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2014 Colorado High School Football Preview (3A)

By John Hall, Sports Editor - Berthoud Surveyor

The following boys 3A football preview is a compilation of information from coaches, school administrators and MaxPreps statistics. Across the state of Colorado, 41 schools with over 2,000 student-athletes compete in the 3A classification of boys football.

 

Below is a comprehensive preview of each team from the Colorado 7, Metro North, Northern, South Central, Southern and Western Slope leagues.

 

We hope you enjoy the 2014 Colorado High School Football Preview (3A Edition). Your support for high school football is appreciated by programs across the state and particularly by the young men who play the game.

 

We have strived to receive, compile and publish all of the names and information as correctly as possible. We apologize in advance for any misspelled names, statistical errors or mistakes that appear in this preview. Please send corrections to sports@berthoudsurveyor.com.

 

Table of Contents 3A Classification (Enrollment 600-1049)
Note: Click league name to go directly to section

Colorado 7 - 8 Teams: Elizabeth (762), Englewood (611), Fort Lupton (601), Fort Morgan (892), Lutheran (329*), Skyview (780), Vista Peak Prep (877) and Weld Central (609)

Metro North - 6 Teams: Arvada (905), Centaurus (1017), Conifer (819), D'Evelyn (642), Evergreen (1009), and Thomas Jefferson (1027)

Northern - 8 Teans: Berthoud (678), Erie (770), Frederick (969), Holy Family (619), Mead (767), Niwot (1311**), Northridge (1046) and Roosevelt (817)

South Central - 5 Teams: Pueblo Central (827), Pueblo County (833), Pueblo East (1030), The Classical Academy (618) and Sierra (877)

Southern - 6 Teams: Canon City (1019), Discovery Canyon (1009), Harrison (815), Lewis-Palmer (1033), Mitchell (1215**)Woodland Park (881)

Western Slope - 8 Teams: Delta (626) , Eagle Valley (711), Glenwood Springs (979), Grand Junction Central (1452**), Palisade (1049), Rifle (720), Steamboat Springs (645) and Summit (770)

(  ) designates enrollment  * playing up  ** playing down
CO7Colorado 7 League
The Colorado 7 is comprised of .... the Elizabeth Cardinals, Englewood Pirates, Fort Lupton Blue Devils, Fort Morgan Mustangs, Lutheran Lions, Skyview Wolverines, Vista PEAK Prep Bisons and Weld Central Rebels.
Elizabeth Cardinals
Head Coach: Chris Cline
2013 Record: 8-3

Returning Lettermen: 20
Leading seniors:  Coby Cline - Center, 5' 10 255 lb 1st Team All-Conference, Jacob Burgett - Running back, 5'11 175 lb Honorable Mention, Aaron Stone - Linebacker, 6' 4 215 lb Honorable Mention
Sophomores to watch: Jake Adams - Receiver

2013 highlight: Colorado 7 League Champions

2014 Coach's outlook: This will be a rebuilding year for Elizabeth. 2 starters back on offense and 2 starters back on defense. Many new players will be stepping into starting roles. Size at the line positions will be a challenge for Elizabeth. Good skill players stepping into the starting roles.

Editors Notes: Elizabeth saw a significant number of Cardinals graduate and the team will need to see some players step up in 2014 to make up for the lack of experience. The Elizabeth program never seems to drop off drastically from year to year and seems to reload rather than rebuild. They were the state champions as recently as 2010 and claimed last year's Colorado 7 league championship. Senior LB Aaron Stone will help solidify the Cardinals defense heading into 2014 coming off of last year as Elizabeth's second leading tackler. The defense should be helped by seniors Coby Cline and Robert Leonard adding some on-field experience for Elizabeth.

Englewood Pirates
Head Coach: Jay Graves
2013 Record: 4-6

Returning Lettermen: 7
Leading seniors: Nick Beragel - 6'1" 190lbs RB/LB, Sean Bowering - 6'2" 225 QB/LB Senior, Sam Vogel - 5'9" 150 LB/RB Senior, Jakey Wade - 5'10" 160 DB/WR Senior, Victor Palestino - 6'3" 260 DT/OL
Top juniors: Kevin Mahler - G/LB 5'7" 180lbs, Kyle Robideau - OL/DE 6'1" 253lbs  
Sophomores to watch: Derek Demilt - 6' 170 LB/OL, Daryl Culbreath - 5' 10" 165 RB/C

2014 Coach's outlook: We have a lot of returning lineman and experience from last year. We had a good Summer lifting program and conditioning camp. The Pirates are looking forward to competing with the top teams in the Colorado 7 league.

