Mustangs football returns

Co-Champs back in action


Cathie Lawrence

During Mustangs football practice, wide receiver Alejandro Phillips (left) jumps for the pass as defensive back Jamon Ward (right) leaps to break up the play.

It’s that time again Mustang fans. With the roster set and the schedule in order, the fall football season kicks off September 6 with the team traveling to Merced College for the first away game of the season.

What’s in store for the team this year?

Making their debut to the team, some freshmen players are already grabbing the attention of the coaches and fellow players.

On the defensive side, newcomers Kevin Ezebuiro and Maurice Jack are described by Coach Chris Shipe as “making good strides” as outside linebackers, already earning respect among the returning sophmore players.

Some familiar faces on defense to look out for again this season include defensive lineman Christian Riccabon, free safety Keyshawn Ward, linebacker Markie Beltram and cornerbacks Jamon Ward and Shecari Johnson.

On the offensive side, Mustangs quarterback R.J. Cellini will be making his return to the field with freshmen offensive linemen Renee Cardona, Fernando Nunez and Leonard Grillo.

Other returning players to keep an eye out for again this season include center Alex Cabral, tight end Joe Cannon, running back Jamal Lockett and receivers Justin Swims and Deon Pruitt.

In the upcoming season the Mustangs will face off against many opponents, some of which had the fortune of besting the team last year. While the prospect of retaliating against such teams as Shasta College, Hartnell College and local rival Contra Costa College is in mind, winning the first game is at the top of Coach Shipe’s list.

“Start the season positive,” said Shipe. Even with a 7-3 record last season, it was the loss of the first game of the season last year against Hartnell that sticks in his mind. For the first game Shipe said it’s important to, “get on track right. You’ll always have your rivals.”

The next few weeks will prove just how well the freshmen players mold with their more seasoned teammates as they face off against the colleges in the area. With the unkown obstacles that may face the players this season, one thing is for certain; losing isn’t an option.

“Last year we were able to win a conference championship,” said LMC Athletic Director Richard Villegas, “this year we would like to do the same.”

The official roster and schedule for the fall football season is available on the LMC website. Be sure to come out to the first home game on Saturday September 13 as the team faces Monterey Peninsula College, the first of five home games scheduled for this season.