TEMECULA – Puma Head Coach Ryan Tukua’s energy and optimism is contagious. The mood at Chaparral is upbeat and positive as the Pumas prepare for the new season and get set to challenge mighty Vista Murrieta which has dominated the Southwestern League for eight of the past nine years.
Chaparral has a tough core of returning veteran players who are solidifying into a formidable force in the league. “Our offensive line is the strength of our team” Coach Tukua said. “We return a lot of players and they have had a great off season. We expect a lot out of them and they are responding well so far.”
The Puma line consists of Mason Walton (6’5 282) Kyle Hoppe (6’1 274) and Bryson Bridges (6’3 254). All three were selected to the All Southwestern League Team last year. “We also love the way Adam Trout (6’2 224), Bryce Kwasney (6’3 273), Anthony Bertran (5’11 238), and Jordan Clark (6’2 221) have been competing” added Tukua. The Puma line will be a formidable force in the Southwestern League.
Chaparral has a new Offensive Coordinator this season as Kris Plashspent takes over the Puma offense. Plashspent spent the past 8 years as the Head Coach at Orange Glen High School. He will have All League quarterback Austin Reza behind center and a tough running back in Ray Riley who is looking to move the chains for the Pumas on the ground. Receivers Alex Argent, Malachi Puckett, Khry Walton and Lloyd Hightower are talented and dangerous weapons for the junior quarterback.
Stan Hunt is the Puma Defensive Coordinator and is now in his fourth season. He has four All Southwestern League players returning to his lineup. The Puma secondary will be tough to pass on as three of the returning All Leaguers are defensive backs Darrien Molton, Xavier Cardinal and Bradly Meeks.
Injured Linebacker Malik Lawal also earned all league honors last season. He plans to be rehabbed and rejoin the starting lineup in the league opener against Temecula Valley. The Puma linebacker core is rock solid and consists of Koy Stewart, Isiah Hall, Stephan Fitzgerald, Ryan Boldt, and Mark Ziobro.
Chaparral’s defensive line has Ty Guevara, Bryson Bridges, and Dominique Houston supplemented by the linebackers.
The Chaparral coaching staff consists of Jon Mitchell and Garet Bretfuss who coach the receivers, Shawn Sams the running backs and Andrew Ramer the O Line. Mike Wilga and Mynor Shultz are the linebacker coaches. Shannon Vinje and Adam Contreras are responsible for the defensive backs and Sean Cue coaches the defensive line.
With all the emphasis on league play this season Tukua took it all in stride. “The most important game on our schedule is August 29th. It’s the first game of the season and we need to work hard everyday to prepare for it. Our preseason will test us greatly and the league is as good as it has been. We want to play as a team and compete hard every day.”