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Valencia freshmen passing at all costs

Posted: August 28, 2013 8:27 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2013 8:27 p.m.

Valencia does anything it can to teach its freshman class how to run a passing attack.

Valencia does anything it can to teach its freshman class how to run a passing attack — even if it may cost the team a chance at winning every once in awhile.

“We try to force this issue,” said Valencia freshman head coach Kevin Kornegay. “We try to throw as much as we can. Almost to the point where it might be easier as freshmen to run and have success.”

That plan worked out pretty well last year for Valencia, which finished 9-1.

This season, the one leading the aerial attack is quarterback Aaron Thomas. He’ll have wide receivers Tim Wiggins, Riley Herrera, Sam Pica and Cesar Garcia to throw to and shifty running back Effie Davalos to hand off to.

“He’s not a huge guy in stature, but he’s quick and he’s really a physical guy for his size,” Kornegay said of Davalos.

The Vikings are deep on both sides of the ball thanks to another strong turnout which amounts to a 75-player roster.

“We’re going to be solid. Every year we’re petty good because we get good numbers out. We get 70-plus so with that, we’re going to have additional players,” Kornegay said. “The question is where to put them all.”

One player, running back and slot receiver Chris Kojin, unexpectedly returned to the team after he was originally working out with the junior varsity squad in the summer.

Kojin came back to the freshman team last week because he’s battling an elbow injury.

On the offensive line, center/tackle Eric Lieberman will anchor the unit.

The defense will be led by big inside linebacker Brandon Balayan and outside linebacker Tariq Speights.

As for pass rushing duties, that will be primarily handled by defensive ends Clay Pokorny and Ty DeSantis, while Jordan De La Cruz Elijah Ebe are set to be the starting cornerbacks.

And in special teams, Angelina Maldonado — brother of former Valencia running back Rocky Maldonado — is competing for the starting kicking job.

“It’s hard to gauge because last year’s (team) was so good,” Kornegay said of Valencia’s chances this season. “We were good across the board.”



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