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California Redwoods: 2024 Season Preview

2023 Regular Season Record: 6-4, 4th in the PLL

Final Result: Lost to Archers in Semifinals

Key Additions:

Chris Gray, A (Acquired from Atlas)

Jared Conners, LSM (Acquired from Archers)

Levi Anderon, A/M

Alex Simmons, A/M

Key Departures:

Garrett Epple, D

Eddy Glazener, D (Retired)

John Sexton, LSM (Retired)

Jules Heningburg, M

Sergio Perkovic, M

Tim Troutner, G

San Diego is shake up city. The Redwoods Key Departures list is basically an all star list, gone to either retirement or free agency. It was time for a reset. On the field, in the locker room, culturally, the Redwoods are building something new. Chris Gray and Jared Conners are knowns; they are instant impact guys at their respective positions. Some of the other pieces are new. Alex Simmons is coming off a Rookie of the Year season indoors. Ron John is an exceptional two way player indoors. The midfield remains massive, led by Charlie Bertrand, Romar Dennis, and Cole Kirst. Ricky Miezan is working back from injury, only adding more size and speed. 

In press availability, Coach Nat St Laurent said he loves the defenders they have in camp because they all have something to prove. You can probably take that even further. Ryan Tierney plays like he has something to prove. Chase Yager was a post draft SSDM who probably would have been drafted most other years, and could want to prove people wrong. Holden Garlent was cast off by the Cannons, Chris Fake wasn’t a 19 man regular with Waterdogs, it’s guys all over the field who want to make everyone wrong about them. As the Redwoods rebuilt this year, plenty of folks formed an opinion that this would be a bad year for them. Their win total from the oddsmakers has them three games worse this year than last year despite the trades they made. The whole organization can be out there with something to prove. 


The big roster shakeup pays immediate dividends. The locker room gels, as longtime Redwoods and the new additions all buy in together towards righting the ship. Owen Grant gets healthy quickly, and along with Arden Cohen become the new Epple and Glazener, while Jared Conners challenges for LSM of the Year as the defense doesn’t just maintain the wake of the departures, but improves. John Grant Jr’s offense perfectly blends field dodgers like Rob Pannell and Ryder Garnsey with the box background players like Anderson, Berg, and Simmons. Montgomery takes a leap on the offensive end and becomes a must-pole matchup, freeing up the bigger middies like Dennis and Bertrand to dodge short sticks and win with physicality. 


The rebuild is underway, but it’s not a one year job. The multitude of roster moves leads to a group that doesn’t have a lot of cohesiveness or chemistry early in the year, and the offense struggles to be consistent, sometimes reverting to hero ball or forced possessions. Chris Gray doesn’t seem to have a natural fit in the offense and isn’t as productive as he had been with the Atlas. The defense struggles in the wake of so many key departures, and without the voice of Glazener organizing them, they make too many mistakes from communication breakdowns and struggle against two man games.


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