Over the past four seasons, the Palmdale High School football team has made headlines dominating the Golden League, winning four championships in a row and putting together a 28 straight league games. A big part of the Falcons’ success has come from the collective experience of its players.
But with over 30 players from last year’s roster gone due to graduation, Palmdale will have to lean on a slew of young players if it wants to continue the success its enjoyed in recent years.
“We are going to be very young,” Falcons head coach Jeff Williams said during practice on Wednesday, Aug. 17. “Most of our kids, they don’t have varsity game experience.”
But despite only four total players returning this year from last year, the team feels confident that it will continue its run in the Golden League. Senior linebacker Christopher Avina said he “always” expects to win the league championship, and sees no reason why the Falcons can’t do it again, provided they do the right things during the season.
“I feel like if we can get our discipline straight, we’ll be fine because we have the talent,” Avina said. “Our team is great, but we need to work on our discipline. If we can do that, we’ll be golden.”
Williams said his mostly new team has more depth than last year’s squad, and that depth should translate to success on the field. Williams expects to win the league title again this year and also to compete for a CIF championship.
“Those are our goals,” Williams said. “You can call them lofty, but that’s what the expectation is here at Palmdale High School.”
Key losses: Nathanial Myles (QB), Christion Johnson (WR/DE), Robert Robinson (OL/DL)
Key returners: Richard Newton (RB/SS), Aaron Bowie (QB), John Ward (QB/LB)
Players to watch: Brandon Jones (RB/SS), Christian Avina (LB), Dylan Dobbins (WR/LB), Rodney Woods (RB/DE), DeJuan Sanders
Strength: Team speed and “untapped talent in every aspect of the game,” Williams said.
Area to Improve: “You can’t substitute game experience, and I think that’s what we’re really lacking is game experience in big games,” Williams said.