Linebaugh likes progress Royals have made as a program


The football program Anthony Linebaugh set out to build at San Marcos is really starting to take shape in Year 3.

The freshmen players from his first year at the school are now juniors on the varsity and the sophomores from that first season are the seniors. Those players have bought into the training and the concepts Linebaugh teaches.

“The knowledge level and comfort level of the players having been in the system multiple years has improved,” Linebaugh said. “And with that comfort level, the execution has improved as well.”

The Royals lost some big playmakers to graduation but Linebaugh feels good about the players who will be stepping in to fill those roles.

At quarterback, seniors Sage Reid and Joseph Estrada are battling for the starting spot. Both players are coming back from season-ending injuries last year.

“Both of those guys have done what it takes rehabbing and putting time in our strength and conditioning program. They’re both working hard to be very comfortable understanding their responsibilities as well as their teammates’ responsibilities, so, literally, they can be a coach on the field,” Linebaugh said.
Junior Ivan Reyes figures to be the successor to Esteban Alfaro at running back. Linebaugh said Reyes requested Alfaro’s jersey number because, “he wanted to keep the legacy alive. He respected what Esteban had done in terms of the work ethic on and off the field.” Alfaro rushed for nearly 1,000 yards last season.

D’Shaun Vines is another junior who can run the ball. Seniors Inri Cortez and Jason Diep give the Royals added depth at running back.

In addition to playing quarterback, Estrada also is a fine receiver.

Seniors Nate Willows and Colin Welsh anchor a stronger offensive line.

The Royals return four starters on defense, led by linebackers Nathan Coffey and Josh Foley.

“They’re a couple of hardnosed guys who have grown so much,” said Linebaugh.

The coach is excited about defensive linemen Paul Gularte, Anthony Ramirez, Adrian Sanchez and Russell Biolley. “They’re going to be a large part of our success,” he said.

Linebaugh likes the depth of this year’s team.

“I think this team understands that everyone has to have a role. They want to know, ‘What is my role,’ and they’ve accepted their role and are working hard to fulfill their role for the betterment of the team,” he said.

San Marcos went 5-1 in non-league games last season, but it has yet to win a Channel League game under Linebaugh. That’s a goal for this season.

“In order to take the next step as a program, we have to win Channel League games,” he said. “We’ve raised the expectations. We have to take that next step.”

2014 San Marcos Football Schedule

Aug. 29 West Ranch 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 Rio Mesa 7 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Pacifica 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Hueneme 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Channel Islands 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 Nordhoff 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 —-Bye—-
Oct. 17 at Ventura* 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 Dos Pueblos* 7 p.m
Oct. 31 Buena* 7 p.m.

Nov. 7 at Santa Barbara* 7 p.m.

Home games in bold
*Channel League game