Editor's Notes: Senior running back Nick Bersagel will need to be the workhorse for the Pirates with last year's quarterback and top receiver graduating. Bersagel's 1183 rushing yards in 2013 accounted for 60% of Englewood's total offense. He may account for even more in 2014. Defensively, juniors Mahler and Robideau will be tasked to lead on defense with nine out of the top eleven tacklers on the team graduating this past year.

Fort Lupton Blue Devils
Head Coach: Joseph Herrera
2013 Record: 5-5

Returning Lettermen: 25
Leading seniors: Jacob Browne - OL/DL 6'1" 265, Jacob Ornales - OL/DL 6'2" 245, Riley Johnson - OL/DL 6'4" 235, Sebastian May - OL/DL 6'2" 215, Zech Garcia - RB/LB 5'11" 185, Owen Mellen - WR/LB 6'5" 200
Top juniors: Isiah Padilla - RB/DB 5'7" 150, Preslee Miller - RB/DB 5'8" 160, Levi Tooz - RB/LB 6'1" 180
Sophomores to watch: Elijah Vargas - RB/DB 5'7" 150, Andrew Adame - OL/DL 6'2" 250, Devon Garcia - TE/DL 6'1" 240

Editors Notes: With the departure of last year's head coach Jeff Priestly who moved on to the 4A Palmer program, Herrera will be looking to build off of last year's 5-5 record, but he likely rely on his defense to lead his team with six of his top eight 2013 tacklers returning this season as seniors. Offensively, there is some question marks with his quarterback, top two rusher and top six receivers all graduating.

Fort Morgan Mustangs
Head Coach: Harrison Chisum
2013 Record: 6-3

Returning Lettermen: 39
Leading seniors:  Joey Schneider QB, Trevor Gerken OL, Eric Pflughoeft WR/DB, Justin Pineda WR/DB, Isaiah Lopez WR/SS, Austin Kosman TE/LB, Eric Kembel WR/LB, Richard Herrera LB, Brian Almanza RB
Top juniors: Toby McBride FB/DE, Alex Mai OL/DL, Jacob Fritzler FB/LB, Kyle Daniels WR/FS
Sophomores to watch: Tate Kembel RB, Nate Kage DL, Zach Zion OL/DL

2013 highlight: Grew as a team and competed every day to get better.

2014 Coach's outlook: Great senior leaders are back this year with good classes under them. There is some areas that we will have to learn on the fly. A lot big shoes to fill left by the graduating class. Great group that works hard and had a good summer in the weight room.

Editor's Notes: Fort Morgan's ground game should be their bread and butter in 2014. They will look to junior Toby McBride to carry the load for the Mustangs with senior Joey Schneider under center. Sophomore Ryen Kahl is a young athlete who should make a contribution to the Mustangs in 2014. Defensively, there is some promise with juniors Eric Kembel and Richard Herrera as well as McBride pulling double duty of defense.

Lutheran Lions
Head Coach: Blair Hubbard
2013 Record: 8-3

Leading seniors:  James Willis - QB - 6'1-190 2,306 yds passing, 24 TD passes,
Jamil Bond - RB - 6'-195 1,315 yds rushing 25 TD, Josh Clausen - WR - 6'4-205 46 receptions 1,022 yds 9 TD, Brendan Edgerley - LB - 6'5-200 62 Tackles 13 Sacks
Top juniors: Dantel Williamson - RB - 5'10-180 312 yds rushing 4 TD, Nathan Holdridge - LB - 25 Tackles
Sophomores to watch: Nick Ciccio - DB, Jacob Dack - OL/DL

2013 highlight: Made the 2013 playoffs, lost in the first round to Palisade.

2014 Admin outlook: Behind the leadership of a strong senior class the Lions are looking forward to the 2014 season. The Lions are adjusting to a new coach-Blair Hubbard and a new conference-3A Colorado-7.

