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2011 preview: Royal Knights

Here is a preview of the Royal Knights for the 2011 SCAC football season:

Coach: Wiley Allred (13th year, 136-16).

Last league title: 2008.

Last playoff berth: 2010.

Home field: David Nielsen Memorial Field.

Projected starters

OFFENSE POS YR HT WT

Alex Myrick QB Jr. 5-7 165

Alex Ramirez RB Jr. 5-4 145

Brady Dixon FB Jr. 6-2 175

Ricky Ramirez WR Sr. 5-8 155

Danny Vermeer WR Sr. 6-0 150

Reed Lefler TE Jr. 6-4 180

Kent Christensen OL Jr. 6-3 200

Uriel Carmona OL Jr. 5-9 175

Tanner Whitaker OL Sr. 6-1 235

Carter Christensen OL Jr. 6-0 200

Justin Edwards OL Sr. 5-10 175

Pepe Gaxiola K Sr. 6-0 170

DEFENSE POS YR HT WT

Reed Lefler DE Jr. 6-4 180

Tanner Whitaker DT Sr. 6-1 235

Cristian Fernandez DT Jr. 6-1 200

Kent Christensen DE Jr. 6-3 200

Alex Ramirez LB Jr. 5-4 145

Brady Dixon LB Jr. 6-2 175

Justin Edwards LB Sr. 5-10 175

Danny Vermeer DB Sr. 6-0 150

Alex Myrick DB Jr. 5-7 165

Johnny Villanueva DB Sr. 5-5 150

Freddy Ramirez DB Sr. 5-10 155

Damien Delarosa P Jr. 5-11 180

Others to watch: OL Abel Castillon, Sr. (5-10, 200); LB Marcos Morales, Jr. (5-8, 170).

Quick hits

* Ramirez will start at running back, Dixon at fullback and Lefler at tight end after injuries caused some reshuffling. Dixon started at tight end last season. Ramirez saw time at running back a year ago, though he did not start.

* For the first time in a few years, the Knights will get to enjoy having mainly upperclassmen on the roster. That should provide the necessary experience to chase after Connell. Royal returns seven starters on both sides of the ball.

* For a second consecutive season, Royal finds itself in the strange position of being an underdog. It's not often a coach with more than 100 wins can tell his kids with a straight face that no one is expecting them to win the league title.

* Whitaker is back after a solid season on both sides of the ball. The Knights will rely on him to be a force up front.

Outlook

The key to Royal's season could be how much Myrick has grown under center.

"It's fun to watch the growth of someone in the quarterback position," Allred said. "He has improved, and you see a lot more confidence."

The Knights expect they will be able to compete with anyone in the state.

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