Football Tour XV Palma
Just when it looked like Palma's run of consecutive playoff appearances was in jeopardy last fall, the team went on a seven game winning streak to make it 29 straight trips to the postseason.
Avoiding its first three game losing streak in 30 years started when junior quarterback Mitch Kidd was thrown into the mix in the second half and Palma down 12-0 to Monterey.
The Kidd era at Palma began.
The 6-foot senior gave the Chieftains a boast and another option on offense with his arm, throwing for nearly 1,100 yards in seven starts.
Turning the page to this season, the chemistry with his receivers is already in place. Kidd looked sharp in practice, hitting his targets in stride with a little zip on the ball.
The return of 1,000 yard rusher Brandon Olivares and his 17 touchdowns gives Palma a nice balance in its attack, an offense that scored 73 points in a win over Gilroy last year.
Palma, though, has built one championship season after another with its defense. That took a big hit with the loss of eight starters, including two Division I athletes.
The Chieftains won't be as big in the trenches. But that doesn't mean they won't be physical. If anything, the defense might be a little more athletic this fall.
Playing a schedule with 10 playoff teams is a risk. But Palma coach Jeff Carnazzo felt it was necessary after being humbled by St. Ignatius in last year's Open Division playoffs.
"If we want to get back to where we were a few years ago, we have to play a schedule like this to be battle tested if we're fortunate to make the playoffs,'' Carnazzo said.
Watch an interview with coach Jeff Carnazzo.