Football Preview: Looking to improve after 5-5 season

With the spring season over, training for fall sports commences. The Brahmas football team hits the gridiron in hopes of improving from its disappointing season.

Former Division I players have joined the team, raising expectations. Coach Jason Sabolic has his team training hard through the spring and summer to prepare his players for the grind of the coming season.

“We lift weights four days out of the week, and of those we’ll have some days we come out to the field and do speed and conditioning work,” Sabolic said. “We have 18 practices in the spring and we practice Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It’s non stop full on workouts.”

After starting strong last season, Pierce fell off track down the stretch to finish the season at 5-5. Sabolic hopes to build on some of the success and failures from last season.

“Anything is better than the last,” Sabolic said. “We could have done so much better. We didn’t do bad because we technically had a .500 record. We need to get better.”

Sabolic hopes the new former Division I players: DJ Riggins, running back from the University of Hawaii, Elijah Dunston, wide receiver from the University of Colorado and Justin Escudero, linebacker from the University of Wyoming, will help get the team back on track.

New tight end Alex James, who is coming from Oklahoma City, has high hopes for the coming season.

“I have a lot of expectations, not just for me, but for the team. I believe we have the of potential to go 10-0, we have to put our minds to it,” James said.

Linebacker Isiah Station, who was an All-American last season, returns for another year to prove to universities his worth.

“I expected to be All-Conference, honestly,” Staton said. “We had a couple of injuries that set us back, but I think we are going to be good this year.”

Despite an unremarkable season, the football team has proven it has NCAA level talent. Many players transferred to four year colleges.

“There’s never a shortage of talent,” Sabolic said. “We had 31 players move on to the next level on scholarship, which is insane.”

Seventeen of the transfers are at Division I schools such as Fresno State University, Colorado State University, University of Nevada and the University of Alabama, Birmingham

Pierce has had players drafted into the National Football League, which motivates some of the players and brings others to the school. Staton attended Samuel S. Fels High School in Philadelphia, and has his own reason for coming to Los Angeles to attend Pierce.

“Previously, one of the last people to go to the NFL from Pierce was from Philadelphia, and I know him and that’s what made me come out here,” Staton said. “It’s more motivation.”

“Over past six years we’ve had four kids in the NFL,” Sabolic said.

There are three big games in the upcoming season. Game one against Moorpark College, Game three against Southwestern College and the Victory Bell against Los Angeles Valley College are the games most anticipated, according to Sabolic.

“We have one of the toughest American conferences with Allen Hancock, Citrus, Pierce, Valley, Santa Barbara and Antelope Valley,” Sabolic said.

Allan Hancock College and Citrus College were two national division teams that have come down into the conference that Pierce plays in. The season begins September 3 at home.