Friday, July 18, 2008

PrepNation 101 Preseason FB Countdown: No. 86 Notre Dame

86. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Last season’s record: 8-3, lost in first round of CIF-SS Pac-5 playoffs
Coach: Kevin Rooney
Key players: LB Jordan Barrett (6-3, 225, Sr.), DB Tom Drachkovitch (6-0, 210, Sr.), WR James Flynn (6-0, 175, Sr.), WR Chris McNeill (6-0, 170, Sr.), LB Ace Ward (6-0, 205, Sr.), OL Ben Gottschalk (6-4, 255, Jr.)
Biggest strength: Linebackers, receivers
Question mark: Inexperience on both lines and at QB, RB and DB
Outlook: The Knights will bid for their first CIF title since winning three in a row from 2002-04, but they will have to survive the rugged Pac-5 playoff bracket to accomplish the job. Defensively, Notre Dame is in solid shape with six starters returning. Barrett is a three-year regular and an outstanding athlete. Drachkovitch is a big-time hitter who earned first-team all-league plaudits last season. Offensively, Gottschalk will lead a young but talented group of blockers. The receiving corps is in great shape with the return of both leading receivers in Flynn and McNeill.
Toughest games: Sept. 26 vs. Birmingham, Oct. 3 vs. Saugus, Oct. 10 vs. Servite, Oct. 31 at Crespi, Nov. 8 at Loyola

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