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GW GECKOS ON THE ROAD TO TITLE REPEAT

The GW football team has one goal in mind – repeat as champions. The road to glory will be a bit more challenging with more obstacles than the previous season, but the purple and gold Gecko Warriors haven proven always ready.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The GW Geckos high school football team has one goal in mind – repeat as champions. The road to glory will be a bit more challenging with more obstacles than the previous season.

Starting quarterback Brendan Santos will lead the offense for the Geckos. He said his team lost many key players to graduation.

“We lost the leagues’ offensive and defensive MVP’s in Hank Sablan and Kelvin Hocog,” said Santos.”We were very senior heavy last season, we lost First Team All-Islanders from our offensive line and defense.”

“We did gain a whole bunch of new players, we have some talented freshman and sophomores that are working hard,” added Santos. Santos will have five returnees on the offense including fellow senior Ryan Quitugua at wide receiver.

“Practice is going good, we are getting better. We have a good coaching staff, it’s all up to us do put in the hard work and do our parts,” said Quitugua.

Quitugua said that the coaches guide them to learn the game and be disciplined. “We learn much about the game and they teach us also about life,” said Quitugua.

Quarterback Brendan Santos practices the offensive sets with the first-team during practice. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

Quarterback Brendan Santos practices the offensive sets with the first-team during practice. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

The play callers for the purple and gold are an all-star staff of coaches. Here is the coaching staff:

Head coach – Ryan Rios
Offensive line coach – Mark Mesgnon
Offensive coordinator – Bill Quichocho
Defensive back coach – Neil Egurrola
Defensive line coach – Oscar Santos

Rios said that he has 12 returnees and a current total eligible roster of 30 players.

“Our first day of practice was on August 3rd, but believe the other teams started before us,” said Rios.

Despite being a little behind schedule, Rios is hoping more players come out when school starts. “We need the team to gel when the playoffs come, we want to peak in October.”

Rios said the Geckos started practice late and the team has not started school yet. He is hoping more players to come out when school starts. The Geckos have been practicing without full gear, Rios said the gear will be available this week.

Even with no pads, the Geckos go hard at practice as demonstrated by defensive specialist Damon Hocog. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

Even with no pads, the Geckos go hard at practice as demonstrated by defensive specialist Damon Hocog. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

Anchoring the defense is Kelvin Hocog’s younger brother Damon Hocog, who played tackle last season but will move to defensive end this year. “We don’t really have much returnees, we started practice late. We are just going to continue to work hard everyday and get comfortable with our skin,” said Hocog.

In the Rios era, the Geckos won seven championships in 11 years. Their lowest finish has been 4th place. They defeated the Friars in last season’s thrilling championship game.

The Geckos will open the season against the Okkodo Bulldogs this Friday August 21, the official kick-off of the IIAAG 2015 season.

PHOTO GALLERY:

The Geckos huddle around coach Ryan Rios for an after practice breakdown. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

The Geckos huddle around coach Ryan Rios for an after practice breakdown. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

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(photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

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The defense works on hitting drills despite missing gear. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

(photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

Receiver Ryan Quitugua runs routes during practice and catches passes from quarterback Brendan Santos. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

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