H-SPORTS

Aug 6, 2013 8:47 PM by Bill Halter

Royals on a mission to continue winning tradition

Mission Prep was the only local football team to play for a CIF championship last season. The Royals 22 players from that 11-2 team, including quarterback Tyler Baty, who set the San Luis Obispo County record for most career touchdown passes.

Sophomore Patrick Miller will take over the Mission offense at quarterback. He's being asked to be more of a game manager right away. He threw 2 interceptions last season in limited duty and was 1 for 4 passing overall.

Playmaker Patrick Laird is one of five players, who will go both ways for Mission. On offense, he'll once again play running back and receiver. Last year as a junior, Laird rushed for 970 yards and 13 touchdowns, while he caught 27 passes for 506 yards and 7 more scores. Laird says the program is now built for sustained success....

"Definitely the culture's changing. It's an expectation to be in the weight room, it's an expectation to stay after practice, come after school, during the offseason, throw the ball around, run. It's an expectation to be a great program now," said Laird.

"One of the big question marks after last year's season was what kind of program have we become and are we a team that's gone on because of a group of individuals or because of a programatic change that we've had. And what I've seen is we have a lot of carry over and I think we're on a great path right now," said head coach Chad Henry.

The Royals have four of their five starting offensive linemen back from last season. The Royals will have 30 players on varsity. They open the season August 30 at Christian in El Cajon, which went 8-4 last season. The closest school that Mission plays this season is Bishop Diego.

Mission also returns Calvin Levisay, who made 60 tackles last season, as well as receiver Trevor Fernandez, who caught 25 passes for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns. Evan Talbert will also return after he caught 14 passes for 212 yards and 3 scores a season ago.

On top of Baty, the Royals lost Michael Cardwell (1,370 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns), Joey Hall (60 catches, 1365 receiving yards, 24 touchdown catches), as well as defensive stars Andrew DaRosa and Andrew DeSesa, who combined to make 192 tackles and 21 for lost yardage.

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