Editor's Notes: A off-season coaching change shouldn't slow down the high flying offense of the Lutheran Lions. Senior quarterback James Willis (2306 yards passing and 24 TDs in 2013) will have two very potent threats (one on the ground and one in the air). Willis was the third leading passer in 3A in 2013. Senior RB Jamil Bond (1315 yards in 2013) will anchor the running game and fellow senior and WR Josh Clausen (1022 yards in 2013) will shoulder the receiving load which should make for a prolific Lutheran offense. Evan Buck should lead the offensive line for the Lions. The Willis, Bond, Clausen combination with be challenge for defensive coordinators to scheme for in 2014. Defensively, the Lions have one of the best linebackers in the state in 6' 5" 195 lb Brendan Edgerley (2nd in 3A in sacks with 13). Edgerley has multiple colleges giving him a serious look. Another defensive player to watch is standout DB Jakob Vieira. Cole Navarro who should be a key player from his DL position spent a lot of time in offensive backfield disturbing things in 2013. Lutheran scheduled an out of state game to open the season against Lutheran South Academy (8-3) in Houston, Texas to better prepare themselves for a possible deep run into the playoffs in 2014.

Skyview Wolverines
Head Coach: Bill Nelson
2013 Record: 1-9

Returning Lettermen: 22
Leading seniors: Brandon Barringer - QB, Joe Herrera.- WR, Jesus Rodriquez - RB, Jacob Finning.- G, Nick Wotten - RB
Top juniors: Alberto Pacheco.- WR, Adolpho Pacheco.- RB, Brandon Surratt.- G, Joey Bauderer.- E, Danio Florez.- T, Bryce Maestas - WR
Sophomores to watch: Jimmy Garcia.- C, Ben Ortega - C, Aaron Smith -T, Austin Tansey.- E

2014 Coach's outlook: Played many young players last year, expect improvement. QB Brandon Barringer returns after going in game 3 and will make big difference. Working hard to improve our defense.

Editor's Notes: With 22 returning lettermen, Skyview should be able to improve on their 1-9 2013 record. The strength of the Wolverines will certainly be offensively with returning QB Barringer throwing to Herrera. They didn't get hit too heavily with graduating seniors, but a key for Skyview will be to play disciplined football to move the chains. Defensively, they return a good core of players including their three leading tacklers in Finning along with Alberto and Adolpho Pacheco. Skyview installed lights for the upcoming season and will get the opportunity to run under the glow of Friday night lights for Wolverine home games for the first time. 

Vista PEAK Prep
Head Coach: Pat Rock
2013 Record: 5-5

Returning Lettermen:19
Leading seniors: Noah Butler - QB/Safety - 6'1" 170lbs All-League, Isaiah Young - WR/Safety 6'2" 175lbs All-State, Delano Gatewood - OL/DL 6'2" 265lbs All-League, Chris Mitchell - RB/LB 5'9" 170lbs.
Top juniors: Alex Hawkins - CB/WR 5'9" 145lbs All-League HM, Trexal Smith - OL/DL 6'2" 225lbs. All-League HM

2103 highlight: Went from 3-7 to 5-5. Graduated our first class of seniors.

2014 Coach's outlook: Coming off a 5-5 season with a near miss of the playoffs we are looking to use that as momentum towards a good year. We return a lot of talent on both sides of the ball but will need to replace all of our linebackers from 2013. Our strength will be our skills positions on both sides of the ball and our athleticism. Our offensive and defensive lines will be much improved as we will be another year older and another year stronger.

Editor's Notes: The tandem of Bulter and Young will be bolstered by the addition of Dylan Holt (previously of Thomas Jefferson) and adding him to Bulter's arsenal should make for a formidable passing attack. If the O-Line and D-Line can come together this year, the Bison's should be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Weld Central
Head Coach: Michael Brown
2013 Record: 4-5

Returning Lettermen: 10
Leading seniors: Wesley Horton - 5'8 145lbs RB/LB
Top juniors: Dalton Robertson - 6'1 160lbs TE/LB
Sophomores to watch: Alex Ries - 5'11 220lbs RB/LB

2014 Admin outlook: We will be extremely young on both sides of the ball. We could start up to 6 sophomores. We will bring a lot of enthusiasm to the field each week. The turnout for summer has been AWESOME. I am excited to see how this season plays out.

