EC Preps



By Adam Paul

Staff Writer

The 2017 Steele Canyon Cougars will look to bounce back after an injury riddled disappointing 2016 campaign that saw them finish 3-8 with a loss to Carlsbad in the Division I playoffs.

Head coach Scott Longerbone is in his 6th season.

Last season’s bevy of Injuries that brought bad news to the Cougars appears to be different this season as a lot of the experienced returners are back healthy on both sides of the ball. Once again the offensive line who don’t have the senior experience will be big and strong and should be able to protect very well and create the holes for the backs.

Back under center is senior Thomas Fishburne, a three year starter who last season threw for 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns. Fishburne is also poised to either set or break school passing records this season as well.

Returning at the running back position are the duo of Deontae McKinney who ran for a little over 500 yards and 2 touchdowns last season and Isaiah Thompson who ran for 236 yards.

Mikel Oliver who is a three year starter and has committed to SDSU will be on both sides of the ball.

Defensively the Cougars will have one of their best linebackers back this year in Amir Harris who is returning from shoulder injury. He will be a force to be reckoned with on the defense. At the cornerback position the duo of Perry Steele and Dejay Hall will be the ones looking to make the plays this season. Darrin Walton who has an offer to Dordt in Ohio will also join the defensive side.

Schedule wise the Cougars will open up with a road trip down to the valley to take on the Brawley Wildcats. The second week they come back home to play familiar foe Madison who they played last season. After Madison they play at Granite Hills whom they beat last season 37-7.

A couple weeks after the Granite Hills contest they open up Grossmont Hills league play with a home contest against Helix. However the big game will be a couple of weeks later on October 27th when they host rival Valhalla in the “Battle for the Jamacha Helmet.” This contest is always a physical game between the two teams and will likely be again this season.

For CIF Playoff purposes the Cougars move from Division I last season to Division II this season which is loaded with other East County foes such as Granite Hills, Christian, West Hills and El Capitan. Not to mention the Non-East County teams such Bishops, Otay Ranch, Mater Dei, Lincoln, Vista among others.

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