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By Steve Breazeale
As part of our annual Dana Hills High School football preview, we highlight 10 players to watch, five on offense and five on defense.
Corey Cisowski QB (No. 14) SR.
Cisowski made strides as the Dolphins quarterback his junior season, and is poised to get even better this year. Cisowski has added size to his frame, worked hard on his accuracy and attended several quarterback camps across the country this summer. Cisowski is a three-year starter and two-sport athlete in baseball.
Tommy Bortnick C (No. 62) SR.
The center has to be the leader of the offensive line. In Bortnick, the Dolphins believe they have their guiding influence. Bortnick carries a 4.6 GPA, and will be tasked with clearing the way for the Dolphins run-heavy offense this season. Bortnick is a three-year starter and will also play on the defensive line.
Gavin Papagallo RB/WR (No. 2) SR.
Papagallo is one of the Dolphins’ quickest, and toughest, players. He is also versatile. The Dolphins plan on using him all over the field, and will be a focal point of the offense whether he is carrying the ball or catching it. Look for Papagallo to also play on defense as well.
Hunter Steele T (No. 71) SR.
Standing at 6-foot-2-inches, Steele is one of the bigger players that will be playing both sides of the line for the Dolphins. The coaching staff loves the physicality and experience Steele, a four-year starter, brings to the line. At tackle, Steele will be tasked with protecting, and leading the way for, the Dolphins backs.
Brandon Oswald WR/RB (No. 85) SR.
Oswald is among the team’s fastest players, and will be a primary ball carrier. He is on the tall side, standing at 6-foot tall, and possesses all the speed and strength necessary. Of the many backs that will be flying around in the Dolphins backfield, Oswald will be a regular number called.
Julian Casillas LB (No. 3) SR.
Casillas is a three-year starter and one of the leaders of the defense. At middle linebacker, he earned All-South Coast League honors as a sophomore. That alone should suggest Casillas is poised for a big senior campaign. He will also play on offense on the line and at tight end.
Matthew Lua Mu Poching LB (No. 8) JR.
Lua Mu Poching will help Casillas anchor the defense playing linebacker. The Dolphins have a new defensive coordinator in John Donnelly, and coach Phil Skinner says Lua Mu Poching’s physical style of play fits perfectly with the new scheme. Lua Mu Poching will also get time at fullback.
Blake Rubio SS (No. 23) SR.
Rubio, a three-year starter, is among the more versatile players on the Dolphins’ defense. He will play at strong safety as well as at outside linebacker. Rubio has the speed to cover a lot of ground, and is also a hard hitter, according to Skinner.
Jayden Smith CB (No. 9) SR.
Smith is one of the team’s unquestioned leaders, according to Skinner. The 5-foot-11-inch cornerback will be tasked with matching up against opposing team’s top receiving threats.
Kuba Rekawek DL (No. 77) JR.
A transfer from Poland, Rekawek has made an immediate impact on his teammates and coaches alike in his first year on campus. Rekawek stands at 6-foot-4-inches and weighs 210 pounds, and figures to be a physical presence at defensive end. He will also play on the offensive line.