King City Mustangs return to the field to prepare for this upcoming football season. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — Typically finishing 7-2 would be an excellent season for most high school football teams, and it was a good season for King City High, but the way it ended doesn’t sit right for the Mustangs as they return to the field to prepare for this upcoming season.

As the Mustangs close the door to last year and prepare for a new season, there is a lot of optimism that there is going to be a title contender in the Cypress Division this year.

But this year will be challenging for King City. They have replaced Ivan Lizardi, Alexis DeDios, Sebastian Garcia and Brooks Hearne. Those players accounted for the majority of their offense and defense production from last year’s team.

The good news is that the Mustangs do have some players coming back to big positions.

Starting off, the whole offense and defense line will have some depth this year on both sides of the ball. Last year on JV, the Mustangs had a couple of players on the defense line that could make an immediate impact this year.

One of the major players to return from last year is center Angel Arroyo. Last year Arroyo was a part of a young offensive line that went through some rough games, but they helped put up 30 points a game.

After winning a state title and playing baseball, Jace Espino will be looked upon to step up as wide receiver this year. Going into this year, King City will have to replace their top four wide receivers in receiving yards from last year.

Jjey Martinez, who made first team in the Cypress Division last season, has put in the work to be even faster and stronger for this upcoming year.

Last year Martinez threw for 10 touchdown passes and rushed for six. Don’t be surprised if he plays both sides of the ball this year.

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Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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