Originally published 5:57 a.m. Aug. 30.
Mar Vista High School football fans can expect to see more passing plays and versatile offense this season compared to last as the team embraces a new offense, said Head Coach Tyler Arciaga.
Mar Vista plays Valley Center High School at 7 p.m. Friday at Valley Center High School in the first game of the season.
Arciaga was named Head Coach in April following the departure of five-year coach Brian Hay, who is now coach at Sweetwater High School.
Teams led by Hay threw the ball on average five or fewer times a game. Arciaga plans to change that, and will coach the team's quarterback.
Under Arciaga the team will switch from a double wing offense that primarily runs the ball to a spread offense with formations that include four wide receivers and a tailback to throw the ball more often.
"You're kind of going almost 180 degrees," he said. "But just because we go four wide doesn't mean we won't run the ball."
A spread offense will also allow more college recruiters to take an interest in local players, Arciaga said.
"Ultimately at the end of the day we want to broaden the kid's horizons as far as some of the kids have college aspirations and no one in college runs this [double wing] offense," he said.
Growing up in San Diego's South Bay, Arciaga played football at Bonita High School. After graduating from high school in 2001, he played quarterback at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, then at a small college in Connecticut and for a football team in Vienna, Austria.
Hay was the Mariners' head coach from 2007-2012.
After starting with 2-8 seasons in 2007 and 2008, Hay brought teams to the playoffs for four straight years and maintained a 19-6 record in his final two years at Mar Vista.
"Coach Hay did a good job getting the train going in a fast pace in the right direction and we just want to continue that. We want to keep going," he said.
Arciaga became head coach at San Ysidro High School in 2011, the third head coach in three years. In two years at the helm at San Ysidro finished with a 8-12 record.
While those teams failed to make it to a .500 record or the playoffs, teams led by Arciaga were some of the most successful at the school in the past decade.
"In those two years we had the most wins over a two-year span," he said.
Several obstacles kept the San Ysidro football team from success, Arciaga said. The team lacked the kind of structure and history Hay built at Mar Vista, he said.
Many student athletes at San Ysidro were also more familiar with soccer than football, he said. It was "kind of neat to see the kids venture out of their box to play football," he said, but it wasn't their first or primary sport like kids at Mar Vista or elsewhere.
Arciaga is now a math teacher at Mar Vista.
"I live right on Elm Avenue so I'm three blocks away from Mar Vista High School and it's just nice to be part of an area that you coach in," he said.
Hay brought much of the team's former coaching staff with him to Sweetwater, and Arciaga brought about 15 coaches and members of his staff with him from San Ysidro High School.
Some of the team's new coaches are well-known in San Diego high school football circles.
Steve Sutton, who led teams at West Hills and Valhalla high schools, will be the Mariners' Offensive Coordinator. Dave Bartlett, a former San Diego High School coach, will be the team's Defensive Coordinator.
Arciaga's father RC was a coach at nearby Southwest High School and will coach Mar Vista's offensive line.
Together with Nick Nicholoff, RC created The Bell rivalry game in the 1980s between Southwest High School and Mar Vista.
Click here to see the full season schedule.
Homecoming is Sept. 6 versus Serra High School. Unlike in year's past, the team will travel to Los Angeles to play a game this year Sept. 20.