2018 Team Previews (BC): Sullivan Heights Stars’ ambitious first year

This year will be the first time that the Sullivan Heights Stars take to the field in Surrey, British Columbia. “As a first year squad, our primary goal is to develop our standards and culture as a program and teach our players what high school football is all about. With so many unknowns involved, our on-field goal is simply to be competitive in every game this season. I expect we will see significant growth as the season progresses and our players adjust to the rigours of a high school football season,” replied head coach Gordon Randall.

Through offseason workouts and spring ball coach Randall has seen the players starting to advance up the steep learning curve and get their feet underneath them at this level of football. “Our spring game was an eye opener for the players, and I’m confident it will be a valuable learning experience moving forward,” he said. “For myself personally, last season was spent as an assistant coach on the provincial championship team at New Westminster. I spent half a dozen years in that program, observing first-hand what a first-class high school program looks like in this province, and all the things they do to keep their players motivated year-round. It has set the bar for this program very high!”

The Stars coaching staff are still getting to know their players, but Ibrahim Khan, Caden McTaggart and Jason Kung are looking like they’ll be key offensive skill players. Ibrahim Khan has experience in community football, and appears to be the likely starter at quarterback. “He’s a little raw but shows excellent command of the offense and has no problem standing in the pocket and delivering under pressure,” replied Coach Randall.

Caden McTaggart is also an experienced community player. Caden quickly showed that he’s the Stars’ best receiver in spring ball. Coach said of McTaggert, “He’s long, at almost 6’3″, and has a good ability to adjust to the ball in the air and go up and get it. He’s also a strong route runner and a student of the game.”

Jason Kung will be the Sullivan Heights Stars’ x-factor. Jason is new to organized football, but he is a dynamic athlete that has taken naturally to the game play very quickly. “He’s an elite club volleyball player and displays the kind of explosiveness you might expect from such an athlete. He will move around a lot for us on offense, running and receiving the ball,” said Randall.

On the line, Keelan Jones and Ramnik Mudaliar are expected to be the leaders. Both are good athletes with some good size, and will likely be involved on both sides of the ball.

In the junior class, Ryan Sobotin and Brandon Jackson will make an impression as both players are likely to be defensive starters and offensive rotational players for the Stars. Coach mentioned, “Ryan is a DE/LB type with football experience and good length, and Brandon is an aggressive LB/FB who loves hitting and likes to fill a hole in the run game.”

Senior Ibrahim Khan stood out with his ability to pick up the system and command the offensive group. With so many players brand new not just to the system but to football, the Stars needed a quarterback who has the awareness to make sure everyone else is on the right page, and Ibrahim has impressed the staff with that. Ibrahim’s ability to battle through sometimes messy fronts and execute the plays under pressure is what really stands out about him.

The Stars may also play Ryan Sobotin at quarterback. Ryan is more of a dual-threat quarterback that is less experienced at the position, but more of a physical run threat. “Our quarterbacks will be involved in the run game, no matter who is behind centre,” replied Randall.

“It’s been a heck of a process getting this program off the ground, but I’m optimistic we will have a positive first season at the Varsity level,” said Randall. “We have challenged ourselves significantly with our decision to go straight into AAA (and to open with a game in Washington to start the season), so there will be some trial by fire. But, our core of players has shown they have the character to respond to this challenge positively, and as I said before, I’m very confident we’ll grow as the season progresses. We have a great coaching staff and a great core of kids and there’s nothing more you can ask for.”

Sullivan Heights Stars (AAA Pacific Conf. BCHSFA – Surrey, BC)
Twitter: @ shstarsfootball 
Head Coach: This is Gordon Randall’s first year with the team (Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator) 
Assistant Coaches: Defensive coordinator Alex Babalos (1st year with the team, 3rd as a defensive coordinator), Co-Defensive coordinator Ron Corrado (1st year with yeam, 21st as a defensive coordinator) 
CFC50 Ranking: n/a
Number of players entering senior season: 17
X Factor: Jason Kung

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