Santa Rosa football

Posted by: Press Democrat Staff Writer Rich Rupprecht

New Santa Rosa football coach Tony Keefer likes player camps because they they give him and the coaching staff a chance to see his players in action, plus they are given a head start on learning a new offense and defense.

The Panthers attended the Ed Loyd camp at Montgomery in June and will also attend the Blue Chip camp also at Montgomery.

Keefer, an Empire product (he started at quarterback for Cardinal Newman for two seasons and played on varsity from 1996-99), likes what he sees from the Panthers so far.

Jaden Roselli will key the defense at middle linebacker and was also the Panthers’ leading rusher last year. Actually, it should be a Roselli-fest at times, with Jaden’s brothers Ethan (junior linebacker and tight end) and sophomore Kalan (quarterback) also in the mix.

Other seniors who should be heard from include quarterback Kellan Alexander and receiver Derek Kopp.

Keefer was the head coach at Tamalpais in Martin County the last two years, but with a wife and new baby, he was looking for something closer to his Santa Rosa home.

Tony played at SRJC and then moved on to Northern Arizona where back surgery eventually led to coaching there. He also assisted a year at Maria Carrillo and worked with QB Adam Froman, the year the Pumas reached the NCS Redwood Empire championship game.

Keefer brings with him to Santa Rosa, most of his Tamalpais staff, including defensive coordinator Randy Menke, who was Maria Carrillo’s first football coach. Other assistants include former Rancho Cotate and SRJC standout Joe Lawson (receivers coach and JV offensive coordinator) and Brady Schalich, the former Santa Rosa quarterback who led the Panthers to the playoffs after a long stretch of losing seasons, a few years back. Schalich coaches quarterbacks and Tony’s brother Andrew Keefer coaches running backs.

Tony is close to receiving his Masters degree, and hopes to teach eventually.

“Our guys are excited to get going,” said Keefer, who has been happy with his players dedication to weight lifting and working out in the offseason.

Santa Rosa will open the season at Petaluma on Sept. 4 and then finishes its preseason with home games against Windsor and Analy.

Santa Rosa