Previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in California: No. 24 Chaminade Eagles (West Hills)

SBLive California is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in the state ahead of the 2020-2021 season. Even with the season on hold, we will continue to highlight the best teams, players and coaches in California. Here’s an inside look at the Chaminade Eagles of the CIF Southern Section, the No. 24 team in our countdown.

MORE: PRESEASON TOP 50 PREVIEWS

CHAMINADE TEAM PAGE | 2021 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

CHAMINADE HEAD COACH

Ed Croson, 14th season (second stint)

  • Coached Chaminade in 1998 and 1999
  • Coached at Birmingham from 2000-2008
  • Returned to Chaminade in 2009

2019 AT A GLANCE

  • 8-6 record
  • 3-2 in Mission League (2nd)
  • Southern Section Division 2 runner up
  • After playoff wins over Norco and Upland and a San Clemente forfeit, Chaminade lost in the title game 35-7 to Sierra Canyon

ALL-SOUTHERN SECTION DEPARTURES

  • Isaac Gallegos – LB (New Mexico State)
  • Willy Camacho – RB (Upper Iowa University)
  • JP Reilly – DL (Drake)

2021 SCHEDULE

  • Jan 8, 2021 @ Oaks Christian – 7:00PM – Non League
  • Jan 15, 2021 vs. Birmingham – 7:00PM – Non League
  • Jan. 22, @ Crespi – 7:00PM – Non League
  • Jan. 29, 2021 vs. Oxnard – 7:00PM – Non League
  • Feb. 5, 2021 @ Liberty (Bakersfield) – 7:00PM – Non League
  • Feb 12, 2021 vs. Serra Gardena – 7:00PM – League
  • Feb 19, 2021 @ Notre Dame – 7:00PM – League
  • Feb 26, 2021 vs. Bishop Amat – 7:00PM – League
  • Mar 5, 2021 @ Alemany – 7:00PM – League
  • Mar 12, 2021 vs. Cathedral – 7:00PM – League

RETURNING STARTERS

  • 7 on offense
  • 7 on defense

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Jaylen Henderson (Senior-QB) (6-3, 205) (Fresno State signee)

Coach Croson: “Jaylen is a returning first team All-Mission League player. He’s a leader.”

2019 stats: Completed 178 of 295 passes for 2,664 yards and 20 TDs. Threw six INTs. Rushed for 767 yards and five touchdowns.

Jack Stonehouse (Senior-K/P) (6-3, 175)

Offer sheet: Arizona, Fordham, Nevada, Tulane, Washington State

Coach Croson: “Jack has a lot of offers. He was the LA Times all SoCal punter last year. His dad and uncle both played in the NFL and kicked at USC.”

2019 stats: Averaged 44.8 yards per punt.

Jordan McIntyre (Senior-WR) (6-1, 180) (Brown signee)

Coach Croson: “Jordan is a three-year starter for us.”

2019 stats: Caught 44 passes for 489 yards and three touchdowns

Jordan Ortiz (Senior-OL) (6-4, 295)

Offer sheet: Multiple Division II offers

Coach Croson: “Jordan has some offers. He’s really good.”

Frankie Washington (Senior-CB) (5-11, 175)

Offer sheet: Multiple Division II offers

Coach Croson: “Frankie has some offers. He’s a good corner.”

2019 stats: Made 50 tackles and had an interception

Ian Duarte (Sophomore-WR) (5-8, 165)

Offer sheet: Fresno State and San Jose State

Coach Croson: “Ian was first team All-Mission League as a ninth grader last season. He was doubled the whole time in the tournament we played in in Arizona. They knew he was a deep threat and they did everything to take him away.”

2019 stats: Caught 34 passes for 790 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Josh Mailander (Sophomore-WR) (6-2, 170)

Coach Croson: “Josh is similar to Ian.”

2019 stats: Made seven catches for 50 yards.

IMPACT TRANSFERS

  • Talib Salahuddin — 2021 DL/TE (El Camino Real)
  • Jayden Sheridan — 2021 CB (Palmdale)
  • Jake Fitzgerald — 2022 LB (Alemany)
  • Dominic Arango-Serna — 2022 WR (Canoga Park)

WHO TRANSFERRED OUT?

  • A couple of underclassmen who played on the lower levels last season transferred to states that played fall football.

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON CHAMINADE FOOTBALL

COVID-19 has affected every high school football team differently. Coach Croson shares how COVID-19 has impacted Chaminade football over the past few months:

“We’ve had over 90 practices and I’ve probably shot the thermometer at parents and athletes thousands of times. We had a couple parents get sick and one of our kids had symptoms, but besides that we’ve been fine.”

“Our seniors can’t be evaluated because they have no film. They have no live 2020 film, they only have last year’s film. College coaches want to see how the kids have progressed over the course of the year and they can’t right now. We had two kids sign on Wednesday and we have a bunch of others with offers, but they’re not offers that they want to take. They need to be evaluated and right now, they can’t.”

“We went to that passing tournament in Arizona and won it. All of our guys have been working hard.”

BEST-CASE SCENARIO FOR CHAMINADE

If everyone stays healthy, Chaminade could be a seven or eight seed in Division 1, although a Division 2 playoff berth is more likely. Winning a Division 2 title would be a definite possibility in a normal year.

MOST REALISTIC SCENARIO

Coach Croson is very excited about his team and is desperate to play. This is a team that will challenge Bishop Amat for a Mission League title and should make a deep playoff push if they are in any division outside of Division 1. Led by quarterback Jaylen Henderson, this is a very experienced group. Ed Croson is one of the best coaches in California and his team has been practicing since June. Whenever they get the okay to play, they’ll be ready.

COACH SAID

“Let’s hope there’s a season because we’re going to be really good. First of all, we have everybody back and we’ve gotten some top notch transfers, guys we think who will fit well and will help. We played last year in the playoffs with 16 kids in the ninth grade and 14 in the tenth. Our line is huge and has matured. We’re very experienced there.

“We’re really excited and want to play. Plus, our quarterback Jaylen Henderson has gotten better after throwing for 2,500 yards and rushing for almost 1,000 last year.”

“We’re bigger this year. The big thing has been the weights. We’re going to be a lot stronger team than we have been the last couple of years.”

— Ed Croson

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