Editor's Notes: The 2013 season had Weld County's rushers spread the wealth between multiple backs and this year it lines up as senior Dustin Wroblewski and sophomore Alex Ries. Nathan Quiby with Wroblewski should be the stalwarts on defense. Quiby brings some pop with his 5'10' 165lb frame. Weld Central is one of the smallest schools in 3A and will count on a good core of kids to help complete against the larger schools.

MetNoMetro North League (6 Teams)
The Metro North is comprised of .... the Arvada Bulldogs, Centaurus Warriors, Conifer Lobos, D'Evelyn Jaguars, Evergreen Cougars and the Thomas Jefferson Spartans.
Arvada Bulldogs
Head Coach: Matt Cisneros
2013 Record: 1-9

Returning Lettermen: 12

2013 highlight: 2,500 yards offense. Over 200 points scored. Five All-Conference selections, One 3A All-State selection (2nd consecutive year)

2014 Coach's outlook: Arvada Football is entering its second year under head coach Matt Cisneros and his staff. The offense will be led by first year coordinator, Mike Vaughn, and looks to be faster and more productive with returning starters at OL, WR and QB. A re-vamped Arvada defense is now being led by former Ralston Valley Defensive Coordinator, Greg Francis. The team plans to be aggressive and is eager to face the new non-league and league opponents, as well as the traditional Jeffco competition.

Editor's Notes: Quarterback Elias De la Rosa will be counted on the lead the Bulldogs in 2014. De la Rosa accounted for over 66% of Arvada's total yards (compiled 1633 of the 2467 total yards for the team). Sophomore Deondre Gordon looks to be the #1 WR option. Another sophomore Ian Coleman may also see some time at QB with De La Rosa sliding to RB. Senior middle linebacker Alfonso Nunez should help stabilize the defense.

Bulldogs Football Stadium
Centaurus Warriors
Head Coach: Chad Senseney
2013 Record: 2-7

Returning Lettermen: 10
Leading seniors: Matt Buchler - RB/DB 5'5 165 All Conference RB/Metro North Special Teams Player of the Year/Team Captain, Mike DeVries - OL/DL 6'2 250 All Conference OL/DL/Team Captain, Shayne Albertson - QB/DB/K/P 6'0 175, Matt Maierhofer - OL/DL 6'1 255
Top juniors: Coleton Oglesbee - LB/TE 5'10 185 All Conference LB/Team Captain, Danny Garrels - OL/DE 5'11 220, Cevin Perez - OL/DE 5'10 220
Sophomores to watch: Matt Axlerod - FB/LB 5'10 195, Joel Chopp - OL/DL 5'10 220, Adrian Naranjo - OL/DL 5'10 220

2013 highlight: 2013 was a tough season for a lot of reasons (inexperience, injuries, etc.). The silver lining was that we continued to improve and gained a lot of experience for our 2014 season.

2014 Coach's outlook: Very excited about this group of guys. We return two top 3A players in RB/DB Matt Buchler and OL/DL Mike Devries. While we're still a relatively young team on paper, we have quite a bit of game experience. We will rely heavily on an experienced OL/DL.

Editor's Notes: Rarely do underclassmen stand as a Captain, but 2014 senior Matt Buchler RB did exactly that as a junior in 2013. The 5'5" 155 lb RB & DB will be seen as Warrior leader on offense and defense in 2014. Last year Buchler was the team's leading rusher and third leading tackler. Seniors Mike DeVries and Justin Montoya along with junior Colton Oglesbee and will be Centaurus defensive players to watch. Defensive lineman DeVries has committed to play for the Air Force Academy.

