Youthful Vigor

Gavilan’s Ryan Blake makes his way around Django Evans during

Rams Will Need to Rely on Some Incoming Freshmen
Gilroy – Right before the season started Gavilan head coach Chris Shoemaker found out the Rams would have to do without two important returning players this season, Andrew Hayes and Jason Wells.

“It was not an ideal time,” said Shoemaker, in his fourth year coaching the Rams. “I’m definitely not going to make any excuses, but since losing those guys it’s just taken a little bit of time for everybody to mesh and trust each other.”

Fortunately, Gavilan does have 6-foot-8 center Adrian Zamora back. The sophomore was a first team all-conference selection as a freshman. He averaged 16 points a game last season.

“We’ll be leaning on him to score points for us,” Shoemaker said.

Sophomore Broc Sondgroth (San Benito High) is a returning guard who will be counted on to run the offense.

“Broc has kind of been our emotional leader,” Shoemaker said. “He leads by example with his play, his hustle and vocal leadership.”

With the loss of players like John Morrison (now playing at UC-Santa Cruz), Scott McLeod (SF St.) and Curtis Lilly (on football scholarship at East Central Oklahoma), there’s plenty of opportunities for some of the younger players to step up. It’s just a question of who will do it.

“We’re going to need the freshmen to grow up and not necessarily play like freshmen,” Shoemaker said. “We need them to take full advantage of the opportunity.”

Playing in the tough Coast Conference South isn’t going to make things any easier for Gavilan. West Valley is the top-ranked team in the state while Cabrillo and MPC are currently ranked in the top 10 in Northern California. Shoemaker said playing hard-nosed defense and running a patient motion offense will be the cornerstones for his team.

“Our conference last year was the best in Northern California and we expect it to be again,” he said.

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