June 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Cypress faces Lawndale and gears up for competitive Empire League race

Quarterback Aidan Houston, talking with Coach Rick Feldman last season, has led the Cypress offense in 2023. (Photo courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone).

Cypress High School’s football team is back home Friday night to host Lawndale in a non-league game at Western.

“We’re off to a 2-1 start against a very competitive schedule,” said Coach Rick Feldman. “We’ve suffered a few injuries to starters.”

Cypress defeated La Mirada 28-0, lost to Corona del Mar 41-24 and defeated El Modena 31-14. Lawndale comes in 1-1.

“We aren’t healthy right now and Lawndale is good,” Feldman said.  “For us to have a chance we are going to need the replacements to really play well. It’s definitely next man up for us right now.”

The Centurions are led by quarterback Aidan Houston, who has thrown for 678 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 357 yards and five touchdowns.

Destin Sanchez has the next most yards rushing with 115 but broke his collarbone, Feldman said.

Bobby Castillo, Michael Hubbard and Jake Porteneuve have been the main offensive targets for Houston and Hayden Frazier and Matthew Fonseca have anchored the offensive line.

The defense has been led by linebacker Rocco Burdett, who has 27 tackles with five tackles for losses.

Linebacker Brady Sjostrom has 20 tackles and four tackles for losses and linebacker Bruno Caldarella has 11 tackles and three sacks.

Defensive end/outside linebacker Matthew Fonseca has three sacks.

“Matthew Baldonado and Chasen Sparks have been good cover guys in the secondary.” Feldman said.

Cypress has another challenging opponent next week when it hosts Tesoro on Friday Sept. 15 at Western.

Once the non-league schedule is complete, Feldman and the Centurions will look for challenges from a number of teams in the Empire League.

The league opener for Cypress is Friday, Sept. 29 on the road against Pacifica.

“The league has been great so far,” Feldman said. “Crean (Lutheran) and Tustin look scary good,” Feldman said. “Kennedy has definitely turned the corner and is playing great football. Valencia is experienced and is blowing out everyone. Pacifica is struggling but they are young with a new staff. I expect them to get better as the season progresses.

“The league race should be wild and competitive.  A number of teams should feel like they can win it.”

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com