Warriors Football Stadium
Conifer Lobos
Head Coach: Larry Fitzmaurice
2013 Record: 8-3

Returning Lettermen: 12
Leading seniors: Vaughn Brasseaux - 6'0 180lbs QB/FS, Kailib Geer - 5'8 160lbs TB/SS, Wyatt Wiklund - 6'1 185lbs TE/MLB, Richie Benson - 5'7 140lbs SB/DB, Jake Evens - 5'9 178lbs FB/LB
Top juniors: Jacob Barker - 6'0 210lbs OT/DT, Ben Simpson - 6'1 220 OG/DT, Nate Meyer - 5'4 145 SB/DE

2014 Coach's outlook: Rebuilding, lost 14 seniors that all played a year ago 

Editor's Notes: Conifer's 2013 ground game was balanced between four running backs (489 to 659 yards). One of those backs was 2014 senior Kailib Geer (5'7"/155 lbs) and he should be counted on to be the Lobo's rushing focal point this year. Seniors Vaughn Brasseaux and Jakob Evens, the second and third leading tacklers on defense will need to help lift a defense that lost eight key defensive contributors to graduation.

Lobos Football Stadium
D'Evelyn Jaguars
Head Coach: Jeremy Bennett
2013 Record: 6-4

Returning Lettermen: 26
Leading seniors: Gabe Muehlbauer - 6'3" 215 DE, Mike Trimble - 6'1" 210 DE 2nd Team All-Conference, Ian Lewis - 6'0 190 RB/FS 1st Team All-Conference, Dave Kimmey - 5'10 190 MLB, Landon Hershner - 6'3 225 OL/DL, Stash Korona - 5'11 195 MLB
Top juniors: Charlie Davis - 5'10 180 WR 2nd team All-conference, Owen Burke - 6'3" 180 QB, James Doyle - 6'0" 230 OL/DL Hon Mention
Sophomores to watch: Justin Kehoe - 5'10 170 WR Hon Men. all-conference, Rome McIntyre - 5' ,10" 175 DB

2014 Coach's outlook: Young but extremely talented. Team speed is off the charts. This group could end up 10-0 or 5-5. It just depends on how the young athletes step up.

Editor's Notes: Graduation saw the Jaguars quarterback, leading rusher, receiver and top two tacklers leave the D'Evelyn program. Next man up has junior QB Owen Burke, senior RB Ian Lewis and junior WR Charlie Davis on offense next in line for the Jaguars. Speed kills and if the young players stepping into their new roles as leaders can acclimate quickly to the physicality of the game and use their speed, the Jaguars could find some success in 2014. Defensively, seniors David Kimmey and Lewis are poised for their job to do on defense.

Evergreen Cougars
Head Coach: Rob Molholm
2013 Record: 8-3

Returning Lettermen: 34
Leading seniors: Tanner Cassin - RB/DE, Marcus Cassin - WR/LB, Keenan O'Hearn - WR/DB, Connor Solawetz - WR/DB, Robbie Weinel - RB/LB, Greysen Lincoln - TE/DE, Nash Norton - RB/LB, Jacob Ronder - FB/DE, Brendan Harmon - C/DT, Adam Dodge - OL/DL, Brian Reed - FB/LB
Top juniors: Seth Ausman - WR/DB, Beau Priegnitz - DB, Cole Petrovics - FB/LB, Doug Kerber - OL/DL, Joey Fox - OL/DL, James Hardy - RB/DB
Sophomores to watch: Cameron Hays - RB/LB, Alex Rupe - TE/DE

2013 highlight: Won the Metro West League Championship (6-0 in league) Went to the playoffs for the third time in 4 years. Beat Conifer for the Mountain Bowl for the 4th consecutive year. Big upset victory over Lutheran and beat D'Evelyn with a backup quarterback.

2014 Coach's outlook: 13 returning starters. 4 of 5 offensive linemen returning. 6 returning starters on defense and 7 on offense. Very tough conference and non conference schedule. Looking for a quarterback.

Editor's Notes: Evergreen should be one of the strongest teams in the Metro North League even while losing their leader quarterback who was also their leading rusher. Senior RB Tanner Cassin and senior WR Marcus Cassin should be filling the shoes as the top RB and top WR for the Cougars. Offensive lineman Joey Fox will anchor the o-line. Seniors Keenan Ohearn (79 tackles in 2013) and Greysen Lincoln (third in 3A in the state in sacks with 10.5) return as key cogs in the Evergreen defense.

