Expectations are running high once again for the Mammoth High School football team.
The Huskies begin their 2008 season Friday (Sept. 5) hosting the Desert Scorpions at Gault-McClure Stadium. Varsity kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with the JV at 4 pm.
Tom Gault returns for his 25th season as head coach for the Huskies. Mammoth lost its first four games last season, but then scored a 20-18 home victory against archrival Bishop. The upset started a 7-game winning streak that included a perfect run to the Desert Mountain League title and a first-round win in the CIF-SS Northeast Division playoffs.
Mammoth finished 7-5 and lost standout players in seniors Matt DeSalvo, Shane Farley. Robert Eldred, Larry Erwin and Ian Watters. The Huskes have returning starters in quarterback Gerritt Wormhoudt, running back Casey Baviera, WR/CB Paul Monohan, linemen Miguel Lopez and Kenden Blake and Billy Rossi.
The Huskies once again get a lot of respect from coaches and sportswriters, coming in at No. 3 in the preseason Northeast Division poll.
“We think we’re going to win our league,” Gault said. “We don’t feel like there’s anyone in our league who can beat us. I know that sounds like kind of a cocky prediction, but we feel like we’re going to be the strongest team in the league.
“We may not be the strongest team in our preseason, but so be it.”
That preseason features defending High Desert League champion Desert of Edwards Air Force (9-2 overall in 2007, 5-0 in HDL) and two-time undefeated section champion St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano (now bumped up to the East Valley Division, joining Bishop Union High).
Kern Valley, Mojave and Bishop round out the pre-DML portion of the schedule, with a non-league game against St. Anthony’s of Long Beach after DML play to fill a bye in the schedule.