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POSTED August 29, 2013 10:35 p.m.

 EARLY MOMENTUM: East Union’s ambitious pre-league schedule in 2012 started with St. Mary’s, head coach Willie Herrera’s alma mater and a premier parochial power in Northern California. This year, Modesto’s Grace Davis (six wins in three years) replaces St. Mary’s, while rematches with Orestimba and Modesto Christian follow. All three of the Lancers’ nonleague contests are at home.

 TAHOE REIGN: The Lancers spent part of their summer sleeping in the rain. They were one of seven teams at the Lake Tahoe Football Camp to have to endure what Herrera called “miserable conditions.” Players pitched tents in the rain every night, but Herrera said the experience brought the team together. The weather was perfect for the fourth and final day of the camp, and No. 2 seeded EU beat No. 1 Capital Christian in a full-contact scrimmage.

Lucas Garcia shared time at quarterback as a sophomore, but his days behind center may be numbered after sustaining an elbow injury during the baseball season. That doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to the football team. He is a “dynamic athlete” who Herrera says will be used at “all sorts of places, offensively and defensively.”

 LITTLE BIG MAN: EU may have the smallest left tackle in the area in 5-foot-7, 160-pound Jeremy Turner. He makes up for his lack of size with toughness, fearlessness and smarts. In the Lancers’ newly-implemented wing offense, those attributes carry more weight than sheer size. “He epitomizes what we’re trying to do,” Herrera said.

 GETTING DEFENSIVE: Injuries prompted a midseason makeover to the defense, which went to a 4-4 formation. Jason Stock is back in the fold after spending four years across town at Manteca; the defensive coordinator is implementing the more familiar 3-4 that Herrera prefers. The 3-4 requires a good set of linebackers, and the coaches like what they have with Nick McGill (6-1, 200) and Angel Roblero (6-2, 215) inside, and Quintin Casey (5-10, 185) and Victor Lopez (5-10, 195) outside.

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