OK, what to do for an encore?
A year ago at this time, the Edison High football team was not only preparing for the 2012 season but, like its five Sunset League rivals, was gearing up for its maiden year as a competing member of the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division.
With a talent-packed team a year ago, Edison went on to run the table in both the Sunset League and Southwest Division and won two championships in the process. The Sunset crown marked the seventh time in the last eight years the Chargers have either won or shared the title, and the Southern Section championship was the school's first since a co-title in 1985.
On the final day of November of last year, Edison went to Angel Stadium and defeated Villa Park to capture the Southwest Division title. The Chargers also received an invitation to play in the CIF Division II State Regional Championship game, where they fell to eventual Division II state champion Gardena Serra.
Coming off a championship season would be a big boost to any football program. But it's a new fall, and Chargers Coach Dave White, who starts his 28th year at his alma mater, has his focus squarely on the coming season.
"Winning the CIF championship last year was quite a thrill and well deserved by that talented and hard-working team," said White, who won a Southern Section title for the first time in his fourth trip to a section final. "It created quite a buzz on campus and with all the alumni.
"This past season I will cherish forever but now it is time to focus on this team and all our goals."
Graduation took a toll on the Chargers. Gone from last year's team are 12 All-Sunset League players including the league's MVP (DE Derek Baljeu), defensive player of the year (LB Alejandro Perez), one of its two offensive backs of the Year (QB Alek Torgersen), defensive player of the year (DB Dylan Luther), one of its two offensive linemen of the year (OT Miah Frosh), and one of its two defensive linemen of the year (DE Trenton Aschoff).
Back, though, are six other all-league players including first team all-league and All-CIF player Tico Fuga (OG/DT) and Jesse Sosebee, a first team all-league offensive tackle. Fuga and Sosebee recently committed to BYU and Boise St., respectively.
Senior Christian Heffelman and junior Matt Gane have shared, and continue to share, reps at quarterback. Senior Markus Boyer makes the switch this year from tight end to center, and Jake Favreau, who had 20 receptions as a sophomore last year, is a key receiver.
White says the starting spot at quarterback is still open.
"Our team has worked extremely hard this offseason but we are very inexperienced at linebacker and quarterback," he said. "Christian [Heffelman] and Matt [Gane] have competed all summer, and they are quite even. We will play both of them for a while until one of them separates himself from the other."
Head coach: Dave White (28th year)
Coaching staff: Rick Justice (defensive coordinator); Harry Schmidt (offensive line); Mike Walters (linebackers/running backs); Dave Grace (quarterbacks); Ryan Tombrello (defensive backs); Marty Burns (offensive line); John Donnelly (defensive line); Sam Fuga (defensive ends); Earnie Sagiao (linebackers/running backs); Lucky Sagiao (defensive line); Al Granado (offensive line); Mo Time (offensive line); Fred Marquez (defensive backs); Dave Yonts (kickers); Adam Goodman (special teams).
2012 records: 13-2; 5-0 league (champion)
2012 CIF playoff results: Champion, Southwest Division
Last league title: 2012
Offensive scheme: Multiple
Defensive scheme: 4-3
Returning starters offense: 5
Returning starters defense: 3
Players returning with honors: Tico Fuga (OG/DT, first team all-league, All-CIF, Sr.); Jesse Sosebee (OT, first team all-league, Sr.); Kiante Goudeau (CB, second team all-league, Sr.); Jeremy Maxwell (CB, second team all-league, Sr.); David Siliuta (center, second team all-league, Sr.); Hunter Kelley (K, second team all-league, Sr.).
Key returning players: Markus Boyer (C, Sr.); Jake Favreau (WR, Jr.).
Key newcomers: Marcus Epps (SS/WR, Sr.); Matt Gane (QB, Jr.); Christian Heffelman (QB, Sr.); Diego Velez (WR, Sr.); Eddie Murray (OG/LB, Jr.); A.J. Murray (OT, Soph.); Marcus Swanigan (RB, Sr.); Jacob Marines (RB, Soph.); Braydon Wilson (DE/FB, Jr.); Mike Olive (DL, Sr.); Dylan Sneed (LB, Sr.); Josh Marks (LB, Sr.); Manase Time (LB, Jr.).
Team strengths: "We feel very strongly about our linemen and skill players along with our kicking game," White said.
The schedule: Challenging, once again. the Chargers face a three-week swing that has them facing Servite, Mater Dei and San Clemente to close out nonleague play. They then begin defense of their Sunset League title against a tough Huntington Beach team.
2013 Chargers Schedule
Aug. 30: at Compton Centennial, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5: vs. Garfield (Huntington Beach High), 7 p.m.
Sept. 19: vs. Servite (Orange Coast College), 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 27: at Mater Dei (Santa Ana Bowl), 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: vs. San Clemente (Huntington Beach High), 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: at *Huntington Beach, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: at *Newport Harbor, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24: vs. *Los Alamitos (Huntington Beach High), 7 p.m.
Nov. 1: vs. *Fountain Valley (OCC), 7 p.m.
Nov. 8: at *Marina (Westminster High), 7 p.m.
(*denotes league game)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun