The Kennedy-Richmond High football team came within a whisker of winning the Tri-County Athletic League-Stone Division title last year, losing 34-33 to Hercules on a late fourth quarter touchdown.

Understandibly, the Eagles don't want to leave anything to chance this season.

Kennedy has six returning starters on offense, including running back Ernie Timoteo, who looks like an early favorite to win division MVP honors.

Albany's strengths will be its offensive and defensive lines, with all-league honorable mention players Marco Lazares and Karma Gangshar back for their senior seasons.

With Hercules going to the Rock Division, Berean Christian moves to the Stone Division looking for a fresh start.

John Swett is young, with 20 of its 26 players being juniors, but should make strides after a 3-7 campaign. Richmond and De Anza also look improved, but it'll take more time for either team to contend for a division crown.

Albany

COACH: Donnell Carson, first season

2013 RECORD: 3-7, 3-2

TOP RETURNEES: OL/DL Lorenzo Sannibale, Sr.; OL/DL Marco Lazares, Sr.; OL/DL Karma Gangshar, Sr.; CB/RB Cyrus Wofford, Sr.; QB/FS/WR Bobby Natsagdorj, Sr.; RB/LB Chachrist Siriyarn, Sr.; G/LB Gabriel Melendez, Sr.; LB Robert Vasquez, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: WR/CB Donnell Carson III, Jr.; OL/DL Fernando Gonzales, Sr.; RB/DE/LB Kenneth Singleton, Sr.; QB Dikshant Shrestha, Sr.; WR Matthew Mino, Sr.


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KEY LOSSES: OL Paul Rynhoud, QB Nick Sternad, WR Rio Root, MLB Alex Oyle, WR/RB Lachlan Athanasiou, WR Krishan Chada, DL/TE Braylen Herbert

OUTLOOK: Albany enters the season on a three-game win streak, which it hopes it can build on for the start of this season. The Cougars' strength should be its offensive and defensive lines, with all-league players Lazares and Gangshar back for their senior seasons. Natsagdorj is in his third season on the varsity team and is continuing to develop, but he'll probably share quarterback duties with Shrestha, who offers defenses a different look with his athleticism. Wofford can play anywhere on the field and will be Albany's x-factor this year.

Berean Christian

COACH: James Hodgins, second season

2013 RECORD: 2-8, 0-6 TCAL-Rock

TOP RETURNEES: QB/LB Nick Ramos, Jr. WR/DB Isaiah Hodgins, So.; OL/DL Jared Filbert, Sr.; OL/DL Nico Wristen, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: WR/FS Marquel McCoy, Jr.; SS/WR Scott Lewis, Jr.; CB/WR Tyrone Taylor, Jr.; QB Vinny Guarisco, So.; RB Michael Foley, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: OL/DL Brannan Stewart, QB Jax Cuddihy

OUTLOOK: After a rough season in the Rock Division, the Eagles should match up better with their Stone Division competition. Ramos will start the season at quarterback. But the hope is that Guarisco becomes more comfortable in that position as the season goes on, allowing Ramos to concentrate more at running back and linebacker. Foley will start the season at running back, but Hodgins thinks he'll have a few players who can run the ball. Berean Christian does have more depth this season with 30 players on the varsity roster, compared to just 16 at the end of last year. If the quarterback position gets settled and the defense stays healthy, then the Eagles should remain competitive in the division.

De Anza

COACH: Richard Gaskell, second season

2013 RECORD: 1-9, 0-5

TOP RETURNEES: LB/OL Mali Faeamani, Jr.; QB Alex Hernandez, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: LB/TE Rico Tolefree, So.; LB/FB James Stern, So.; QB Richard Kirbyson, So.

KEY LOSSES: None

OUTLOOK: The Dons have nowhere to go but up after a last place finish in the Stone Division in 2013. Gaskell likes the enthusiasm this year's team has shown so far, and with a new weight training facility at the school, De Anza should be a much stronger team across the board. Hernandez and Kirbyson are vying to become the starting quarterback, as the Dons hope to have a balanced offense. The defense, like the rest of the team, is young, and it may take another year for De Anza to compete for the league title. But it appears the program is going in the right direction.

John Swett

COACH: Bob Quesada, first season

2013 RECORD: 3-7, 1-4

TOP RETURNEE: OL/DL Brandon Newman, Sr.; QB Matt Thompkins, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: WR Sam Williams, So.; WR Devan Quesada, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: WR James Sykes, OL/NT Jakari Wilson

OUTLOOK: The Indians are young, but Quesada is enthusiastic about his teams' chances to compete for the Stone Division title. The 6-foot-5 Thompkins is a versatile athlete with a good arm, but he also can scramble to keep plays alive. Newman is one of only three seniors on the team and will be needed to be a leader on both offense and defense. If John Swett's large junior class can come together and adjust to life at the varsity level, then a winning record isn't out of the question.

