The Highlanders won their third consecutive CIF championship last year, the second-most in county history (St. Margaret’s won its fourth in a row last year). All-County running back Joshua Quezada, also the Freeway League’s 2009 MVP and perhaps the team’s heart and inspiration last year, graduated. But coming back are excellent players all over the field.
Senior quarterback Cody Clements, all-league last year, committed to Washington State. There are two all-league linemen back – Kevin Casey and Kyle Peko – and junior receiver Brett Bartolone was all-league last year, too. Ahmad Avery replaces Quezada at running back, as he did briefly when Quezada was ill for a couple of ’09 games; Avery rushed for 399 yards and five touchdowns. The defense should be fine, with all-league returnees Will Peppard and Mike Sparling in the defensive backfield, and linebacker Aaron Porter. La Habra toughed up its nonleague schedule, adding Trinity League teams Orange Lutheran and Servite.