Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Oct. 20
Carlsbad on the road back to the top
This season Carlsbad faces some conventional and not so conventional challenges as they look to win their third Division I championship in four years.
Last year the Lancers had a run of back-to-back Division I championships ended in the playoffs.
“I think trying to live up to back-to-back CIF championships was a tremendous amount of pressure,” said Carlsbad head coach Bob McAllister. “I feel like this team we have, they feel like have to live up to the past Carlsbad teams and the winning traditions.”
Carlsbad finished last season with four wins at home. This year none of their wins will come at the cozy confines of Swede Krcmar Field.
In July, soil samples taken from the Lancers’ home field the previous month were found to have excessive amounts of arsenic. The field was deemed too hazardous for use and was closed down for the season, meaning that the Lancers will have no true home games this year.
“We’ll miss the atmosphere of having a home game – having everybody coming to the games, the kids running around our field and things like that,” said senior running back and cornerback Ashston Barbour. “We’ll miss the tradition of being at home.”
The Lancers September home games will be played in Oceanside. Carlsbad will take on St. Augustine at Oceanside on Sept. 5 and will play Helix at El Camino on Sept. 19. The Lancers three league contests, against Rancho Bernardo (Oct. 10), Poway (Nov. 7) and El Camino (Nov. 14) will be held at La Costa Canyon.
“We appreciate the hospitality and that they are able to open up their doors for us,” McAllister said.
Carlsbad will also have to adjust to a new defensive coordinator as Miguel Perez takes over for Joe Silvey, who left in the offseason to coach Fallbrook. Perez has been on the Carlsbad coaching staff for 15 years.
“I think one of the great attributes that Coach Perez brings to the game is that he has tremendous knowledge of the game and makes very very good on-field adjustments,” McAllister said.
Those changes coupled with the loss of four seniors with Division I talent and a tough preseason and Palomar League schedule will make the 2008 season a challenge for the Lancers. Despite that, Carlsbad’s goal remains consistent.
“Everybody on the team wants to get back to CIF and win the championship,” Barbour said.
Following a scrimmage at Mt. Carmel Friday, Carlsbad opens the season against St. Augustine on Sept. 5.