Beckman’s football team, coming off a successful 2016 season, has some question marks going into this season, according to Coach Marcello Giuliano.
The Patriots lose some key players off last year’s team which finished 6-5 overall and was second in the Pacific Coast League with a 4-1 record. The Patriots also took home the Dennis Toohey Fence Post Trophy, which goes to the top football team in Irvine.
Beckman reached the CIF Division 10 playoffs last year, defeating Santa Fe, 38-34, before losing to Rubidoux, 34-26.
Beckman opens the season Thursday, Aug. 31, hosting Santa Ana Valley at Tustin at 7 p.m.
“I think we continue to get better,” Giuliano said. “We’ve had good practices and we have a group of kids who come and work hard and they’re trying to be coachable and all the things that you want. In that respect, I think we’ve had a good camp.
“But all the things that were question marks then (at the start) are question marks now. We’re the same as everybody else. We had issues with depth and in this year’s case, we’re pretty young and we replace some really good skilled athletes and a few good linemen. We don’t know how we’re going to mature yet.”
Beckman has three starters returning on offense and three on defense.
Among the players Beckman lost is quarterback Dean Nagle, who passed for 2,523 yards and was named all-city in his senior year. Beckman also loses I’Jon Akahi, who rushed for 643 yards and had 359 receiving yards.
Beckman’s starting quarterback will be junior Nick Hill and the back-up will be sophomore Jason Cheng.
“I wouldn’t put on anybody that you are going to be the next Dean Nagle,” Giuliano said. “Do we have a kid who if he plays to his strength can be a real successful commander of the offense? Yeah, I do believe that. It’s just that we’re going to look different. He has different strengths. Physically, he’s (Hill) a tough kid and he’s put in a ton of work throughout the off-season; both of our quarterbacks have.
“It’s just a question of how they season themselves and improve.”
The running backs will be junior Omar Abdullah and sophomore Josh Carter.
The receivers will be include returning split end Mikael Mian, a senior.
“He had a terrific…