Changes are Few – But Important – for Falcons

Photos by Vincent PAGE
Defensive veterans such as Angel Ochoa (far) and Jaden Hass (near) will be extremely important for the Falcons as they hope to shut down elite offenses from Muir and Burbank.

By Vincent PAGE

For the first time in a decade, the Crescenta Valley High School football team stepped onto its summer practice field without Paul Schilling as head coach. After 69 wins, a pair of Pacific League titles and a historical undefeated 2014 season capped off by a CIF championship, Schilling handed off the reins to Hudson Gossard.

But while the head coaching staff has changed, not much else has.

The Falcons, with Gossard at the helm, still aim for the same goal as they always did under Schilling: Pacific League championships and postseason contention. Luckily for everyone involved, there is a plethora of consistency throughout the entire football program at CV.

Apart from the head coaching transition and the loss of three-year starter quarterback Cole Doyle, the rest of the roster and coaching staff looks similar to the 2018 team.

That continuity will be a huge bonus for the team after the departure of Doyle. Replacing him will be no easy task. He had an extremely successful career at CV and was perfect for the system Gossard ran on offense. Now stepping in for Doyle will be Chase Center.

Starting quarterback Chase Center has all of the talent needed to guide this Falcons team to success, and he’ll look to prove himself throughout the 2019 season.

Center has spent years waiting in the wings to be the starting quarterback for CV and has all the talent to succeed this season and lead the offense to a Pacific League title. While he may not yet have the starting experience, he’s in a perfect spot with Gossard calling plays and an experienced group of skilled players surrounding him.

If the Falcons want to have a legitimate shot at the title this year, their defense will have to be as dominant as ever. Defensive coordinator Dennis Gossard has always been a coach who favors experience and understanding of the defense over pure athleticism. This year, however, he’ll have the best of both worlds. The defense is highlighted and led by safety Angel Ochoa, who is the perfect athlete for the CV defense. He’ll lead a group of players who have both the experience and athletic ability to make the CV defense the best in the Pacific League.

As for their biggest competitors for the Pacific League, early signs point to a three-horse race. While Burbank, Burroughs and Arcadia have respectable teams that will put up a fight, they seem to be sitting in the second tier of the League. In terms of preseason favorites, CV is joined by Burbank and Muir at the top of the Pacific League.

Muir has a flurry of transfer players over the past year and is hoping the new talent can boost the team to higher levels and a championship ending. Burbank will be led by quarterback Arman Araradian who will hope to continue the impressive streak of stud signal callers for Burbank.

CVHS will play host Burbank in Week 6 and then meet Muir at Glendale High School in Week 9, which could very well be the game that decides the Pacific League champion for the 2019 season.

This season will show a lot about the Falcons. There have been two major changes in two vital leadership positions: head coach and quarterback. Hudson Gossard and Chase Center may be thrust into new roles this year as head coach and starting quarterback, but they come with years of experience within the program, and are well equipped to help this Falcons squad accomplish its dreams of winning the Pacific League and contending for the program’s third CIF title.

The Falcons play at home against Santa Fe on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.