Cougars Football Stadium
Thomas Jefferson Spartans
Head Coach: Jesus Escobedo
2013 Record: 2-8

Returning Lettermen: 8
Leading seniors: Josh McNair - 6'6" 185 lbs WR/FS, Gabe Thaxton - 6'1" 245 lbs WR, Obed Munoz - 5'5" 170 lbs RB, Kenny Muniz - 6'1" 210 lbs QB, Cyrus Brown - 5'10" 230 lbs RB, Jamey Bartosek - 6'2" 285 lbs OT, Dejour Elliott - 6'3" 195 lbs WR
Top juniors: Ries Bossman - 6'1" 210 lbs C, Chris Loffelmacher - 5'8" 290 lbs OT, Kinshasa Sayers- 6'0" 180 lbs RB, Dane Vandermiller - 5'7" 180 lbs CB, Ricardo Felipe - 6'2" 210 lbs OG, Carlos Smith - 6'0" 245 lbs LB, Dane Washington - 6'1 180 lbs QB
Sophomores to watch: Emmanual Scott - 6'2" 280 lbs OT, Justice Hallman - 6'0" 185 lbs RB, Justin Vigil - 5'6" 150 lbs WR, Donovaugh Baucom - 6'1" 195 lbs LB, Nick Wilson - 6'2" 195 lbs.
 
2013 highlight: Started 9 freshman the last 3 games of the season.
 
2014 Coach's outlook: Spartan football spent the last 7 months together. Establishing a dominant run game to compliment the passing game was number one priority. Defensively we are stronger and under a new scheme, we played very well through-out the summer. Everyone contributed and studied the new D, so come August we are all on the same page. Addition of high energetic, new coaches to the staff has also paid dividends thus far. QB coach, WR coach, RB coach, and DL coach. With 4 returning All-League players, the Spartans will look to compete this year in the North Metro League.

Editor's Notes: The Spartans knew going into last season that they were fielding one of the youngest squads in the state, that fact offers promise for this season's TJ team. They return a vast array of starters (that includes four offensive linemen) who will have valuable experience under their belt. Defensively, all around athlete Kenny Muniz was third in the state (3A) in interceptions with six and DL Cyrus Brown should help solidify the defensive line. If this team's youth can come together and gel they could be a factor in Metro North League. TJ didn't lose many players to graduation, but one significant loss was in sophomore wide receiver Dylan Holt moving over to Vista PEAK Prep.

NorthNorthern League (8 Teams)
The Northern is comprised of... the Berthoud Spartans, Erie Tigers, Frederick Warriors, Holy Family Tigers, Mead Mavericks, Niwot Cougars, Northridge Grizzlies and Roosevelt Roughriders.
Berthoud Spartans
Head Coach: Troy Diffendaffer
2013 Record: 2-7

Returning Lettermen: 30
Leading seniors: Michael Woodiel - RB, Matt Bonds - DB, Kurt Hucal - K, Ryan DeMoudt - P,K- All Conference
Top juniors: Cody Braesch - QB, Jackson Hall - WR,CB, Jimmy Fate - OLB/RB, Chad Ellis - DB, Brendon Stanley - OL,DL, Jamie Gray - C,LB

2013 highlight: Had to play many underclassmen over the past couple of years at the varsity level and many returned in '14 showing a greater understanding of the game at the upper level.

2014 Coach's outlook: We are very excited for the upcoming season, returning many starters and installing a new offensive and defensive scheme has re-energized the program. We have had a great off season with huge numbers showing up in the weight room and to our off season workouts. Our players are hungry to return the program back into a football team that is respected in the state.

Editor's Notes: You can count on one hand the number of seniors in 2014 with varsity experience for Berthoud, so some juniors and sophomores will need to step up in 2014. The 2013 Conference Special Teams Player of the Year senior Ryan DeMoudt (P/WR/LB) along with four juniors, QB Cody Braesch (6'4" 190lbs), WR/DB Jackson Hall, RB/LB Jimmy Fate and RB/S Chad Ellis (each were All Conference HM as sophomores) will be a heavily relied upon by the Spartans. Braesch was the 2nd leading sophomore QB in 3A last year and only played in 7 games. Hall was the leading sophomore receiver in 3A and averaged over 23 yards a catch and six TDs. Fate (the current 4A 138lb wrestling champion) had the second most tackles (statistical recording error in 2013) in the league last year. Ellis (third in the state in 4A wrestling at 160lbs) has started every varsity game since his freshman year and is a significant impact player. High motor senior RB/DT Micol Woodiel will be a handful for offensive lineman with his combination of strength and quickness. Juniors C/LB Jamie Gray and G/DE Brendon Stanley (key anchors on both sides of the ball) should also be players to watch for Berthoud. Junior Steele Castles (T/DE) has the potential to be one of the best players in the league and if he reaches his potential, the sky is the limit for Castles.