Kennedy-Richmond

COACH: Rae Jackson, second season

2013 RECORD: 4-6, 4-1

TOP RETURNEES: HB/LB Ernie Timoteo, Sr.; WR/CB Rolandre Lincoln, Sr.; QB/S Terry Wilson, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: DB Joseph Fobbs, Jr.; QB Mark Dozier, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: QB Roman Espinoza, WR Raysean Walker, LB/RB Francisco Ortez; Sopnmna

OUTLOOK: The Eagles came within a whisker of taking the Stone Division title last season, losing by a point to champion Hercules, so there isn't much doubt as to what the goal is this year. Lincoln leads an offense that features six returning starters, including Timoteo, who has an offer from Cal. The mobile Wilson will start the season at quarterback, but look for Dozier to also get snaps as the season progresses. If Kennedy can enter division play after its challenging nonleague schedule with a relatively clean bill of health, then it should be the favorites.

Richmond

COACH: Tashaka Merriweather, fourth season

2013 RECORD: 2-8, 2-3

TOP RETURNEES: WR/FS/LB Eric Silva, Sr.; RB/LB De'Andre Ellis, Sr.; OL/DL Daronte Shaw, Sr.; C Michael Flores, Jr.; QB/LB Jesus Aguilera, Sr.; WR/S Antwan McCoy, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: OL/DL Stephen Faeo, So.; OL/DL Eric Dominguez, Sr.

KEY LOSSES: QB Demonte Harrell, WR Sean Trimmer, OL Zach Cohen

OUTLOOK: After back-to-back two win seasons, the Oilers are looking to finish in the top half of the division standings. There is senior leadership, headed by Aguilera, who takes over as Richmond's starting quarterback, and from three-year varsity player McCoy. On defense, the Oilers will look to Silva and Ellis to make plays, and for Shaw to disrupt opposing offenses. With a more balanced Stone Division, Richmond could have enough to finish above .500 in league play.

PREDICTED FINISH
1. Kennedy-Richmond
2. Albany
3. Berean Christian
4. John Swett
5. Richmond
6. De Anza

2014 fOOTBALL sCHEDULES
ALBANY
8/29 WASHINGTON-S.F. 6:30 p.m.
9/5 MISSION SAN JOSE 6:30 p.m.
9/12 JEFFERSON 6:30 p.m.
9/19 TERRA LINDA 6:30 p.m.
9/26 PIEDMONT 6:30 p.m.
10/10 at John Swett* 7 p.m.
10/18 at Berean Christian* 1:30 p.m.
10/24 KENNEDY* 6:30 p.m.
10/31 RICHMOND* 6:30 p.m.
11/7 at De Anza* 7 p.m.
* TCAL-Stone game
BEREAN CHRISTIAN
8/30 EMERY 1:30 p.m.
9/5 at Mt. Diablo 7 p.m.
9/13 CLOVERDALE 1:30 p.m.
9/20 LE GRAND 7 p.m.
10/4 at Salesian 1:30 p.m.
10/10 at De Anza* 7 p.m.
10/18 ALBANY* 1:30 p.m.
10/24 at John Swett* 7 p.m.
10/31 at Kennedy* 7 p.m.
11/8 RICHMOND* 1:30 p.m.
* TCAL-Stone game
DE ANZA
8/28 KELSEYVILLE 7 p.m.
9/5 DOUGHERTY VALLEY 7 p.m.
9/12 GALILEO-S.F. 7 p.m.
9/19 at Mt. Diablo 7 p.m.
9/26 at Ygnacio Valley 7 p.m.
10/10 BEREAN CHRISTIAN* 7 p.m.
10/17 at Kennedy* 7 p.m.
10/24 at Richmond* 7 p.m.
10/31 JOHN SWETT* 7 p.m.
11/7 ALBANY* 7 p.m.
* TCAL-Stone game
JOHN SWETT
9/6 at Emery 2 p.m.
9/12 CALISTOGA 7 p.m.
9/19 HARKER 7 p.m.
9/26 at St. Patrick-St. Vincent 7 p.m.
10/3 STELLAR PREP 7 p.m.
10/10 ALBANY* 7 p.m.
10/17 at Richmond* 7 p.m.
10/24 BEREAN CHRISTIAN* 7 p.m.
10/31 at De Anza* 7 p.m.
11/7 KENNEDY* 7 p.m.
* TCAL-Stone game
KENNEDY-RICHMOND
8/29 DRAKE-S.F. 7 p.m.
9/5 at Armijo 7 p.m.
9/19 MONTEREY 7 p.m.
9/26 at Seqouia 7 p.m.
10/3 OAKLAND 7 p.m.
10/10 RICHMOND* 7 p.m.
10/17 DE ANZA* 7 p.m.
10/24 at Albany* 6:30 p.m.
10/31 BEREAN CHRISTIAN* 7 p.m.
11/7 at John Swett* 7 p.m.
* TCAL-Stone game
RICHMOND
9/5 PINER 7 p.m.
9/13 at Redwood 2 p.m.
9/19 MISSION SAN JOSE 7 p.m.
9/26 at Hayward 7 p.m.
10/3 PIEDMONT 7 p.m.
10/10 at Kennedy* 7 p.m.
10/17 JOHN SWETT* 7 p.m.
10/24 DE ANZA* 7 p.m.
10/31 at Albany* 6:30 p.m.
11/8 at Berean Christian* 1:30 p.m.
* TCAL-Stone game