The 2014 prep football season will be the kind of year where youth will definitely be served for the Mary Star High football team, as they lost 21 seniors from last year's team, including their entire starting offensive line, quarterback Tyler Sestich (Harbor College) and tight end Neven Skoblar.
Not only that, with the new realignment moves in the CIF-Southern Section, the Stars have shuffled out of the Del Rey League into the Santa Fe League with familiar foes St. Anthony, St. Monica and St. Genevieve along with Del Rey rival Don Bosco Tech, which might be a good move for coach Mike Marinkovich and his young Mary Star team. Oh, and the Stars sport a brand-new Notre Dame-style look due to the generous sponsoring of Adidas.
Mary Star went 4-6 last season, going 3-3 in a competitive Del Rey League but narrowly missing the CIF-SS Northwest Division playoffs with a season-ending nonleague defeat to Xavier Prep of Palm Springs.
With a 28-player roster, the Stars can't afford any potential injury problems, but they do return some talented players, such as junior RB/WR/DB Vinny Lauro, Lauro, who ran for 200 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns, caught five passes for 127 yards for three more touchdowns, and on defense he also posted 41 tackles with an interception, along with scoring another touchdown off a kickoff return.
Sophomore Robert Enciso takes over as the starting quarterback, and he is the only quarterback listed on the roster, so protection of the new starting offensive line of seniors Alex Lomeli and Josh Lopez, along with juniors Jonathan Armijo (6'5'', 350), Anthony Castagnola (6'2'', 280) and Kevin Lopez (6'3'', 235) is crucial. Sophomore Matt Sestich (6'2'', 210), Tyler's cousin, will be the starting tight end.
Lauro will lead a stable of running backs that includes senior Vicente Perez and fellow juniors Jarod Alves and Nick Renfroe, who will also be the Stars' placekicker. Renfroe booted a 43-yard field goal against St. Monica last season in a close Stars' victory. Alves, who also boasts a strong leg, will handle the punting duties for Mary Star, who doesn't throw much, but Enciso will have reliable targets in junior WRs Justin Rodriguez (6'4'', 190) and Jason Smith.
Coming with the territory of a small roster means the majority of the Stars play both ways. Lauro and Perez at linebacker are the two key players on defense, but also keep an eye out for junior defensive lineman Anthony Garcia, and senior linebacker Arnold Madrigal.
The Stars will open the season on Friday, September 5 against Aquinas of San Bernadino at St. Bernard High, as the game was moved from Daniels Field due to improvements being made to the locker room area.
Other changes on the schedule are the Del Rey League games at St. Monica (October 11) and St. Genevieve (October 18) will now fall on a Saturday night. Plus, the Stars now host Flintridge Prep on Friday, October 24, and the September 12 game with Chadwick has been cancelled due to Chadwick dropping down to 8-man football.