Spartans Football Stadium (Max Marr Field)
Erie Tigers
Head Coach: Chris Summers
2013 Record: 6-3

Returning Lettermen: 5
Leading seniors: Triston Berringer - LB, Elijah Roper - LB, BJ Jensen - RB, Jacob Alejo - OL
Top juniors: Luke Conilogue - WR, Wesley Brow - DE, Adam Loeffler - LB, Riley Melton - OL,
Diego Sanchez - S, Marshall Floyd - DE
Sophomores to watch: David Unruh - RB, Trevor David - SS

2014 Admin outlook: With the new era underway it brings a new energy to a group of talented players. These young Tigers are hungry to compete at a high level.

Editor's Notes: Chris Summers changed Tiger stripes coming over from the highly successful Holy Family program where he was the OC for the HF Tigers. The Erie program has ran the Double Wing T that has been taught throughout at the youth level in Erie for many years. It may take a little time for the Tigers to transition to their new schemes, but with their general athleticism and extensive weight training program it won't take long for the team to embrace the changes moving forward. Player to watch... DB B.J. Jensen was one of the better defensive backs in the league last year (4 picks). Senior LB Elijah Roper recorded 78 tackles last year for the Tigers be one of their leading defensive players in 2014.

Tigers Football Stadium
Frederick Warriors
Head Coach: Thad Lear
2013 Record: 6-4

Returning Lettermen: 25
Leading seniors: Trystan Mantano - 5'11" 205lbs - OL/DL All Conf, Eric Worley - 6'2" 170lbs - SE/DB All Conf, Sam Olsen 6'1" - TW/OLB, Anthony Taylor - 5'9" 165lbs - DB/RB, Jeremiah Pope - 5'10" 250lbs - OL/DL, Jordan DeFalco - 5'9" 170lbs - RB/DL, Caleb Mulvin - 6'2" 225lbs - OL/DL, Zach Mancha - 6'0" 175lbs
Top juniors: Matt Lamb - 5'11" 160lbs -QB, Casey Kelley - 6'0" 205lbs - RB/LB, Austin Harrison - 5'10" 210lbs - OL/LB

2014 Coach's outlook: New players moving up from a successful JV Season. If we can stay healthy have a shot to be in contention at the end.

Editor's Notes: Frederick has tremendous strengths up front on both sides of the ball, led by Mantano and Pope. If Frederick can plug in the skilled players to compliment their offensive and defensive lines size, they could repeat as a playoff team. Junior quarterback Mike Lamb stepped in last season and played admirably, if he can take the next step and progression for the Warriors it will make a significant difference for Frederick. Defensively, DB Eric Worley is one of the best defensive players in the Northern League.

Warriors Football Stadium
Holy Family Tigers
Head Coach: Michael Gabriel
2013 Record: 8-2

Returning Lettermen: 30
Leading seniors: Weston Dinsmore - WR, Ryan Younggreen - RB/SS,
Willy Clements - OL/DT, Jack White - OL/DT, Chanson Segeth - WR/RB/DB, Joey Russo - SS
Top juniors: Chris Helbig - QB/CB, Bryce Buderus - WR/DB, Ben Lavoie - MLB, Zack Mollendor -OL/LB
Sophomores to watch: Travis Montoya - WR/CB, Joey Golter - WR/OLB, Mike Zeman - RB/CB

2013 highlight: League Champions

2014 Coach's outlook: Contend for league championship. Contend for State Championship

Editor's Notes: Michael Gabriel fields one of the strongest teams in 3A football, even after losing All-State QB David Sommers to graduation. Loaded with talent from senior RB/LB Ryan Younggreen to junior all-around athlete Chris Helbig (moving to starting QB) to WR Weston Dinsmore (senior), the Tigers have the talent at the postions who touch the ball. Helbig and Younggreen were the number 1 & 2 leading tacklers on the team as well and Helbig was second in the state (3A) in interceptions with 8. Additionally, on the defense senior Joey Russo and junior Ben Lavoie return as the team 3rd and 4th leading tacklers from 2013. Tigers will likely be positioned as a top 5 team in the state.

