HS Football: Murrieta Mesa Ready to Excel in the Tough Southwestern League

 Published on: Aug 22, 2015 @ 10:53

Coach Justin Schaeffer: “We Look Better Than We Ever Have Before”

11892093_519073381578740_3549695140014590206_nHead coach Justin Schaeffer is headed into his sixth full season at the helm of the Rams football program. Murrieta Mesa has a combined record of 22 wins and 30 losses over the past six years in one of the toughest high school football leagues in the southland. The Rams finished the 2014 season last year with four wins against six losses.

What bothers Coach Schaeffer the most about last season is that his Rams were winless in the Southwestern League. The Rams came into league play with an impressive 4-1record to start the season.  Their only non-league loss was to a powerful Rancho Verde team that finished second in the CIF SS Inland Division Championships.


Coach Schaeffer and the Rams have put last year aside and look forward to the challenges of the new season. “We expect to be very competitive at our offensive skill positions, our line-backing corps and in the kicking game” said Coach  Schaeffer.

The Rams offense is led by senior quarterback Peyton Uhl, a two time 2nd team All-Southwestern League team selection. McKinnly Ross is developing into one of the best running backs in the league and will provide leadership for the offense.

11904649_519074448245300_643359291659820523_nHighly recruited offensive tackle Nathan Smith anchors the line for Murrieta Mesa. “Austen Salcedo was our leading receiver coming into league last season but was injured in the Murrieta Valley game” said Schaeffer. “He’s back in the line-up and is a very dangerous weapon for us”.

“Defensively, we have all of our starting linebackers returning this season” said Schaeffer. “All three are stronger, faster, bigger and ‘football’ smarter. We are looking for big things from Blake Johnson Mason Meadors and Marcus Boggan, all are third year lettermen”.

11863295_519073408245404_5336519938498623198_nMurrieta Mesa also returns both starting corners with Collin Difiore and Maxwell Scott and should be pass against. “I’m playing quarterback Peyton Uhl both ways this season” said Schaeffer. Peyton will see action as a defensive back this year.”
Returning All-State Kicker Mateo Thompson is one of the Rams most devastating weapons and can change the outcome of a game with one of his perfectly placed field goals.

“Thompson has several 50 plus yarders under his belt and is kicking the ball farther with accuracy this year. It’s nice to know that all kickoffs will be deep into the end zone every time” said Schaeffer (with a smile).
“Both offensive and defensive lines are all new, tackle Nathan Smith is going to have to carry the load on offense. We have some young guys that are stepping in and they have been doing well’ said Schaeffer. “We have a transfer from Antioch high in Oakland but none of the ‘O” and ‘D’ line have much varsity experience.

11895990_519072858245459_5021797577041652241_nMurrieta Mesa will start the 2015 season with a Luau and then a game at St. Francis in Honolulu Hawaii next Friday. Football starts earlier in the islands and the Saints are already 1-1this year. The Rams will be home the following week to take on powerful Rancho Verde.

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Photos by Charles McKee