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2019 High School Football Preview: Santa Ynez adjusting to life in the Channel League

From the Collection: 2019 High School Football - See all of our season previews, power rankings and player profiles right here! series
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2019 High School Football Preview: Santa Ynez adjusting to life in the Channel League

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

“It’s still football,” said Santa Ynez High School head coach Josh McClurg during a recent practice. “Kids graduate. New kids come in. It’s still football.”

As McClurg’s Pirates enter their second year in the Channel League, McClurg said “It’s just like the old Los Padres League.”

That’s not just because Lompoc and Cabrillo also moved to the Channel League last season, joining Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Santa Barbara.

“The competitiveness, the challenges are still the same,” said McClurg, who is entering his eighth season at the Pirates’ helm. “I don’t think much has changed. We’re still going to take it one game at a time. We’ll try not to look too far ahead.”

The Pirates will open the season with three capable quarterbacks.

Junior Bennett Redell is set to be the starter, but senior Anthony Gills could also take some serious reps at the position.

Add in junior Logan Ast and the Pirates are deep at the position.

Gills started the 2018 under center but was injured late in the Pirates’ season-opener at Nipomo.

Lineman Juan Sanchez finished that game at quarterback and then McClurg promoted Bennett Redell from the junior varsity.

Redell moved into the starting role in the third game and started until Gills returned in Week 8.

The duo split time running the offense the remainder of the season.

This year, Redell looks to start with Gills moving to wide receiver.

“Bennett did a good job for us last year,” said McClurg. “And Gills is so talented. He’s like a Swiss Army knife. We can plug him in anywhere and he’ll play everywhere for us but he’ll start the season at wide receiver.

“And Logan Ast is another Gills — another Swiss Army knife player. He can line up as a running back, receiver or quarterback.”

Senior Dean Tipolt was an All-League player last year. He’ll be back in his starting middle linebacker position while splitting time between fullback and tight end.

Wide receiver Camron Prendergast was also All-League.

Braden McCoy will also line up at wide receiver and will double as a defensive back.

Defensive end Tyler Germani will anchor the defensive line. The senior was first team All-League and a member of the All-Area defense last year.

Jacob Davies will move into the starting lineup at safety after backing up Eddie Sanchez last season.

Senior Tao Kingsley will work both sides of the line and senior Pachomio Romero will start at outside linebacker.

“Pachomio and Tao both have a lot of experience. They’re both tough kids,” said McClurg. “Besides having three good quarterbacks, our receivers and defensive backs are definitely strong positions.”

Christian Shaw will return to play tight end and linebacker.

All-League kicker senior Quincy Valle is set to be the team’s kicker.

The Pirates are also counting on several key newcomers.

Senior Lars Ladinig at receiver, Lorenzo Beard at defensive back and sophomores Tanner Padfield at strong safety and on the line, Emilio Figueroa and Brandon Welby.

“The new players aren’t new to the program,” said McClurg. “The moment they step on campus, we educate them as freshmen and junior varsity players so when they get to the varsity, it’s not a new program to them.”

The Pirates went 6-5 last season, 3-2 in league games, to make the CIF Southern Section playoffs where they lost in the first round to Covina Northview.

“But we were in every game,” said McClurg. “Except for the (21-0) loss to Lompoc, none of our regular season losses were by more than 10 points. That was a successful first season in the Channel League.”

The Pirates open at home against Nipomo on Friday night.

“That should be a tough battle. They return a lot of key players,” said McClurg. “I told the team on the first day of practice – now we play real football. We’ll be ready.”

081019 Santa Ynez football .jpg

Santa Ynez Valley High School's, from left, Tyler Germani, Camron Prendergast, Anthony Gills, Bennett Redell and Dean Tipolt aim to lead the Pirates back to the playoffs in 2019. Santa Ynez finished 6-5 last year after a 3-2 mark in the Channel League.

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