Carpinteria Football Preview: Warriors up to challenge of tough schedule

The road back to the postseason will not be an easy one for Carpinteria High’s football team in 2013.

That’s because the Warriors play in a league with two of the top teams in the CIF-ss Northwest Division. With No. 1 Bishop Diego and No. 2 Nordhoff presumably claiming two of the Tri-Valley League’s automatic three playoff spots, it leaves one spot left for Carpinteria, Oak Park or Santa Paula.

That said, the Warriors believe they have the experience, talent and desire to get it done. Backing up their claims is a No. 6 preseason CIF-ss ranking in the Northwest Division.

“We definitely have it. Our line just has to stay low and basically keep up with all of the weapons that we have,”?said Duncan Gordon, one of three senior co-captians with quarterback Ian Craddock and linebacker/receiver Kevin Stein.

2013 WARRIORS SEASON SCHEDULE

The Warriors begin their regular season this Friday at Templeton. They travel again the following week to South Torrance before playing their home opener on September 13 against Nipomo.

“We feel very ready,” said Stein. “We took our dead period early so we could get right into two-a-days and we’ve been preparing ever since. Just long, hard practices for the season.”

The Warriors missed the playoffs last season with a 5-5 record after finishing fourth in league, but their record could have been better without several second-half collapses.

“Last year we were almost there but we didn’t finish, and that’s what we’re trying to do this year is finish those second halves that we didn’t last year,” Gordon said.

The Warriors have experience and poise on their side, especially with three-year starting quarterback Ian Craddock taking the snaps. They’ve also added some serious explosiveness with senior Bryson Frazer,?a blazing-fast transfer student playing for the Warriors for the first time.?Frazer showed what he can do by scoring four touchdowns in last week’s scrimmage with Santa Maria.

Other key returners include running back Peter Ramos, who with Craddock was a First Team All Tri-Valley League selection as a junior. Second-team running back Jonathan Esqueda is also in the mix. The Warriors will look to run the ball plenty.

“Just running between the tackles. We’re definitely working on that a lot in practice,” Craddock shared. “But overall everything’s strong so we just have to keep building off of it.”

Last year the Warriors scored 27 touchdowns on the ground compared to 12 through the air.

Other returning All Tri-Valley League selections include Stein, Gordon, defensive back Ruben Garcia and lineman Jorge Arroyo.

Carpinteria is hungry for a win against Templeton, who has beaten the Warriors for two straight seasons, including a playoff game in 2011.

“That’s definitely fueled our motivation towards this game. We owe them one, we really have to pay them back,” Stein said.

One of the other important games on the schedule is the annual “Little Big Game” with Bishop Diego. This year’s rivalry game will be played on Saturday, October 12 at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium.

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