Palos Verdes rolled to a berth in the Division 5 title game last season. Can they do the same thing in Division 4? Here’s an inside look at the 2019 Sea Kings.
2018 IN REVIEW
Overall record: 10-4 (5-0, 1st in the Bay League). Palos Verdes lost 34-20 in the Division 5 finals against eventual state champion Lawndale.
Guy Gardner is going into his 11th year at Palos Verdes. He also shares offensive coordinator duties with Pat Fresch.
WR/DB Julian Alessi, 6-1, 180, Sr.
RB/LB Ryan Wilson, 6-1, 180, Sr.
QB Jake Jellison, 5-11, 165, Sr.
OL/DL Justin Booth, 6-2, 225, Sr.
OL/DL Brandon Clark, 6-1, 220, Sr.
SS/WR Rhett Wilken, 5-11, 165, Sr.
DL/OL Tusi Adams, 6-3, 290, Sr.
OLB/FB Anthony Habif, 5-10, 190, Sr.
DE/OLB/TE/FB Caleb Gutierrez, 5-11, 185, Sr.
DB/RB Jake Wilson, 5-10, 175, Sr.
THREE TO SEE
Ryan Wilson – RB/LB
Tailback Ryan Wilson ran for 1,416 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He was an absolute workhorse, getting over 200 carries. Wilson is also a standout at linebacker, making 74 tackles last season, with 22 of them coming for loss. He was second on the team with six sacks.
Julian Alessi – WR/DB/KR/PR
Another two-way star, Alessi made 79 tackles as a DB last season, 45 of them unassisted. He also recorded 956 receiving yards last season at wide receiver. But when you factor in his yardage as a kick/punt returner and his interception yardage, he totaled over 1,500 all-purpose yards. No wonder he is ranked as a 3-star recruit by 247 and has received multiple D1 offers.
Anthony Habif – OLB
Standing only 5-10, 190, Habif took down everyone in sight last season with 91 tackles (12 for loss).
Last season, coach Gardner stacked Palos Verdes’ preseason with powerhouses Narbonne and Corona Del Mar. After losing their first three games of the year, they never lost again until drawing Lawndale in the D-5 finals.
This year, the Sea Kings look to make another splash in the playoffs, this time in Division 4. They’ll be returning six starters on offense and seven on defense, so translating their successes in D-4 is very possible. And all of their top returners are seniors.
Star RB Ryan Wilson looks to add onto last season’s strong campaign in which he racked up 1,416 rushing yards. Palos Verdes has another star returning in WR/ATH Julian Alessi, a 3-star recruit. He went for 956 receiving yards last season. Also returning on offense is starting QB Jake Jellison, and two great O-linemen in Justin Booth and Brandon Clark.
The Sea Kings’ defense projects to be as strong as their offense. Anthony Habif, who recorded 91 tackles last season, (OLB) leads a defensive interior that brings back most of its key starters such as Caleb Gutierrez, Tusi Adams, Justin Booth, Brandon Clark, and Ryan Wilson. Rhett Wilken (SS), who also made 91 tackles last season, returns to lead the secondary. He’ll be joined by Jake Wilson and Julian Alessi, among other key returners.
Palos Verdes should be one of the top teams in Division 4 this season. Per coach Gardner, they aren’t the biggest team, and they lack depth — most of their top players start on both ends. If their key guys can stay healthy, a very deep playoff run could be in the cards.