Windsor eager to leave frustration behind

Windsor receiver/linebacker Kevin Brown. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG / PD, 2010)

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Windsor is returning to the spread offense and counting on newcomers from an undefeated junior varsity, but staying healthy is the critical ingredient for success.

Injuries and illness derailed a promising Jaguars’ team last season. Eight returning senior starters from that frustrating campaign lead a young squad ready to score points, and the defense talent is deep.

“We look good. They’ve come a long way from spring through the summer,” said coach Dustin Davis.

The team is confident of competing for a Sonoma County League title after veteran and younger players alike worked hard during offseason conditioning.

Filling in the starting lineups with standouts from last season’s 10-0 junior varsity helps.

“Our team really stepped it up this offseason in training to avoid injury and just be in the best shape possible,” said Kevin Brown, a returning starter at receiver and linebacker. “All the seniors this year are really trying to be the leaders. The younger guys are all really competing to start.”

The mix of experience is evident on offense. Brown, Joe Winkler and Lorenzo Camarena — also returning senior starters — lead the receiving corps, with two other seniors and a newcomer expected to play much.

Two of the top three running backs, however, are first-year varsity players. Jerad Leon is up from junior varsity. Darrian Roman was promoted to varsity the second half of last season. Dalton Mathia didn’t play a year ago.

“We’ve got plenty of playmakers. They’re all guys we want to get the ball in their hands,” Davis said.

Going back to the spread will move the ball around. Tasked with directing the multiple threat offense is the new quarterback Christian McAlvain, who led the junior varsity last year.

Windsor is expected to pass more, going with four to five receivers on most plays. “We’ve got the height, we’ve got some depth there at the receiver spot,” Davis said.

One of Windsor’s strengths should be along the line, where three starters return. Leading the unit is Justin Oxford, an important presence on and off the field.

“You kind of get a gauge from him of what the team’s thinking. He gives us good insights,” Davis said.

On defense, the Jaguars should be strong up front, but particularly in the backfield. Returning at linebacker are Brown and Winkler, the top returning tackler. Camarena and Stephen Camilleri lead the secondary.

“I think our strength is our speed. We’ve got good depth,” Davis said.

Windsor is not one of the region’s bigger teams, but the Jaguars worked in the offseason to get stronger. Brown was among the seniors who led that effort. “He came off our winter conditioning a lot stronger and bigger,” Davis said. “Because of the work he’s put in, he’s the guy other players aspire to be like.”

Avoiding injury was a goal that pushed Brown, who likes what he sees on both offense and defense.

“Everyone likes the spread. We’ve pretty much run it since freshman year. It’s like our bread and butter,” he said. “We can pass the ball wherever we want. We have three running backs that all could be starting.

“I think our defense will have a lot of big stops this year.”

Returning to the North Coast Section playoffs and making a run is Windsor’s goal.

“I think if we stay healthy and the kids take care of their business in the classroom, we will have a very competitive team for the SCL and a shot at the playoffs,” Davis said.

TEAM PREVIEW

WINDSOR
Coach:
Dustin Davis, first season
2009 record: 6-5, 3-3 SCL (T3rd)
2009 JV record: 10-0
Returning starters: OFFENSE (7): WR Kevin Brown, SR.; WR Joe Winkler, SR.; WR Kyle Smith, SR.; WR Lorenzo Camarena, SR.; OL Justin Oxford, SR.; OL Jimmy Martin, SR.; OL Daniel Schenone, SR. DEFENSE (7): S Stephen Camilleri, SR.; LB Brown; LB Winkler; DB Camarena; DL Oxford; DL Martin; DL Schenone.
Players to watch: Senior wide receivers Brown, Winkler, Smith and Camarena lead a deep receiving corps and should find openings if Windsor’s spread can create enough gaps in defenses. DL Oxford anchors an experienced unit up front.
Newcomers to Watch: QB Christian McAlvain knows the spread having helped lead last year’s junior varsity to an undefeated season. RB Jerad Leon is a top back up from junior varsity.

SCHEDULE
Date – Opponent – Time

9-3 – vs. Montgomery – 7:30 p.m.
9-11 – at Redwood – 2:30 p.m.
9-17 – at Santa Rosa – 7:30 p.m.
9-24 – vs. Maria Carrillo – 7:30 p.m.
10-1 – vs. Analy – 7:30 p.m.
10-8 – at Sonoma Valley – 7:30 p.m.
10-22 – vs. Healdsburg – 7:30 p.m.
10-29 – at El Molino – 7:30 p.m.
11-5 – vs. Casa Grande – 7:30 p.m.
11-12 – vs. Petaluma – 7:30 p.m.

BY THE NUMBERS
85:
Tackles by returning linebacker Winkler, who was third on the Jaguars last season.
10-0, 9-0-1, 10-0: Records for Windsor junior varsity the past three seasons.