With an extremely young offense and a tough schedule, the Chabot College football team figures to take a few lumps early this season, but the Gladiators still expect to contend for a third consecutive Golden Gate Conference title.
Chabot coach Danny Calcagno is excited to have new defensive line coach John Parrella on board.
“Oh my gosh, he’s been absolutely awesome, a Godsend,” Calcagno said of Parrella, the former Oakland Raiders defensive tackle and ex-Valley Christian head coach.
Calcagno raved of Parrella’s intensity and know-how.
Parrella’s son, Zack, a former Valley Christian standout, is a returning starter at linebacker. Other standouts on a solid defense are DL Cory Faiva of Mt. Diablo, who led Chabot in sacks last year and was an all-GGC selection, DB Mike Thomas of Dublin, S Jordan Ferguson of Oakland, and S Eddie Horn of Granada.
Running back Hunter Rockwell of Newark Memorial is the only returning starter on offense. Starting quarterback Zach Lujan, a true freshman, is a former standout at South High in Anchorage, Ak.
Chabot opens a rough four-game stretch to begin the season at home against San Joaquin Delta at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Then the Gladiators travel to College of San Mateo and American River before hosting Diablo Valley on Sept. 27.
The Gladiators opened the 2012 season with four straight losses before winning six in a row, and it’s easy to envision a similar scenario unfolding this time around. Chabot fell 47-18 to Siskiyous in the 2012 NFCA Central Division Bowl.
Calcagno said his team isn’t bad, just young. Calcagno considers Laney the team to beat in the GGC with all of its standouts on defense. But Chabot might surprise some people as the season unfolds.