B Varsity

Wednesday, Aug 14 2013 01:00 PM

2013 HS football previews: North

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

We finished up the South Yosemite League team previews yesterday with a look at defending champion Ridgeview, so as we start over with a new league, we'll go first to a school that finished at the bottom of the Southeast Yosemite League. The North Stars are among a long list of teams in this city that have a proud history but not much in the way of recent success. Chad Brown, the youngest head coach in Bakersfield, is hoping to change that.

Countdown to Week 0: 16 days

NORTH STARS

Coach: Chad Brown (first year)

2012 record: 0-10 (0-5 Southeast Yosemite League, 0-5 home)
Average points: 8.3
Average points allowed: 38.1
Average rush yards: N/A
Average rush yards allowed: 194.0
Average pass yards: N/A
Average pass yards allowed: 128.4
Best win: N/A
Worst loss: East 35, North 13
*—yardage figures are from MaxPreps and are only used if at least half of games are available. Take them with a grain of salt. Figure could be skewed depending on which games, if any, are missing

Key players: Jared Dorton, sr, OL/DL; David Reyes, sr, RB/LB; Steven Twiss, jr, QB/DB; Clayton Williams, sr, OL/LB; Michael Zuniga, sr, WR/DB

Key losses: Eric Terrazas, WR/DB; Austin Howard, QB/DB; Gavin Lopez, OL/DL

Offense: One of the benefits of having a really young team is that it grows up, and that's what North is hoping for this year. Of a whopping 15 returning starters on offense and defense, none are more important than right tackle Jarred Dorton, a 6-foot-7, 295-pounder who has cut about 35 pounds of fat from his body and might just be the most promising offensive lineman in town. That's saying something, considering North is coming off an 0-10 season, but it's also a huge plus for the Stars. Dorton's job will be to plow holes for David Reyes, who returns as the starting running back, and to protect lefty quarterback Steven Twiss, who took over starting duties midway through 2012 as a sophomore. In all, there are four returning starters on the offensive line, so barring injuries, there shouldn't be any reason North isn't much better on offense.

Defense: Plenty of starters return here, too, and in reality, this unit wasn't all that bad last year, despite the winless record and 38.1 points allowed per game. The Stars defense was on the field an awful lot, and it still only surrendered about 320 yards per game. Ryan Bennett, a junior, and senior Jake Morris return to the interior defensive line, providing a solid anchor. What's missing might be a solid playmaker at linebacker or in the secondary who can create some havoc and also be a tackling machine. That guy might belinebacker Jacob Lucas, but he's out after suffering a concussion early in fall camp and is questionable for the start of the season.

Outlook: No one in Kern County, or perhaps the entire section, faces a rebuilding job like 31-year-old Chad Brown. Without any previous head coaching experience, he'll have to take an 0-10 team that was out-scored by nearly 30 points a game and mold something out of it. But the situation isn't as dire as it sounds. North had only four seniors who played significant time last year, and there were injury problems on top of that. Still, in Cy Silver's final year, the Stars were more competitive at the end of the season, playing four quarters with Tehachapi and taking Highland to overtime. The experience level is much, much higher this year, and that's going to help. Dorton is a wonderful building block, and North breeds tough players, so a better season seems inevitable. But a new coaching staff, even if it consists of a few coaches who were at North last year, is going to bring some transition, and frankly, there's a long road back to competitiveness. Two or three victories and a competitive team in the SEYL would be a big step in the right direction.

Quotable: "We're (celebrating) 60 years at North HIgh. A lot of people set a precedent in this program, and we haven't been living up to that. This is a proud program that has had a lot of great players. We want to build back up to that." — Brown

Schedule: Aug. 30 BYE
Sept. 6 at Mira Monte
Sept. 13 at West
Sept. 20 at Delano
Sept. 27 Golden Valley
Oct. 4 South
Oct. 11 at Foothill*
Oct. 18 Garces*
Oct. 25 Tehachapi*
Nov. 1 Highland*
Nov. 8 at East*
*—SEYL game

Prediction: 2-8, 1-4 SEYL

2013 HS football preview index
Aug. 1: 8-man schools
Aug. 2: Burroughs, Boron, Desert
Aug. 3: Rosamond, California City
Aug. 4: Frazier Mountain, Kern Valley
Aug. 5: McFarland, Delano, Kennedy
Aug. 6: Chavez
Aug. 6: Shafter
Aug. 7: Arvin
Aug. 7: Taft
Aug. 8: Wasco
Aug. 8: Bakersfield Christian
Aug. 9: Mira Monte
Aug. 10: Golden Valley
Aug. 11: South
Aug. 12: West
Aug. 13: Ridgeview

Tomorrow: Foothill

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