To begin the 2013 football season,
De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
finds itself in a familiar position: On top of the high school football world.
The Bay Area juggernaut that has become the nation's most well-known football team appears primed to stay on top.
Loaded line play on both sides of the ball, a returning quarterback and emerging skill athletes could be a recipe for another perfect season for the Spartans.
Offensively, it starts up front with Larry Allen III
, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound specimen who leads a unit that also features Sumner Houston
, Boss Tagaloa
and Drew Sullivan
It should be one of the bigger De La Salle offensive lines in recent years.
Underrated quarterback Chris Williams
will be back behind center. He accounted for 29 total touchdowns last year, but his knowledge of the team's offense - as well as continuity at the position - is the greatest value he adds for De La Salle.
The defensive line will feature Tagaloa and Sullivan, and is buoyed by a big addition from Wisconsin, Kahlil McKenzie
, who moved to the Bay Area after his father Reggie took the Raiders general manager job
Head coach Justin Alumbaugh will need to replace Michael Hutchings at linebacker, but 6-4 athlete Devin Asiasi
, only a sophomore, looks the part.Das Tautalatasi
, who will likely see most of the carries on offense, will anchor the secondary.
See the entire Preseason Xcellent 25Local look:
"I was at De La Salle camp a couple of weeks ago and it has the exact same feel of the last three decades. The only difference is that bigger dudes are sprinting, lifting and pulling tires. Justin Alumbaugh may be the new head coach – replacing living legend Bob Ladouceur – but 'Lad' is still involved, the system is in place and the athletes, according to those around the program, are similar to the early 2000 'Say hey' days.
"When we mentioned the Spartans were considered as preseason No. 1, no one seemed to flinch. Translation: the pick is justified. The key in that confidence is its foundation — the line, which should average in the 260-pound range. With an experienced dual-threat quarterback and a 1,000 yard rusher returning, the Spartans can build around everything else. They have the athletes — and obviously the coaching — to go unbeaten and win a fifth-straight CIF State Open Division Bowl title."- Mitch Stephens, MaxPreps Senior Writer and San Francisco Chronicle Prep Editor