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El Toro football, coach Randall Reynoso looks to build off of successful spring season

El Toro football coach Randall Reynoso talks to his players at the conclusion of practice on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. El Toro finished with a 3-2 record last season after finishing with just one win in 2019. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

LAKE FOREST — Randall Reynoso was confident he could turn the El Toro football program around.

And it didn’t take long. 

After a five-game spring season, the Chargers finished with three wins, its most since 2018. 

“It was nice to be a part of this historic program and get it back to where it used to be,” Reynoso said. “It starts with me and I put pressure on myself every day.”

Now, the Chargers aren’t slowing down.

They returned to to the field in June following a three-week dead period and since they have been focused on moving forward. 

“We just sort of jumped back in flawlessly and it’s been really great,” Reynoso said.

El Toro returns a majority of last year’s key contributors starting with quarterback Blake Miller.

“He’s all of 6-foot-2, 185 pounds and one of the fastest guys on there team,” Reynoso said. “If a play breaks down, he is the most dangerous guy on the field. We really build the offense around him.”

Over the first four games, Miller showed much improvement with eight touchdown passes. He only threw one in limited time back in 2019.

“I had to learn a whole new offense but I loved it,” Miller said. “I was just happy to get out there (in the spring) with my teammates.”

El Toro also returns its top two receivers in Trey Williams and Collin Payne.

Defensively the Chargers graduated first team all-conference linebacker Giulio Fernandes, but Reynoso said Williams will be a player than can make an impact on the defensive side as well. 

Williams originally transferred in from JSerra and said his new team is headed in the right direction.

“I really like playing for Coach Reynoso,” Williams said. “He helped me a lot and we are really trying to become more of a family.”

Williams isn’t the only one to embrace the new culture. 

Miller said El Toro is all about having a “we” mentality rather than a “me” mentality.

“I”m committed to this team. We all should be,” Miller said. “Coach installed this culture and now I’m trying to step up and tell these players to pick it up and be more of a team.”

El Toro starts its season against five teams from North Orange County or Los Angeles before focusing on some local home games against Tesoro and San Juan Hills starting on Sept. 24. After that, it jumps into Sea View League play starting with defending league champion Capo Valley on Oct. 15.

“We have a tough schedule. These are 10 games we can win or 10 games we can lose,” Reynoso said. “That’s the bottom line. It’s really about how we execute.”

El Toro football schedule

Aug. 20 at La Mirada

Aug. 27 at California

Sept. 3 vs. Fountain Valley

Sept. 10 vs. Huntington Beach

Sept 17 at Garden Grove

Sept 24 vs. Tesoro

Oct. 1 vs. San Juan Hills

Oct. 15 at Capo Valley

Oct. 22 vs. Aliso Niguel

Oct. 29 vs. Trabuco Hills

Born and raised in Dana Point, Ryan went to Dana Hills High School. He graduated from Sacramento State University in 2014 with a BA in Journalism. Throughout his career as a sports journalist, he has covered high schools, colleges, and professional teams. After working for multiple newspapers in as many states, he came to the conclusion that what he really wanted was to make sure the high schools in his hometown area got the sports coverage they deserved. Follow him on Twitter @rskuhn

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