Burlingame at Half Moon Bay, 7 p.m.
The Panthers went just 2-3 in Bay Division play in 2019, but still managed a playoff berth, finishing the season 5-6 overall. … The Cougars were dominant in Ocean Division, going a perfect 5-0. A perfect 10-0 regular season, however, earned Half Moon Bay a spot in the CCS Open Division I playoffs, where the Cougars were one-and-done.
“Like everyone else, we’re a work in progress,” said head coach John Philipopoulos as the Panthers will have just six seniors on this season’s squad.
Those seniors, however, have plenty of experience. Taking over the quarterback duties is three-year varsity senior Wyatt McGovern, who was the Daily Journal’s 2019 Boys’ Golfer of the Year.
“He was an impact player for us last year,” Philipopoulos said. “He’s like having an extra coach on the field.”
Jackson Giovara, a senior, will give McGovern some experience on the outside as a wide receiver, while senior Isaac Frankel will see time in the Panthers’ multi-pronged offensive backfield. Prax Ramirez is a two-way, two-year varsity lineman and Stas Pantazis returns to football after sitting out his sophomore and junior seasons.
While the Panthers may be young, there is some experience. Will Uhrich, a junior, was an all-Bay Division defensive back in 2019 and will feature more at receiver and move closer to the line as a linebacker. Charlie Koch, who was brought up midway through the 2019 season, is expected to have an impact at defensive end and tight end. Xavier Bruening is a junior defensive lineman who starred for the school’s wrestling team and Elijah La Guardia, who started as a junior, is expected to see time in both the offensive and defensive backfields.