Football preview: Windsor wants to show it can play with NBL powerhouses

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Windsor High School Jaguars head coach Vic Amick leads his team during warmups before practice Tuesday. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Windsor High School Jaguars head coach Vic Amick leads his team during warmups before practice Tuesday. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Smart, fast, together — watchwords for Windsor football success this season.

Demanding more consistently competitive play, coaches and players alike expect to contend in the North Bay League despite doubts the Jaguars can match up with conference powers.

“We believe in what we’re doing. We’re showing up every day and working hard,” Windsor coach Vic Amick said.

Coming off a 2012 campaign that fell short of expectations, this season’s squad seeks improvement across the field. The result could be a return to the North Coast Section playoffs.

Any success the Jaguars enjoy begins up front with a line featuring three returning starters led by Taylor Tappin, primed to play in college, and Julian Tamayo. The all-league pair will make room for running backs, but who fills those holes is a work in progress.

A big back-fast back combination of first-year starters Dmitri Aken and Christian Roberge is the plan. Aken was the featured junior varsity running back before he was brought up to varsity to help on the defensive line last season.

Directing the Jaguars offense is Colin McAlvain, who took over as the signal caller for the final eight games a year ago. A sharp passer completing two-thirds of his attempts, McAlvain also threw for more than 200 yards a game last season.

“He’s ready to go. Players really rally behind him,” Amick said.

Two counted on to connect with McAlvain are returning all-league receiver Matt Basich and Jalen Roman, up from junior varsity. While Basich is a primary target, averaging 12 yards a catch, Roman will line up at various slots in Windsor’s offense.

A Windsor strength this season should be improved passing in the Jaguars’ fast tempo spread offense. Increased scoring and winning more close contests is the aim.

“Our running game was very good last year. We want to be a little more balanced,” Amick said.

Shoring up the defense has been a point of concentration after Windsor yielded too often on the scoreboard last season.

While the defensive line has several first-year starters, they are gaining confidence with Chava Carillo back to help solidify the unit. Holding the front will allow an athletic group of linebackers to make plays.

“We have great tacklers out there. They don’t miss much,” Amick said.

Anchoring the linebackers is Alex Borowski, an all-league player who averaged 11 stops a game a year ago. Hunter Sollom also returns at linebacker.

With eight starters back overall, Windsor has experience at key positions.

Add to the mix players up from a one-loss junior varsity and Windsor should be improved.

“They’re going to be really good football players,” Amick said. “We have pretty good depth. You need that in our league.”

A winning league mark could get Windsor back into the section playoffs. The Jaguars won the NCS Division 2 title in 2011 in the school’s final SCL season.

Last year’s inaugural NBL campaign raised the level of competition. Windsor is girding for another grind.

One significant point of concentration is finishing off games strong. Some sloppy second halves and close losses frustrated the Jaguars a year ago.

“We were in a lot of games. But we beat ourselves,” Amick said. “Our league is tough. There are no weak teams. We need to give it everything we have.”

WINDSOR JAGUARS

Coach: Vic Amick (2nd year)

2012 record: 4-6 overall, 3-4 NBL (5th place)

2012 JV record: 6-1-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Taylor Tappin, Sr., OL — The all-league tackle is a college level player counted on to solidify running game

Julian Tomayo, Sr., OL/DL — The all-league center anchored offense that rushed for nearly 200 yards a game

Colin McAlvain, Sr., QB — Became starter during season; made all-league completing 67 percent of passes for 204 yards a game, 17 TDs against 5 interceptions

Matt Basich, Sr., WR — Top returning pass target; made all-league with 12 yards per catch and 4 touchdowns

Alex Borowski, Sr., LB — Makes plays across field, averaging 11 tackles to earn all-league honors

INSIDE SCOOP

Winning the turnover game means more victories, particularly in close contests. To accomplish that, Windsor’s goal is better mental focus. Windsor also wants improved second-half play after letting games get away last season.

GAME NOT TO MISS

Friday, Oct. 25, vs. Cardinal Newman: Within a field goal of Cardinal Newman at the half last season, Windsor yielded one more score but couldn’t put up points to match in the narrow defeat. The Jaguars get the Cardinals at home in the rematch.

ALL-TIME HIGHLIGHT

Winning the 2011 North Coast Section Division 2 championship. The Jaguars went undefeated, often dominating opponents, and then came from behind to take the title game.

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30, at Granada, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6, vs. Benicia, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21, at Washington (Fremont), 7 p.m.

Sept. 27, at Rancho Cotate, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4, at Maria Carrillo, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11, at Ukiah, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18, vs. Santa Rosa, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 25, vs. Cardinal Newman, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 1, at Casa Grande, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 8, vs. Montgomery, 7:30 p.m.

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