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Tesoro football embracing underdog mentality as part of the South Coast League

Tesoro junior quarterback Gavin Shaigineik hands the ball off to senior running back Lucas Pesak during a practice on Aug,. 18 at Tesoro High School. Tesoro starts its season out on Friday on the road against La Costa Canyon. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — No high school football team had much of an offseason this summer. 

It has been just four months until the spring season concluded. 

But Tesoro High School doesn’t mind. 

In fact it’s relishing the short offseason.

“I think everyone was able to stay in shape and have that game flow rather than work to get back into it after a long season,” senior running back Lucas Pesak said. 

The Titans are coming off a rollercoaster spring. They defeated Aliso Niguel and Trabuco Hills in non-conference games before losing to San Clemente and Mission Viejo.

The highlight of the year was a week 5 win over San Juan Hills to win the Battle of the Bell.

Being. Placed in the South Coast League is no easy task. 

Their opponents, San Clemente, San Juan Hills and Mission Viejo have won a CIF-Southern Section title. Tesoro has a combined 13-26 record against the three teams. 

“I think the South Coast League is as good as any public school league in California,” Titans coach Matt Potson said. “There is no weakness.” 

But the players know their potential.

“We get counted out for a lot of those games but I don’t think that’s the case this year,” Pesak. “We can put up a fight.”

Pesak is the top returner on offense this season. His junior campaign finished with 106 caries for 517 yards and four touchdowns.

Tesoro will also start newcomer Gavin Shaigineik who’s been in a quarterback battle with Evan Pierce.

Poston said as of Monday, Shaigineik will start on Friday at La Costa Canyon, but Poston said both are quality players. 

“It’s a good problem to have,” Potson said. “They are really doing a good job.”

Other key players include senior defensive end Matt Cole, senior tight end Kyler Bock, and left tackle Ryan Schulman.

Tesoro doesn’t start the South Coast League until October but features a non-league schedule that features San Diego County teams La Costa Canyon and Chaparral.

“I think we have to be the underdog at this point, but that is OK,” Potson said. “When people aren’t picking you to do well, it puts a chip on your shoulder.”

Tesoro football schedule

Aug. 20 at La Costa Canyon

Aug. 27 vs. Chaparral

Sept. 3 vs. Vista Murrieta

Sept. 10 at La Serna

Sept. 24 at El Toro

Oct. 1 at Aliso Niguel

Oct. 8 vs. Trabuco Hills

Oct. 15 vs. Mission Viejo

Oct. 22 at San Clemente

Oct. 29 vs. San Juan Hills (Battle of the Bell)

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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