High School Football

Why Orestimba football will take on a different look this season

2019 High School Football Preview: Orestimba

After a 7-4 season last year, Orestimba High School look to take the next step in 2019 but have to replace two record-setting players.
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After a 7-4 season last year, Orestimba High School look to take the next step in 2019 but have to replace two record-setting players.

Orestimba enters the 2019 season with a daunting task.

The Warriors have to replace quarterback Jacob Bettencourt and wide receiver Tyler Vargas. Bettencourt is the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns while Vargas led the Sac-Joaquin Section in receptions and receiving yards.

“It’s a big transition year for us offensively,” Orestimba coach Aaron Souza said. “It’s going to be growing pains and a process.”

Souza, who is entering his 10th year as coach, said the quarterback competition between junior Anthony Casillas and senior Ethan Medeiros will probably not be decided until a few days before the team’s opener against Bret Harte on Aug. 23.

Casillas started all 20 games in two years on JV.

A possible option to replace Vargas? Jayden Vargas, Tyler’s younger brother.

Vargas will be a sophomore and didn’t play on varsity last year but led the JV team with 27 receptions for 615 yards and eight touchdowns.

While the offense will have to replace nine starters, the defense returns the same number and Souza said it will be the strength of the team.

“Last year was a year where the offense would carry us,” Souza said. “We lost some shootouts and this year, I believe the defense will carry us.”

In particular, the Warriors’ defensive line and linebacking positions will be the strongest with seniors Xavier Avila, Abram Davis, and John Landeros all back.

They combined for over 30 tackles for a loss.

Day 1: Big Valley Christian

Day 2: Sonora

Day 3: Denair


School: Orestimba

Record: 7-4, 5-2 in Southern League

Players to Watch: Senior linebacker John Landeros (77 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss), Senior defensive lineman Abram Davis (80 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks) , Senior linebacker Xavier Avila (70 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss), Sophomore wide receiver Jayden Vargas

Biggest Game: August 23 vs. Bret Harte

Something special about school: Every time the team comes out of the locker room or scores a touchdown, the school fires off their cannon. It’s over 50 years old and it uses real gun powder. Ultimate Warrior sandwich is popular. It’s tri-tip and linguica combined in one sandwich.

Playoff appearances last five years: 2018: Lost to Los Banos in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. V First Round 2017: Lost to Colfax in Div. V First Round 2016: Lost to Amador in Div. VI Semifinals 2015: Lost to Sonora in Div. V Semifinals 2014: Lost to Bear River in Div. V First Round

Season Schedule:


23Bret Harte7 p.m.
30at Hughson7 p.m.

6at Golden Sierra7 p.m.
13Bye Week

20at Mariposa County7:15 p.m.
27Le Grand7:15 p.m.

4Ripon Christian7:15 p.m.
11at Denair7:15 p.m.
18Waterford7:15 p.m.
25at Delhi7:15 p.m.

1at Gustine7:15 p.m.
Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.