SEASIDE - The list of players is long and talented. It includes a first-team all-league wide receiver, an all-state honorable mention tight end, a first-team all-league tackle, and a deep and talented backfield with tons of experience.
Unfortunately for Seaside, that's the list of players who graduated last year.
The Gulls lost 18 players to graduation - and yes, there's some big shoes to fill.
But the attitudes are positive and there are still hopes of a good year for the Gulls, who enter the 2003 season a little short-handed. Maybe a lot short-handed.
Seaside Football glanceCoach: Dave Foust (5th year)
2002: 4-5, 1-4
Players to watch: Pat Latham, Scott Lucia, Josh McCord, Bryan Robison, Jimmy Sibley.
Key losses: Matt Hendryx, Karl Hertig, A.J. Schlink, Jon Wickersham.
Outlook: If youth doesn't come around in nonleague, Gulls might struggle in league play."We are down, big time," said Seaside coach Dave Foust. "We saw it coming. There are a lot of freshmen out here, but we only have three returning starters. We'll have a lot of sophomores playing varsity, and maybe even some freshmen.
"Attitudewise and with how they're working, I'm really pleased," he said. "They work hard, there's no bad attitudes and they want to succeed."
The list of returning starters is indeed a short one.
It includes senior Josh McCord, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound lineman - or, as Foust calls him, "he's a legit lineman on both sides of the ball."
Also returning is senior running back/linebacker Jimmy Sibley, along with senior all-league receiver Bryan Robison, who also intercepted 12 passes last year as a defensive back.
Seaside's other all-league receiver, Karl Hertig, has graduated, along with all-state tight end Matt Hendryx and quarterback Jon Wickersham.
Replacing Wickersham as the starting quarterback will be junior Pat Latham, who saw action behind center last year, and will see a lot more this season.
There's still some talent waiting in the wings for the Gulls, who should be strong defensively.
Junior Jarrod Hovden has been moved to guard and defensive end, while senior Josh Chilinski - a wide receiver/defensive back last year - "is a very good athlete," Foust said, and will likely start both ways.
Junior Jesse Smith is also a very talented player, and is expected to get more than a few carries at running back.
Other players expected to see a lot of action include talented sophomore running back/linebacker Scott Lucia (5-10, 210).
"He's for real," said Foust, who added Brian Crago and junior Dan Terranova to the list of contributors. Terranova is also an excellent athlete who will also handle the punting and placekicking.
The backup quarterback is slated to be junior Kryz Berkman.
"I think we'll be stronger defensively," Foust said. "We have a good core group of linebackers and defensive backs, but we're short on linemen."
The injury bug has already hit - junior tight end/defensive back John Knutsen is recovering from an injured shoulder, while senior lineman Matt Long blew his knee out riding a motorcycle over the summer and will miss the season.
The Gulls got off to a great start in 2002, posting shutouts over Hidden Valley (19-0) and Taft (20-0), and knocking off Toledo (25-6).
From there, Seaside won just one of its final six games.
The Cowapa League race "is going to be a lot closer," Foust said. "In my personal opinion, until somebody can beat Scappoose, they're the team to beat.
"From there, I think Astoria and Banks could pound it out for second and third, and Tillamook could be right there with them."
All of Seaside's assistant coaches are back, including Wally Hamer, Joel Dierickx, Chris Brooks and Darrell Stowers, along with Justin Bennett, who will work with the offensive and defensive lines; and Fred Neilson, who served as the defensive coordinator when Seaside won state title in the mid 1990s.
"We're having fun," Foust said of the coaching staff, "because the kids are nice. It's a different group of kids than I've had here in a long time. There's not a lot of swearing or attitudes - they just work hard and want to do well.
"I hope they surprise me. I don't know if we can get over the hump against some of the good teams, but I think we can be competitive."