By Ray Hamill — After a successful return to the football field this past fall, the Corsairs are busy adding to their roster for the 2023 season.
Head coach Jason White and his staff have been recruiting for the upcoming season, with several local standouts already committing to play for College of the Redwoods and more expected to sign on in the coming months.
“We’re in the middle of it right now,” White said. “In junior college, you’re always recruiting until the first day of practice.
“We’ve got quite a few that have committed.”
Last year, the Corsairs competed for the first time since 2019 and enjoyed plenty of success with a roster that featured mostly freshmen.
After putting together a seven-game winning streak, the Corsairs were in contention for a conference championship all the way until the final weekend of the regular season and they got to host a bowl game for the first time since 1995.
The vast majority of the players from that team are expected back as sophomores in 2023, along with several newcomers, many of whom could have an immediate impact.
Including Eureka’s Joseph Gonzalez, who has been working out with his new teammates and is expected to battle for a starting spot at linebacker.
“We’re definitely excited about him,” White said of the high school senior. “He’s been working out with us, and he’s a very good football player.”
Gonzalez is one of four Eureka seniors that have committed to continue their playing careers at the local community college, a group that also includes running back Daniel Garcia Hall, defensive back Dominic Conant and defensive back Dylan Christian.
Three players from Del Norte’s Big 4 winning team have also committed to play at CR, including standout kicker Daniel Gonzalez.
“He’ll help in a spot we struggled at last year,” White said.
Gonzalez’s Del Norte teammates Andrew Hunte and Bryson Price will both also play at CR in 2023.
Hunte will play defensive end, while Price will play on either the offensive or defensive lines.
Two other recent H-DN graduates will also compete for playing time.
Former Arcata quarterback Shane Purcell, who threw for 4,201 yards and 61 TDS in 14 games in 2021 (between the spring and fall seasons), has transferred back to the area after a season at Contra Costa College.
Purcell’s twin brother Kai is coming off an outstanding freshman campaign playing for the CR men’s basketball team.
Hoopa’s Carlos Aguilar also will join the football team this year.
The athletic playmaking receiver, who graduated form Hoopa in 2020, is already setting a good example for his new teammates.
“He shows up every day and he’s been working hard,” White said.
St. Bernard’s Jamarious January also recently committed to play for the Corsairs and will play on the defensive line.
Arcata’s Wiyot Tierney also will join the team this after an impressive high school career with the Tigers and will play receiver.
White, however, is hoping to add some more local players before the summer, with an additional 10 players or so still considering their options.
“It’s a decent start,” he said of the recruiting. “But it’s less than I wanted, honestly.”
Among the key returning players this year is quarterback Max Hough, who had an outstanding debut season with the team in 2022 and will be expected to pick up just where he left off this coming fall.
“The majority of players that had big roles on our team are coming back,” the head coach said. “We lost very little in that regard.”
The CR players have been working hard in the weight room and will begin 15 days of practice in early April.
This year, for the first time, community college teams in California will be permitted to practice in full pads for the spring session and the Corsairs will hold three sessions a week for five weeks.
White is expecting around 45 players for the spring practice and says he will probably hold a scrimmage in the final week or two, providing there are enough players on hand.
“We’ll see where we’re at,” he said of the scrimmage.
White also will have all of his assistant coaches back for 2023, including defensive coordinator Damaro Wheeler.
Categories: Arcata, College of the Redwoods, Del Norte, Eureka, Football, Hoopa Valley, St. Bernard's
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