SBLive California is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in the state ahead of the 2020-2021 season, which is scheduled to kick off the first week of January. Here’s an inside look at the Oxnard Yellowjackets of the CIF Southern Section, the No. 38 team in our countdown.
OXNARD HEAD COACH
Jaime Moreno, 2nd season (10-2)
2019 AT A GLANCE
Overall record: 10-2
League record: 5-0, first in Pacific View
Playoffs: Beat St. Bonaventure 40-13 in the first round of the Division 5 Southern Section playoffs; lost to Aquinas 26-21 in the second round of the Southern Section playoffs
ALL-SOUTHERN SECTION DEPARTURES
Xavier Harris – RB
Jacob Murillo – OL
Aaron Fontes – WR
(All game times 7 p.m.)
- Jan. 8 vs. Quartz Hill
- Jan. 15 at Moorpark
- Jan. 22 vs. Camarillo
- Jan. 29 at Chaminade
- Feb. 5 vs. Ventura
- Feb. 12 at Rio Mesa
- Feb. 19 at Dos Pueblos
- Feb. 26 vs. Santa Barbara
- Mar. 5 vs. Lompoc
- Mar. 12 at Pacifica (Oxnard)
- 3 on offense
- 6 on defense
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tytus Hutchison – (Senior-LB) (6-0, 195)
Coach Moreno: “He’s definitely our team leader. He knows what to do and leads on the field, leads in the locker room. He’s a straight A student, but the intensity he has he reminds me of The Hulk: you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. He has the Bruce Banner mentality in the classroom but get him on the field and he’s turning green and getting some people.”
Grant Ennis – (Senior-LB) (6-3, 225)
Coach Moreno: “Prototypical linebacker height, size and weight and he brings it. All these guys are top notch in the classroom and top notch on the field and he’s one of them.”
Anthony Lopez – (Senior-LB) (6-1, 195)
Coach Moreno: “He’s the heart, soul and the brains of the defense. He knows what to call and where to put guys. He put everybody in position to succeed, and he likes that. He relishes that opportunity to be that leader on the field and knowing what teams might do against us and anticipating it and being in the right spot.”
Matthew Cortez – (Senior-OL) (6-2, 260)
Coach Moreno: “Guy is just a mauler. I’ve been associated with Oxnard High School since the early 80’s and I’ve seen a lot of good linemen and he reminds me of a lot of John Guerrero who played at USC. The guy just mows everyone down. We’re running behind him … this guy is top notch.”
Kekona Tinajero – (Senior-DB) (6-0, 175)
Coach Moreno: “First team all-league, all-county guy. He’s gonna be solidifying our defense.”
Seniors Jon Vasquez and Sammy Marquez will battle for the quarterback job. Vasquez completed one pass last season, resulting in a 30-yard touchdown. Marquez threw for over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns at nearby Rio Mesa High School last year.
“We were having those guys battle it out, but without seven-on-seven or any real summer program as we’re used to, we’re just bringing in young guys around them and we’ll see which one succeeds when we get to that point,” Moreno said.
- Sammy Marquez – 2021 QB from Rio Mesa HS
- Kekona Tinajero – 2021 DB from Rio Mesa HS
- Andrew Marquez – 2023 ATH from Rio Mesa HS
WHO TRANSFERRED OUT?
- Jaden Jones – 2021 QB (Westlake)
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON OXNARD FOOTBALL
COVID-19 has affected every high school football team differently. Coach Moreno shares how COVID-19 has impacted Oxnard football over the past few months:
“I think what it’s done for us is it’s really shown the guys that are loyal to the program. We’ve got some movement in our program, but we only talk about guys that are here. I think it’s solidified them as brothers because we’re really a football family and you can really see the loyalty.”
“These guys call each other up and they work out even though we haven’t had an organized weight room. These guys are coming in and pr’ing all their lifts. It’s been so impressive to see them when we finally got to lift and how much they’re lifting. They’re squatting 500, benching 300 like we had no idea they were doing this on their own. You really see the camaraderie and the loyalty to Oxnard, our program and what we’re doing there.”
BEST-CASE SCENARIO FOR OXNARD
The Yellowjackets appear to have a slight edge over league-rival Pacifica Oxnard this season. If they can navigate through the league schedule and take down the Tritons to end the regular season, Oxnard could secure themselves a favorable seed to make a playoff run.
The Yellowjackets lost by only five points to eventual champion Aquinas in last season’s Division 5 playoffs.
MOST REALISTIC SCENARIO
Oxnard looks to be a lock as a top-two team in the Pacific View League, ensuring a playoff berth. Pacifica showed last season that losing a league title doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your ultimate goal, as they made their way through the Division 6 playoffs to capture the championship.
“For us (our goal) is to be the best team in Oxnard. We have a lot of good competition just down the street from us in every direction and we want to make sure we’re the top team in the city … and that’s something that’s gonna relate to being top in our league, to being top in our division and making great runs in the playoffs.”
“I don’t think there’s going to be a better defense anywhere around. We’ve got some studs coming back on defense … and we’re coming into a new offense with new guys. We have pretty high expectations.”
— Jaime Moreno