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Sickles: Season preview

A-listers Taylor Drane

A Division I-A talent with Ivy League brains, the four-year standout, who possesses tremendous strength, starts on the offensive line and at linebacker.

Cody Durakovic

A physical inside linebacker with great size, Durakovic is one of the squad's biggest hitters. He might see action at tight end.

Xander Morehouse

A two-way starter on the interior, Morehouse is the team's strongest player. He's an undersized lineman (6-1, 215), but you'd never know by the way he plays.

Cullen O'Brien

A senior with great athletic ability, O'Brien is a solid dual-threat quarterback with above-average playmaking abilities. He'll also start at cornerback, which should bolster the defense.

Scott O'Donoghue

The three-year starter is a tough, hard-nosed runner with good speed and excellent instincts.

Rising star Alex Zwolak

A junior wide receiver, Zwolak has shown great potential since being called up from the junior varsity last fall. He has great hands and isn't afraid to go over the middle and make the tough catches.

Stunt man Andrew Early

Guy who does the dirty work

Early is a three-year starter who does a little bit of everything. As a sophomore, he played linebacker. As a junior, he was an H-back. Now, he's set to see action at receiver and defensive back.

Cutting-room floor

Three things the Gryphons need to avoid

1. Complacency. When Sickles went 7-4 last fall, it was the first time the Gryphons posted a winning record. For the program to continue in the right direction, returning players can't be content with last season's success.

2. Losing the turnover battle. Sickles' four defeats last year produced a common theme: the team had more giveaways than takeaways in each.

3. Kicking game letdown. The Gryphons had one of the county's best special-teams units in 2007. In first-year kicker Tyler Deming, Sickles hopes that trend can continue.

Review

"They've got a great group of players and excellent coaches. I really like their quarterback. He's a very athletic kid who can do a lot of good things with the football." — Alonso coach Mike Heldt

Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer

Coach: Pat O'Brien (third season, 7-14; 10th overall, 29-62) | Last season: 7-4 | Class: 5A, District 6 | Colors: Green and white

Sickles: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:15pm]

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