BVarsity

Wednesday, Aug 27 2014 11:30 PM

HS FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Frontier

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    BCHS' Matt Smith has a good run against Frontier High during a scrimmage Friday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier High's Isaiah Sharp is all smiles after a good run during a scrimmage Friday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier High's Isaiah Sharp breaks for a touchdown against Frontier High during a scrimmage Friday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier High's QB Elijah Hill looks for a receiver during a scrimmage Friday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier High's Isaiah Sharp looks for running room during a scrimmage with BCHS Friday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    BCHS QB Brandon Jones looks for his receiver during a scrimmage with Frontier High Friday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    An unidentified BCHS runner gains yards on Frontier High's defenders during a scrimmage Friday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier High's Isaiah Sharp appears to deflect a pass intended for a BCHS receiver during a scrimmage Friday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    BCHS QB Brandon Jones has good pass protection and looks for a receiver during their scrimmage against Frontier High Friday.

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    Rich Cornford, Frontier High football coach, appears on BVarsity Network's Super Show.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Marcus Prado breaks away for a nice gain during Monday's practice at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Elijah Hill rolls out during practice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Elijah Hill takes a snap during practice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Riley Salters makes a catch during practice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Brady Serda catches a pass during Monday's practice at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Riley Salters makes a catch during practice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Brady Serda catches a pass during Monday's practice at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Riley Salters runs after a catch during practice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier players head to the next station Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Nick Santoro heads to the next drill during pratice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Nick Santoro runs to the outside during pratice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Nick Santoro catches a pass during pratice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Brady Serda runs his pass route during Monday's practice at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier head coach Rich Cornford starts a drill during Monday's practice at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier head coach Rich Cornford watches over the practice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier's Greg Youngblood rolls out during practice Monday afternoon at Frontier High.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier RB Nick Santoro

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier WR/DB Riley Salters

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Frontier WR/DB Brady Serda

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BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

Frontier coach Rich Cornford was West High's coach during the Ryan Mathews days.

Mathews, now with the San Diego Chargers, is a unique talent and was sensational as a high school player.

Related Info

WATCH THEM LIVE

Aug. 29: Ridgeview at Frontier

Sept. 12: Independence at Frontier

Sept. 26: West at Frontier

SEASONSCHEDULE

Aug. 29: Ridgeview

Sept. 5: BYE

Sept. 12: Independence

Sept. 19: at Golden Valley

Sept. 26: West

Oct. 3: at Fresno-Central

Oct. 10: Liberty*

Oct. 17: at Bakersfield*

Oct. 24: Stockdale*

Oct. 31: at Garces*

Nov. 7: Centennial*

* -- SWYL game

KEYS TO THE SEASON

n Repeat of 2012?: The Titans won the SWYL title in 2012, going 5-0. Last season, they struggled, going 1-4. "You gotta stay healthy, which is partially luck," coach Rich Cornford said. "You've got to have some depth, and the ball has to bounce your way. We had some chances in a couple of our games (last season) and just came up short. We had a nice lead on Liberty. ... We missed an extra point, they made three two-point conversions and win by one point. How does that happen?"

n Hello Garces: Garces' move to the SWYL will only make the league tougher, Cornford said. "Garces is a proven commodity in this town," he said. "My O-coordinator and D-coordinator are Garces products. That speaks volumes about that program."

n Stat quirk: Despite finishing 4-6, Frontier outscored opponents 267-261 and scored only four fewer points than the 7-4 team in 2012.

KEY PLAYERS

Nick Santoro

RB/LB, senior

He's a proven talent at running back, but with Isaiah Sharp's arrival, Santoro will be able to focus on inside linebacker, where he can utilize his speed and quickness to disrupt opposing offenses.

n Blake Pierce, OL, senior: At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, Pierce boasts the size and strength that the Titans' offensive line has been known for since the school opened.

n Brady Serda, WR/DB, junior: Serda impressed opposing coaches last season as a first-team all-league safety. He caught 26 passes for 392 yards.

n Riley Salters, WR/DB, senior: He joins Serda to give Titans a nice 1-2 punch in the defensive secondary.

SOUTHWEST YOSEMITE LEAGUE * DIVISION I * 2013 RECORD: 4-6, MISSED PLAYOFFS

Now Cornford gets to coach another special talent.

"We're excited Isaiah Sharp is here. I haven't had a back with his ability since the West High days," Cornford said.

A transfer from Wasco, Sharp led the Tigers with 1,349 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, despite missing two games with injury, and he led Wasco to the Division IV Central Section title in 2012 with 2,317 yards and 34 TDs.

Sharp spent several of his pre-high school years living in Bakersfield.

"I know all these guys. I played with them in Golden Empire," Sharp said. "I'm just trying to learn the offense now."

The challenge for Sharp is performing at a high level against stiffer competition, primarily the meat grinder known as the Southwest Yosemite League.

"It's a lot more challenging," Sharp said. "You've got to go when you need to go. You can't just wait on it. At Wasco, I could sit back and wait on my blockers."

Wasco went 22-3 the past two seasons. The Titans won the SWYL title two seasons ago at 5-0 but only went 4-6 last season (1-4 SWYL).

"Make the playoffs, win a lot of games and hopefully get to the Valley title game again. That's the goal," Sharp said.

Frontier has many other weapons.

Nick Santoro, the team's top rusher last season (610 yards, 8 TDs) is back, and he'll get his share of carries. But his forte is linebacker.

Junior Brady Serda, who joined the varsity late in his freshman season, was all-SWYL and second-team All-Area at safety last season.

Senior offensive tackle Blake Pierce (6-5, 272) was second-team all-SWYL.

Safety Riley Salters, linebackers Isaiah Atuatasi and Issiah Tuipoasi and defensive end Jason Quinton have looked good in practice, Cornford said.

The two quarterbacks used last season graduated. Cornford said the job is a battle between junior Elijah Hill and sophomore Greg Youngblood.

"Greg is a little better runner and Elijah is a more refined passer," Cornford said, adding that Serda and Salters are top receivers.

"But we're going to run a lot of two tight end sets to maximize the running game," Cornford said. "When you got a horse, you ride it.

"We have a lot of potential if we stay disciplined and do what we're supposed to do."

That includes Sharp, back playing with some childhood friends.

"We've been playing with each other since we were little," Serda said. "Hopefully we're back on schedule and do what we did two years ago."

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