Roster turnover is a way of life for community college football programs, and for SBCC, the 2022 season will feature an abundance of new players in new roles.
Coming off a 2021 season that culminated in a 7-4 overall record and a bowl game, the Vaqueros are looking to replicate that success with only two returning starters.
“The biggest thing we’re excited about is our two returning starters,” said SBCC head coach Craig Moropoulos. “It’s rough that we’ve got 20 of 22 starters playing their first college game in the opening game. That’s always a challenge.”
One position where SBCC has a known commodity is quarterback. Alex Johnson returns after passing for 1407 yards and 12 touchdowns last season in nine games. Johnson’s backup Trenton Luera also saw significant action last season and tossed three touchdown passes with no interceptions.
“He’s played at a high level. He’s come a long way from last year to this year,” Moropoulos said. “That’s a position that you like to have maturity and that’s what we have.”
Johnson is 6’5” and possesses a strong arm. Moropoulos is very high on his mental grasp of the game, and the backup Luera won a game as a starter at Glendale last season.
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On defense Bishop Diego product Jordan Tagaloa will anchor the defensive line from his defensive tackle position. He is a quiet leader, who does his talking on the field. “Guys are ready to go,” Moropoulos said. “We are ready to play.”
First up on the SBCC schedule is Santa Barbara County rival Allan Hancock. The Bulldogs defeated SBCC 17-14 in overtime last season in Santa Maria and the Vaqueros are eager to exact revenge at La Playa Stadium on Saturday, September 3 beginning at 1 p.m.
“It’s a big challenge and it’s a great way to start against a solid team so you get a feeling of where you’re at,” Moropoulos said. “We’re excited about it and that’s been our focus since January, playing a tough team at home. The excitement is there for us.”
There will be a ceremony post game inducting several SBCC alumni and championship teams into the SBCC hall of fame, including Kathy O’Connor (Class of 2020), Tim Tremblay (Class of 2020) Dave Loveton (Class of 2021), Carmen DiPoalo (Class of 2022), 1982 Football Team (Class of 2022), and 2006 Women’s Golf Team (Class of 2022).