Last year, coach Jesse Foss guided La Costa Canyon to the CIF San Diego Section Division I championship. This year, Foss expects the Mavericks once again to be one of the elite teams in the county, and this group also will be battle-tested, as a once-young team has grown to be an experienced and senior-heavy squad.
Foss recently took some time to provide a look at his program and next spring’s La Costa Canyon roster:
What is the current state is of your program? How does it look relative to previous years? Have you improved; are you rebuilding?
We have a senior-heavy team of players that took some lumps against the best competition in the West in 2015. They are now experienced and hungry to get back to form in 2016.
What is your team’s central philosophy?
We want hardworking, disciplined, and well-conditioned student-athletes. If we have that, then the rest will take care of itself.
Who are some of your key returners? Who are you going to rely on?
Key returners include Jake McLean, Michael Rice, Jack Kagan, and Connor Brown at the midfield. On defense, we return Pierce Maczko, Crew Taylor and Daniel Verga, who were all starters from last year’s team.
Are there any newcomers fans should look out for? Will any freshmen make a significant impact?
Andrew Beacham, Parker McLean, Kyle Haggerty and Hank Bass are now juniors with a year of varsity experience under their belts. I expect them to increase their roles on the team this year.
What are some goals you have for the season? Championship, or building talent?
Our goals are always the same: 1) Beat Torrey Pines; 2) Win the Avocado League; 3) Win the CIF Championship.
Do you foresee any major challenges? What do you think will be a major hurdle for your team?
If I saw hurdles coming three months away, then they wouldn’t be hurdles. I am sure we will deal with the same challenges as everyone else — keeping them engaged, overcoming injuries and balancing academics with athletics.
Who do you think will be some of the other top teams in the county? Who are you scared of?
Poway returns almost all its players from last year’s CIF Championship team but are now in the position of defending the ‘Ship. Torrey Pines is always incredibly skilled and have key returning starters at each position, including the specialty positions. Cathedral Catholic looks to be very strong again and have come close each of the last three years. Coronado has been playing with young players the last two years, and they finally have maturity to match their talent. Bishop’s probably has the most potent offense in the county and will be dangerous if everyone can stay healthy.