Team: Oak Ridge
League: Sierra Foothill League — Del Oro, Folsom, Granite Bay, Nevada Union, Rocklin and Woodcreek.
2013 record: 12-2 overall, Sac-Joaquin Section D-I runner-up; 4-1 in Delta River League, second place.
Head coach: Eric Cavaliere, eighth year.
Assistant coaches: Mark Watson (quarterbacks/passing game coordinator), Chris Williams (offensive line/running game coordinator), Bill Bunce (wide receivers/offensive play caller), Darren Jonutz (linebackers/defensive coordinator), Kevin Placek (defensive line), Kevin Lopina (tight ends/outside linebackers) and Ben Sweet (defensive backs).
Key dates: Sept. 5 home opener against Vacaville; Sept. 26 league opener against Woodcreek; Oct. 10 hosting Granite Bay, Oct. 17 at Del Oro; Oct. 24, homecoming and Senior night against Nevada Union and Oct. 31 at Folsom.
Intro — Oak Ridge High football coach Eric Cavaliere and his coaching staff feels part of the success of their players could be dictated as to how they step onto the field before kickoff.
“As ridiculous as it sounds, the little things such as stretching, warm-up correctly, let’s make sure we have 11 guys on kickoff, 11 guys on punt, 11 guys on the field,” Cavaliere said. “Make sure our sideline is engaged in the game.”
In Oak Ridge’s home scrimmage against Colfax on Saturday, Cavaliere was pleased with how the players treated the contest as a real game.
“From an execution standpoint, we mostly did good,” Cavaliere said. “There’s a lot of positive plays for us on both sides of the ball. We’re pleased with effort that we saw. We saw a lot of guys around the ball.”
This Friday, Oak Ridge, which is ranked No. 4 in the Sacramento area, opens the season at Whitney, which made the D-II playoffs last fall.
Oak Ridge joins Folsom from the now-defunct Delta River League into the Sierra Foothill League, considered by most of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s football coaches and media as “the” league in the section. Three of the schools the Trojans faced last season — Rocklin in a non-league game, Folsom, twice in league and the section’s D-I title game last December at Sacramento State, and Granite Bay in the playoffs.
One of the pluses for the Trojans this season is that they will play six home games — including four consecutive against Vacaville, Burbank and Reed (Sparks, Nev.), then open league play against Woodcreek.
Offense — The Trojans will run their Pro offense that is led by junior quarterback Ian Book, who passed for 2,558 yards and 30 touchdowns.
“He’s been accurate,” said Cavaliere on Books’ progress during summer workouts, and practices in recent weeks. “This year, he’s getting the reps.”
Oak Ridge used three running backs in its scrimmage against Colfax. Those backs were Andrew Lackowski, Gage Webb, who is only a junior, and Steven Douglas.
“All had big plays,” said Cavaliere on the quartet’s play in Saturday’s scrimmage. “They all did very good things with the ball in their hands.”
Dalton Santos and Camden Cicchetti will be the Trojans’ fullbacks, as they and offensive linemen will be opening holes for the trio.
“Dalton provides us with muscle and power,” Cavaliere said. “Camden was able to get loose and score a touchdown. We’re excited for what we have back there.”
Some of Book’s receivers will be tight end Ryan Sullivan and wide receiver Tommy Dunnigan. Last season, Sullivan had 8 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s only his second year he’s played tight end,” said Cavaliere of Sullivan, who was a quarterback before being switched last season. “He has a very high ceiling, and we expect to improve. He’s going to be a big part of our passing game.”
Returning to trenches are Nolan Book, Ian’s brother, and Giuseppe Scalise, both seniors.
Adam Walter will be handling the kicking chores.
Defense — Oak Ridge continues to run out of its 5-2 base defense that has brothers Sam and Luke Woehler, both juniors, and Anthony Palombi battling for a starting role.
“There’s a lot of competition at linebacker,” Cavaliere said. “We’ve got a lot to look at. There’s a lot of good stuff from a lot of players.”
Lackowski returns at defensive back, where he started at a junior last fall. Douglas, Luke Goins and Kevin Kassis — latter two are juniors.
“All had very good scrimmage at corner,” said Cavaliere of the secondary. “It’s competitive. We’re happy to say that there’s competition at those positions.”
Various players are battling to start on the defensive line for the Trojans.
The team goal, according to Cavaliere, is “to get better each week.”
League — League realignment moves Oak Ridge into the Sierra Foothill League. Once league play begins Sept. 26, there will be — at least — one marquee game to watch, if not two or sometimes three.
“Super Football League,” said Cavaliere. “(The SFL) will be a great challenge, one that we are excited for. We have always wanted to measure ourselves against the best, and we will have that opportunity in this league. Every game will be a battle, and places you in a situation where if you don’t play your best game, you will lose.
“This is the league we belong in. Teams from the SFL who make the playoffs will be battle tested, and have to be considered favorites in the post-season.”
Roster — 2-Dalton Santos, Sr.; 3-Brock Martin, Jr.; 4-Stephen Douglas, Sr.; 5-Ryan Sullivan, Sr.; 6-Camden Cicchetti, Sr.; 7-Scott Douglas, Sr.; 8-Kyle Brown, So.; 9-Tanner Emmanuel, Sr.; 10-Kevin Kassis, Jr.; 11-Ian Book, Jr.; 12-Adam Walter, Sr.; 14-Brian Parker, Sr.; 15-Quintin Graves Mercado, Jr.; 16-Collin Poerio, Jr.; 17-Max Augood, Jr.; 18-Wyatt Maeva, Jr.; 20-Luke Goins, Jr.; 21-Wyatt Nelson, Sr.; 22-Gage Webb, Jr.; 23-Tommy Dunnigan, Jr.; 24-TJ Wells, Jr.; 25-Alex Voege, Jr.; 26-Miguel Melendez, Jr.; 29-Christian Dardano, Jr.; 31-Anthony Palombi, Jr.; 32-Nick Hulsing, Jr.; 33-Andrew Lackowski, Sr.; 34-Logan Delwiche, Sr.; 35-Nick Diaz, Jr.; 36-Alex Ludwig, Sr.; 40-Ethan Ginsberg, Sr.; 43-Sam Woehler, Jr.; 44-Luke Woehler, Jr.; 45-Chance LeMaster, Sr.; 50-Nolan Book, Sr.; 51-Spencer Patterson, Jr.; 52-Colton Jenkins, Jr.; 53-Brandon Huang, Sr.; 54-John Moestopo, Jr.; 55-Brandon Cano, Jr.; 57-Ryan Enochs, Jr.; 58-Alex Chisick, Sr.; 61-Thomas Schmitt, Sr.; 62-CJ Bialorucki, Jr.; 63-Evan Ciucci, Jr.; 65-Kyler DeLapp, Jr.; 66-Michael Bischoff, Jr.; 68-Garrett Munt, Jr.; 70-Dillon Roth, Jr.; 74-Giuseppe Scalise, Sr.; 75-Connor Floden, Jr.; 77-Brysen Klinefelter, Jr.; 78-Josh Brown, Sr.; 80-Jordan Walters, Jr.; and 89-Hunter Spriggs, Sr.