Alemany made the move into the tough Serra League and the Pac-5 Division and didn't miss a beat. The Warriors went undefeated in league play in 2010 and advanced to the semifinals of the division playoffs.
The team is doing some rebuilding on offense. Junior Devon Dunn is the new quarterback. Coach Dean Herrington says he expects Dunn to add more of a pocket presence to his offense, a bit of a different look after Vernon Adams posed a double threat with his arm and legs as a senior last season. Adams is at Eastern Washington this year, leaving the reins of the offense to Dunn.
The team has five wide receivers all looking to step up for Shane Drozdowski, who graduated in the spring and was the team's leading receiver last year. Corey Sims, Jericho Richardson and Steven Mitchell will have plenty of opportunities to make plays under Herrington's pass-happy offense.
Here is a closer look at the Warriors:
Coach: Dean Herrington, sixth year.
2010 Record: 12-1, lost to Servite, 28-21, in the CIF Southern Section Pac 5 Division semifinals.
Returning starters: 13 total. Eight on defense, five on offense.
Key players on offense: WR Corey Sims, WR Jericho Richardson, WR Steven Mitchell, RB Major Armstead, OL Kyle DeVaughn.
Key players on defense: DB Jericho Richardson, DB DeRon Smith, DB Basil Boyd, LB Rene Deleon, DL Kyle DeVaughn, DL Lestor Cienfuegos, DL Pablo Torres.
Difference maker: Steven Mitchell. Herrington says Mitchell is the biggest game-breaker on offense. As a sophomore, Mitchell caught 24 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns. Alemany will be looking for someone to step up after Drozdowski graduated. He led the team with 39 catches and seven receiving touchdowns last season. Linebacker Bryce Henderson and defensive lineman Kyle DeVaughn will be expected to anchor the defense.
Newcomers: WR Devin Ross, QB Devon Dunn. Herrington claims he has the best group of wide receivers and would put them up against the squad from Long Beach Poly. Ross will be a important piece in the Alemany receiving corps. Dunn, a junior, takes over at quarterback and expectations are high. He was 10-0 at quarterback for the Alemany junior varsity team and he will have plenty of weapons at his disposal at the varsity level to continue that success.
Not to be missed: Alemany at Bishop Amat, Oct. 14. The Serra League opener pits the top two teams from last year against each other. Alemany went undefeated in its first trip through the Serra League last season. Bishop Amat lost only one league game last year, to Alemany.
Coach’s comment: “I think we have a better team. Every team in our league is going to be better. I like our team. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Final analysis: Alemany moved up to the top division in high school football in Southern California and made an impressive run to the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 semifinals. The Warriors lost their top passer and rusher, quarterback Vernon Adams, and leading receiver, Shane Drozdowski, to graduation. But this team might have the most talented secondary in Southern California. The defensive line is one of the biggest in the area. The team’s greatest strength might be at wide receiver. The Warriors are five-deep at receiver and will give opposing defenses fits. If Dunn can get his receivers the ball, the Alemany offense will be tough to stop.