Post Top 25 countdown: No. 23 Santaluces
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
by Steve Dorsey
As a member of District 13-7A that includes state power Dwyer and always-talented Atlantic, the chances of Santaluces winning a district championship are slim this season.
Chiefs coach Daryl Drinkwater believes, however, that his team will be much better than last year's 2-8 squad.
The Chiefs were a very young team last season when they had five freshmen who saw considerable playing time. They're still a somewhat young team, especially on the offensive line, which has been under the microscope the first few days of pre-season practices.
"The biggest thing is we want to get as much work and live looks for our offensive line as possible. That's where we're real young," Drinkwater said. "They're getting better every day. I think if we get things up front tightened up, we'll be OK."
Senior Sean Steele has earned the starting nod at quarterback. Steele was a backup to All-Area selection Evan Moore at Lake Worth last season before transferring to Santaluces.
The offense also returns junior running back Bernard Eberhardt, who was the Chiefs' second-leading rusher last season. Eberhardt is an elusive running back with the ability to find openings in opposing defenses.
Santaluces allowed at least 25 points in seven of its eight losses last season, but the Chiefs return six starters and Drinkwater said that defense will be the Chiefs' strength entering this season.
Fourth-year starter Artez Fulton, who is Eberhardt's cousin, anchors a linebacker corps that returns intact and also will see some time at running back. Senior linebacker Rod Theodore is an explosive tackler who is the sparkplug of the defense. The secondary includes seniors David Dorzeme and Sean Mendelsberg, who also double as wide receivers.
"The back seven of our defense is talented," Drinkwater said. "I think we've got the pieces to be pretty darn good."
Depth also is a concern at some positions, but as Drinkwater said, "That's always an issue in high school."