Section Division VI poll, began last Saturday against Carson, the L.A.
City Section's reigning 4-A Division champion.
Fountain Valley Coach Eric Johnson wanted a tough nonleague schedule,
and it couldn't get any beefier than the one-two punch of Carson and La
The Barons will know what they have this season sometime late Friday
"We wanted a great nonleague schedule, and we've got one," Johnson
said. "When I looked at the schedule, the Carson game jumped out at me as
being the toughest. But La Mirada's a pretty tough team, too. I think
they'll be better than last year's team. It should be a very good game."
The Matadores weren't too shabby in 1999, a 9-3 finish that included a
quarterfinal appearance in the Division VI playoffs.
In fact, La Mirada welcomes back 13 starters from that team, including
seven on the offensive side of the ball.
The Matadores' star returner is fullback/middle linebacker Chris
Rudiger (6-foot-1, 230), who rushed for 787 yards and 13 touchdowns, and
had 120 tackles, as a junior two-way starter.
Rudiger also is one of La Mirada's strongest players with a 320 bench
Johnson knows that Rudiger's the key.
"He's a very good fullback, and we'll need to stop him," he said. "A
lot of our success lies in our ability to contain Rudiger."
But Rudiger isn't the lone offensive threat awaiting the Barons.
Senior Erik Meyer (6-2, 175) has developed into a steady quarterback, and
his familiarity with the Matadores offense has a lot to do with a deep,
talented core of receivers.
Meyer has five good wide receivers to choose from, but his top target
has been senior Bo Price (5-8, 140).
Fountain Valley will counter with a pretty good offensive game of its
own, a big offensive line, and a defense that can be hard to penetrate.
The Matadores found the going tough in last year's contest, a tight
defensive struggle that turned around when Steven Fifita scooped up a
fumble and returned it for a touchdown in an eventual 16-7 Fountain
Johnson says he expects more of the same.
"It was a real close game last year, and this game has the makings of
another close game," he added. "This will be a really good road test for