When each football season ends at Brentwood School several quality players graduate and replacing them seems like a difficult task. But Coach Patrick Brown and his staff annually find a way, turning out yet another successful team the following year.
And so, there’s reason for optimism at Brentwood despite the fact quarterback Josh Amster, tight end Charlie James, defensive back Brett Pierce, running back Matt Greenberg, and linebacker Colin Cadarette will be moving on.
Brentwood followed an appearance in a CIF playoff championship game in the 2007 season by going 10-2 in 2008, concluding with a 21-14 second round playoff loss to Fillmore High on November 28.
The 2007 graduating class included quarterback Mason Moss and receiver Ben Oliva, among others. Both are now playing college football, Moss at Bowdoin College in Maine and Oliva at Williams College in Massachusetts.
Now Amster and James must be replaced as James is considering joining Oliva at Williams.
But, as always, Brentwood has a workable plan for its next season.
Greg Oliva, Ben’s brother, figures to be one of the Eagles’ stars following his productive sophomore season. Alex Kelln returns as a running back, Ben Green as a receiver, and Greg Caruso appears likely to start at quarterback.
Brown lists Ray Nicholson, Daniel James, Andre Soroudi, Matt Cronin, Ben Kussin-Shoptaw and Mikey Stone among the returnees with varsity experience.
The 2008 team went undefeated in the competitive Alpha League and was a factor in the playoffs despite moving up one division. “The players met the challenge,” said Brown.
In 2007 Brentwood had one of the best defenses in Brown’s 30 years. Adjustments were made in 2008, including some position changes to offset graduation losses, but the defense steadily improved. A 24-0 shutout of Maranatha in the league title game served as an example.
After Brentwood lost in the second playoff round Maranatha was the Alpha League’s lone survivor. It had a 23-22 win in the second round but lost in the next one.
Fillmore reached the division’s title game but lost to 29 Palms.
Rio Hondo Prep, a team that lost an early season game to Brentwood, emerged as the champion of its division.