When you watch a football practice at , it becomes quite apparent why this team is successful: Coach Coley Candaele and his staff.
His no-nonsense, no-excuses, team-orientated discipline and attitude is focused on one thing: winning football games. He does this in one of the toughest, most competitive leagues in the state.
The Broncos are ready to play—and play well.
Since taking the head football coaching position 9 years ago, Candaele has built one of the finest high school football programs in California. The Broncos have amassed a 70-17 record, with five Division championships, seven straight CIF playoff berths , three CIF finals in a row and, finally, the League Championship last year.
Due to a roster paperwork error, the Broncos were forced to forfeit five games and snubbed for a CIF Bowl game last year. Candaele’s career record at VMHS would have been 75 wins, 12 losses and possibly the State Championship.
The 2012 team may have talent to right that wrong. Vista Murrieta is ranked No. 3 in California and 14th in the nation, according to Maxpreps.com.
Quarterback Nick Stevens returns to lead the offense. The 6-foot-4 senior passed for 1,692 yards and ran for another 906. He threw 14 TDs and led his team to an incredible come from behind victory over Centennial in the CIF Final.
Running Back Kei-ron Long is joined by Kishawn Holmes and Su’a Cravens, giving the Broncos a formidable running game. Cravens, an all-league standout, was the fifth-ranked recruit in the country. He has committed to USC.
Stevens will have wide receivers Treshon Broughton, Randy Beggs and PJ Jones to throw to this year. The Bronco backfield is equally adept at the passing game and give Vista Murrieta more options to move the chains in 2012.
The offensive line may be the one weakness on the offensive side of the ball. However, count on Candaele’s dispciplined, well-coached players to step up and fill any holes or weaknesses.
The core of the Bronco defensive nuclei returns to fortify a very punishing, aggressive unit. Defensive ends Tyler Cook and Curtis Bolton return to the Vista defensive line. Tackle Grant Clearly is also back to solidify the middle.
Linebacker Bryce Smith is yet another anchors this defense. Su’a Cravens will split time at linebacker and safety.
On Aug. 31, Vista Murrieta will host Thunder Ridge High School from Highlands Ranch, Colo., for their 2012 opener. The Grizzlies are ranked 16th in their state.
Then on Sept. 7, the Broncos will host the Wolverines of South High School. Based in Anchorage, Alaska, the Wolverines are the state's No. 2-ranked team. What a way to start a season!
Come out and support Vista Murrieta as they look forward to another memorable CIF Championship-bound season. You can count on Coach Candaele having his Broncos ready to play winning football when the season begins. See you at the games.
Editor's Note: This article was corrected to note the Broncos will host South High School of Anchorage, Alaska on Sept. 7. They were not scheduled to travel there as previously reported. Patch apologizes for the error.