May 24, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

OC Sports Zone Kickoff 2019: Irvine hopes to keep winning with new coach and starting QB

Irvine will be led by new coach Tom Ricci and quarterback Beck Moss (right). Photo courtesy Harrison Zhang, For OC Sports Zone

Irvine High’s new head football coach Tom Ricci is excited about what lies ahead for his squad.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

The former Savanna head coach takes over for long-time coach Erik Terry, who resigned at the end of last season to spend more time with his family. Irvine was 5-7 overall and 3-2 in the Pacific Coast League and notched a 30-14 opening round CIF Division 11 playoff victory over Ocean View before losing to Hemet 38-17 in the second round.

Terry was the Vaqueros’ head coach for nine years.

This year’s team will have a new look with just one starter back on offense and one returning on defense.

Junior quarterback Beck Moss (6-2, 175) takes over for Bubba Filia, who graduated after setting four of Irvine’s offensive passing records. He was the offensive MVP of the Pacific Coast League.

“To be successful we are going to have to make it through our brutal preseason injury free,” Ricci said. “Our goal is to continue to improve upon last year’s successes and roll into league ready to do some damage.  I think we have the guys in place to make that happen.”

Tentative offensive starters

Beck Moss, QB, junior; Jacob Sears, WR, senior; Kade Zimmerman, WR, junior; Sam Dimaculangan, WR, junior; Cade Calderon. WR, senior; Nathaniel Choi, RB, junior; Blaine Miller, LT, senior; Chris Cho, LG, senior; Raymond Arriaza, C, senior; Barrett Hauge, RG, sophomore; Lucas Graham, LT, senior.

Tentative defensive starters

Darrion Welch, DB, senior; Kade Zimmerman, FS, junior; Sam Dimaculangan, SS, junior; Max Lanzaorellana, DB, senior; Tate Zimmerman, LB, sophomore; Nathaniel Choi, LB, senior; Cade Calderon, DE, senior; Sam Lynch, DE, junior; Lucas Graham, LT, senior; Eugene Reyes, NG, senior; Trent Sasaki, RG, senior.

Special teams

Jacob Sears, kickoff and punt returner; Tate Zimmerman, punter.

A closer look at players to watch

—-Jacob Sears: “In my years of coaching I have rarely come across a player that wants to be the best and follows it up with the work ethic to match like Jacob does,” Ricci said. “He expects the best from himself and those around him.”

—-Beck Moss: “Beck has big shoes to fill but has the knowledge and athleticism to fill them,” Ricci said. “He is a student of the game and a coach on the field. He has one thing in his sights and that is to play ball at the collegiate level.”

—-Kade Zimmerman: “The acrobat: he flies through the air with the greatest of ease,” Ricci said. “But when he comes down, he usually has a football in his hands. He’s a big target for our accurate QB and has the work ethic to match his talent level.”

—Cade Calderon: “One of our senior leaders, Cade is going to be coming off the edge at DE and his wing span is going to be hard to get around,” Ricci said. “He also does a great job at receiver opposite the other Kade.”


-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone;