chris Padilla, WR, Sr.; Ben Holland, DB/WR, Jr.

What to expect: Trabuco Hills won its first league championship last season under coach Mark Nolan but got a brutal playoff draw in CIF-SS Division 4. The Mustangs lost in the first round to Long Beach Poly, which went on to win the section title. Will Burns is one of the best senior quarterbacks in the county and will get a chance to air it out more this season. He is committed to Texas Tech for baseball and football. Leading receiver Chris Padilla returns with Derek Fishel and Ben Holland rounding out the receiving corps. Oscar Gameros led the team in tackles last season with 52 and added four sacks. Lucas Short had three interceptions last season, including a 70-yard pick-six against Tesoro. The playmaking of Burns makes the Mustangs a strong contender to be the second-place team in this league.

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