Without a varsity team, scheduling was a major off-season challenge for second-year head coach Jeff Haagenson. As a result, the Heritage junior varsity has arguably the most difficult two-game set to open the 2006 season: at home against De La Salle Sept. 14 and perennial power San Leandro the following week. The Heritage freshmen open a week earlier against Deer Valley before playing the Spartans and Pirates in their second and third games, respectively.
Another of the large positives greeting Haagenson and his staff this year is the ability to return all of their key players from the year before. The coach lists returners Kyle Golinveaux, Greg Howard, and Ryan Howard all as big team leaders, stating that they are simply "great kids, students, and players." In addition to the returning juniors, Heritage will be gaining a third class of students while combining their sophomore and juniors on the junior varsity. Among the top newcomers to the junior varsity, Haagenson identifies Anthony Carral, Justin Vizcarra, and Zach Lindsey as potential contributors.
Without a league to play in this year, the Patriots have found that they are able to look at their entire season as a big opportunity to improve and prepare for the transition into varsity football for 2007.
"We have a tough schedule, so hopefully we can improve all year," said Haagenson. "Our goals to start the season are to play hard, play smart, and play together."