The countdown to No. 1 in the Northern California preseason football rankings began with a preview of Nos. 16-25. We now continue with the No. 15 team as we make our way up the pecking order.
15. St. Francis-Mountain View (4-7)
After two 11-win seasons - including a state CIF 2-A Bowl Game championship in 2017 - Coach Greg Calcagno and his Lancers took some lumps last year in the wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League.
The season started with two losses, first to an eventual state CIF 1-A Bowl Champion Corona del Mar team that beat league rival Serra in the CIF state title game, and then a humbling blanking at the hands of De La Salle.
From there, they blasted a decent Oak Grove-San Jose and won the games they were supposed to win in beating three of their WCAL opponents for their four-win total: Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco, Archbishop Riordan-San Francisco, and Bellarmine-San Jose. The Lancers couldn’t handle Valley Christian in both a league and CIF Central Coast Section Division I playoff loss, but in the other three WCAL losses, they were competitive.
The good news for the Lancers faithful is who they return. Some other stabs at rankings didn’t have St. Francis this high or at all, but despite a sub-.500 record last year, St. Francis would appear to have the pieces in place this year to improve on that record.
Quarterback is a question, with it coming down to senior Keller Gammons or junior Josh Perry, the younger brother of Jack Perry, the 2018 starter until he went down with an injury, but Calcagno likes to run the ball and he returns all but 54 yards of the team’s total rushing yards from last season.
Highly regarded junior Camilo Arquette is back after rushing for nearly 1,000 yards last season to lead the team. The numbers two, three and four leading running backs also return, junior Viliami Teu, senior Adonis Hernandez and senior Ty Winston. Also returning is the wide receiver with the most yardage last season, senior Carsten Rawls
Besides Arquette, who at middle linebacker was one of the team's leading tacklers last season, other Lancers that make the various recruiting lists are junior LB/TE Clayton Lynam, and junior two-way lineman Taliauli Uluakinofo.
Also, Arquette is joined on defense by almost every leading tackler last year for St. Francis, including seniors Holden Hughes, Joe Tongamoa and Alo Mata’u, and junior Nico Andrighetto.
“We should be all right,” Calcagno remarked. “Like everyone else, just hoping to have a season.”
St. Francis is scheduled to open in Hollister at San Benito but whether that will be on January 8 is not looking real good at this point.