El Paso Coronado Looks To Rebound After Close Calls In 2016

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It was a tough year for the Coronado Thunderbirds in 2016. In fact, after being a consistent playoff contender in District 1-5A (6A) for several years, the T-Birds have missed out on the postseason four of the last five years.

Head coach Bob Anderson is also looking for a way to convert some more close calls into wins in 2017. They defeated Andress on a missed extra point before district play, but lost to co-district champions Montwood, Americas, and El Dorado by a combined 14 points. The T-Birds aren’t flashy, but they were a thorn in the side of the top teams in district play in 1-6A.

Next year, Anderson will hope that his quarterback Angelo Donatelli will be fully healthy from the beginning of the season. Coronado won’t throw a lot, but Donatelli has shown he can run the offense efficiently. His top two rushers, Julian Madrid and Jose Luis Herrera are also projected to be back next year and that could help take some pressure off of Donatelli. Herrera also saw time at wide receiver and quarterback in 2016 and that versatility will be very valuable to Coronado.

On defense, leading tacklers in linebacker Troy Dillard and cornerback Casey Courtney will be gone but the T-Birds have players in those two positions that can step up and fill in those roles. Rising junior Jonathan Seabrook will be expected to play a bigger role in the secondary, while rising seniors Joshua Alvarez and Thomas Rey will also anchor the Thunderbird front seven. As much as the offense struggled at times in 2016, the defense played their part in keeping the team in several games. They simply were unable to get it done.

As the T-Birds move forward into the new year, there is work to be done to turn around a disappointing 3-7 record. That said, the T-Birds should still present a tough challenge to District 1-6A opponents in 2017.


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