MORAGA -- Campolindo High's senior football players have never lost a Diablo Foothill Athletic League game.
The class of 2014 was dominant at the lower levels and kept up the pace last year on varsity, helping clinch a second straight league championship. Now the task is to keep up the tradition in their final season of high school football.
"'It'd be cool to be able to keep that going this year," said wide receiver Justin Dunn.
It's possible the Cougars will have to attempt the feat without returning quarterback Andrew Zolintakis for part of the season, however. The senior suffered a stress fracture in his throwing arm over the summer and it's not totally clear when he'll be able to return. Coach Kevin Macy does expect him back sometime before October, though, and Zolintakis is optimistic his return will be sooner rather than later.
Zolintakis was thrust into the starting role halfway through last season, but performed well, leading the Cougars to the second round of the North Coast Section Division III playoffs.
When he returns, a strong receiving unit that includes Phillip Rei, Hunter Rosenbaum, Dunn, Scott Singh and tight end Tyler Petite could become even more dangerous.
In the meantime, junior Jack Stephens will take over at quarterback. Stephens, the younger brother of former Campolindo standout QBs Tommy and Brett, was the junior varsity quarterback last year but planned on playing defensive end for the varsity squad.
"He's done quarterbacking, but it wasn't what his plan was going into this year," Macy said. "He had his heart set on defensive end."
Stephens will have some quality running backs to hand off to in newcomers Nick Fadelli, Conner McNally and Adam Remotto.
"We'll see how things develop in terms of which kids we can use as weapons," Macy said. "But with the receivers and running backs, we're in pretty good shape."
The bigger questions surround the offensive line with Daniel Samaniego the only returning starter.
The Cougars' defense was similarly decimated by graduation. Lineman Peter Golesorkhi and linebacker Isaac Christian are the lone returning starters.
But with the quality of football being played at Campolindo the last few years -- the junior varsity and freshmen teams have consistently finished at the top of the league standings -- filling in the holes will be easier.
Plus, Macy knows how to get the most out of his players.
"Our coach is really good at organizing our group and getting us to flow as a team," Christian said. "Where we don't have as much talent sometimes, our teamwork usually makes up for that on defense."
Besides getting the offensive line and the defense up to speed, the Cougars also need to get healthy. Injuries have limited several players during training camp and all-league kicker Christian Antezana is out with a broken foot.
"Vacation hasn't been good to us," Macy said.
8/30 HERITAGE 7 p.m.
9/6 at Menlo-Atherton 7 p.m.
9/13 WASHINGTON 7 p.m.
9/20 at El Cerrito 7 p.m.
9/27 at Acalanes* 7 p.m.
10/4 MIRAMONTE* 7 p.m.
10/18 at Las Lomas* 7 p.m.
10/25 ALHAMBRA* 7 p.m.
11/1 at Dough. Valley* 7 p.m.
11/8 DUBLIN* 7 p.m.