Chargers have some big shoes to fill

Dos Pueblos Football

Dos Pueblos is looking to reload after graduating 30 players from last year’s team.

The Dos Pueblos football team is hard at work, looking to fill some big holes left by a talented senior class.

?We got a lot of holes to fill,? said coach Nate Mendoza, who guided the Chargers to a Channel League championship and a 7-4 record in his first season. ?Anytime you lose 30-plus seniors there?s a lot of shoes to fill. Our team understands that. We were pretty even with the amount of juniors and seniors last year. Now those juniors are seniors and they?re working their butts off. They understand they might be a little green as far as playing time on the field goes, but they know this is there team. They?re ready to step up and fill the void.?

The Chargers took their mandatory three-week dead period once school ended in June. They?ll take a short break for Fiesta during the first week of August then come back for regular training camp on Aug. 7. Their season opener is Aug. 30 at Santa Ynez.


With so many new players, Mendoza said he did a lot of evaluating during spring workouts.

?The kids put in a lot of time and effort in the whole program,? he said. ?They?ve worked their tails off the last six months to get stronger, so they can get a better opportunity to compete on the field come football season.?

At this early stage, Mendoza has been impressed with his receiving corps and running backs.

?We feel we have some big receivers this year and a confident group of running backs that are able to push each other to do a really nice job with the running game,? he said.

Senior and returning starter Matt Sessler leads the group at receiver. Running backs include senior returners Tyler Welch, Ryan Nuno and David Blevins. Leshon Bell returns at quarterback.

On defense, Welch is a returning starter at safety and Nuno and Blevins play linebacker.

Liam Stinson and Micah Ruiz are experienced linemen.

Mendoza likes the attitude and enthusiasm of the new varsity players.

?We had a hungry JV team from last year, and it has an extremely strong work ethic,? he said. ?That junior class will be pushing the seniors.?