Coming off its second consecutive trip to the LA Championship semifinals, No. 4 Agoura returns an experienced nucleus of players as it embarks on its first season outside the Marmonte League.

This year the Chargers will join No. 6 Oak Park, Simi Valley and Royal in forming the Coastal Canyon League. The foursome will play each other once each in the regular season, setting up a two-game championship tournament in late April.

Before league play, however, Agoura will test itself. Of their 12 nonleague games, 11 are against teams ranked in the Top 20 of the coaches poll, including four former Marmonte League teams, the three top Mission League teams and No. 2 Palos Verdes from the Bay League. In all, Agoura faces 12 games against teams ranked in the Top 17.

But with back-to-back deep playoff runs under their belts, and with a bunch of players who were on both those rosters, the Chargers are well prepared for the challenge.

Defensively, All-American senior goalie Zach Tripp holds down the cage. He posted a 6.5 goals-against average last year and was named Marmonte League MVP and first-team All-Area. He is committed to Utah. Tripp will have first-team All-Marmonte and second-team all-area defender Sebastian Bernt and senior defender/LSM Jaxson Spar helping protect his crease.

Offensively, attack Douglas McCarthy returns after a sophomore campaign in which he scored 101 points (52g, 49a) and was named first-team All-Marmonte and second-team All-Area. Senior Gage Garrison also returns to the attack line, along with junior Bo Conrad. Junior middie Kai Rasmussen and versatile senior Tyler Whitney return, as well.

The Chargers open their season Saturday at home against No. 12 Sierra Canyon.

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