Football preview: Jaguars ready to roar

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Jaguars running back Hunter Hanson carries the ball during practice Monday at Windsor High School. (Crista Jeremiaon / The Press Democrat)

Jaguars running back Hunter Hanson carries the ball during practice Monday at Windsor High School. (Crista Jeremiaon / The Press Democrat)

In 2011, Darrian Roman was instrumental in leading Windsor to a North Coast Section Division 2 playoff title. Three years later, if the Jaguars are to have a comparable season, another Roman will have to come up big.

Jalen, three years younger than his brother, will be a key player as he makes the transition from wide receiver to quarterback for his senior season.

“Jalen’s one of the best athletes in the Empire,” Windsor coach Vic Amick said. “He has the ability to lead this team wherever he wants.”

Amick compared the younger Roman to a Ferrari.

“He’s tall (6-foot-1) and lean (170 pounds) and moves quick,” the coach said. “He can make things happen in a number of ways.

“Darrian was as good as they come. He could do anything. On offense or defense, he was always around the ball.”

In his senior season, the elder Roman was selected All-Empire Defensive Player of the Year. He’s a sophomore this year on Santa Rosa JC’s football team.

Moving to quarterback won’t be a completely new experience for the younger brother.

“I played that position when I was on the junior varsity,” Jalen Roman said. “Last year, I moved over to wide receiver because Colin McAlvain was the quarterback.”

Roman had a productive season playing at split end. He had close to 700 receiving yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

Roman may have to do some scrambling in his new position because the offensive line has been rebuilt following last year’s 6-6 season.

“We have a lot of new faces offensively,” Amick said. “Four of the five guys on the offensive line last year have graduated.

“However, we’ve got a good group of juniors that came up from the JV and they’re going to step right in.”

Sharing a spot with Roman behind the line will be running back Hunter Hanson.

“His season last year ended after three games,” Amick said. “He wound up breaking ribs and puncturing his lung in a collision.

“Now he healthy and is as tough as they come. He’s a shifty guy.”

It’s on defense where the Jaguars have the most experience.

They return eight starters from a team that made the NCS playoffs and went to Rohnert Park and defeated Rancho Cotate in a first-round game.

Leading the unit are tackle Dmitri Acken and linebacker Mitchell Bruning.

“We’ll definitely make it to playoffs this year,” Aken predicted. “Everyone worked hard in the offseason and it’s shown in our preparation for our first game.”

The Jaguars will get to see where they stand when Granada (Livermore) comes to town for the season opener on Friday.

WINDSOR JAGUARS

Coach: Vic Amick (3rd year)
2013 record: 6-6 (5th place NBL)
2013 JV record: 4-6

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jalen Roman, Sr., QB — Assumes the signal-calling role after playing wide receiver in 2013.
Mitchell Bruning, Jr., LB — Is one of the most skilled players on team. Started all 12 games last year.
Braxton Canady, Sr., DE, T — Transfer from Tennessee is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds.
Anthony Spallino, Sr., FB, MLB — Broke leg and wrist in season opener last year. Has come back healthy.

GAME NOT TO MISS
Oct. 3 vs. Casa Grande. Last year, the Jaguars lost twice to the Gauchos. The first time during the regular season and then again in the playoffs. Both those games were in Petaluma and this year, the teams will meet on Windsor’s home turf.

ALL-TIME HIGHLIGHT
No question it was the 2011 perfect season. Windsor went 15-0 while winning the Sonoma County League and North Coast Section Division 2 title.

SCHEDULE
Aug. 29 – Granada, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 – at Benicia,7 p.m.
Sept. 12 – at Miramonte, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 – Ukiah, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 – Casa Grande, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 – at Montgomery, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 17 – at Santa Rosa, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 – Rancho Cotate, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Maria Carrillo, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 7 – at Cardinal Newman, 7 p.m.