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April 16, 2014

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high school football:

Faith Lutheran has to replace several key performers from last year

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Sam Morris

Faith Lutheran High School football players Gino DeGeorge and Trey Jasonek.

Faith Lutheran coach Jake Kothe

Faith Lutheran football coach Jake Kothe talks about the 2011 season.

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the return of football season with an hour-long podcast diving into anything and everything regarding local high schools. They also look back on the victories by Bishop Gorman and Moapa Valley in the Sollenberger Classic and finish with week one picks.

The Faith Lutheran High football team only returns three starters this fall, but that doesn’t mean the Crusaders’ expectations will change.

“We have some talented kids. We are just young and inexperienced,” Faith Lutheran coach Jake Kothe said.

Last year, Faith Lutheran had one of the most potent passing attacks in the Las Vegas Valley with quarterback Joe Portaro, wide receiver Don Pearson and tight end Brett Lubbe. Portaro (UNLV) passed for 2,871 yards and 24 touchdown, while Pearson (Navy) caught 72 passes for 1,033 yards and nine touchdowns to help Faith Lutheran finish with a 4-6 record.

“We had the big guns last year with Joe, Don, Brett Lubbe and (lineman) A.J. Kaplan,” Kothe said. “This year, we have a collective group of guys who are all good football players working together to get the most out of their (talents).”

Senior Gino DeGeorge will replace Portaro under center and has impressed Kothe with his leadership.

“Gino is an extremely smart football player and he has put in a lot of time,” Kothe said. “As far as learning our offensive scheme, he has become pretty versed in that.”

Trey Jasonek, a senior linebacker and tight end, is one of about a dozen seniors on an underclassman-dominated roster — Faith Lutheran will have six sophomores as part of the regular rotation, including four starters.

“There is certainly a learning curve there, but there is certainly also some talent,” Kothe said. “It’s all going to depend on how quickly can we get them playing together.”

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