Tigers Football Stadium
Mead Mavericks
Head Coach: Jason Klatt
2013 Record: 7-2

Returning Lettermen: 11
Leading seniors: Tyler Colaiano - RB/LB 5'10" 220lbs, Connor Allen - OL/LB 5'10" 210lbs, Zayne Parker - TE/DL 5'8" 210lbs, Daniel Gernant - OL/DL 6'2" 190lbs
Top juniors: Dane Meyers - RB/DB 5'9" 145lbs, Tony Feula - QB/DB 5'10" 165lbs, Scott Martenson - WR/LB 5'9" 150lbs

2013 highlight: First 7 win season. First All State Player - Kyle Couch

2014 Coach's outlook: Hard working group with adequate depth. Extremely young with not many returning players. We look forward to competing in a great 3A conference.

Editor's Notes: Mead suffered one of the largest number of starters and leaders graduating this past season in 3A football. Junior RB Dane Meyers will be looked to offer leadership and production for the Maverick's rushing game and to be a receiving threat out of the backfield. Defensively, senior Zayne Parker and junior Scott Martenson bring some game experience into 2014. Additionally, the senior Allen triplets (Mitchell, Connor and Preston) who joins the Mavericks at mid-season last year should all have an impact on the 2014 team.

Mavericks Football Stadium
Niwot Cougars
Head Coach: Joshua Brewer
2013 Record: 2-7

Returning Lettermen: 11
Leading seniors: #6 Sonny May - WR/DB 5'6 155lbs, #2 Justin Lee - QB/DB 6'3 175lbs, #58 Nick Elrod - OL/DL 6'3 240lbs, #10 Charlie Mitelhaus - WR/DB 6'3 200lbs, #15 Jon Morreale - TE/DL 6'2 230lbs, #62 Eddie Diaz - OL/DL 6'4 230lbs, #65 Mounish Bandi - OL/DL 6'5 300lbs
Top juniors: #56 Blake Montgomery - OL/DL 6'3 220lbs, #22 Christian Cloar - ATH 5'10 170lbs, #23 Junior Herrera - LB/RB 5'9 175lbs, #27 Aaron Nichol - RB/DB 5'7 155lbs, #51 Eric Sipocz - OL/DL 5'11 180lbs
Sophomores to watch: #9 Aiden Tollefsen - WR/DB 5'7" 140lbs, #86 Alex Oelsner - WR/DB 6'3" 200lbs

2013 highlight: More productive run game and balance of offense, many improvements in all statistical categories

2014 Coach's outlook: High expectations of our offensive and defensive lines. We hope to finish in the top half of the conference. This group really wants to restore Cougar pride!

Editor's Notes: The Niwot Cougars are playing down from 4A and look for improvement on last year's 2-7 record. The Cougars will be searching for new players to step up and take control of the offense with no QB or RB with varsity experience and only two WRs with varsity snaps (total of 9 receptions and 88 yards between them). Senior Justin Lee is the leading returning receiver and was last year's second leading tackler. He should be joined by juniors Max Neiberger (LB/WR) and Blake Montgomery to help bolster the Cougars on both sides of the ball.

Cougars Football Stadium (Everly-Montgomery Field)
Northridge Grizzlies
Head Coach: Jeff Fulton
2013 Record: 5-5

Returning Lettermen: 23
Leading seniors: Jay Frye is an extraordinary WR. He is long and possesses soft hands. He was all conference. Brenden Fulton is back as QB. he may be the most athletic QB we have ever had. He too was All Conference. the other WR is Kayson Werner. He is a reliable, steady receiver who will cause problems for team who try to double Frye. On the OL Jesse Unruh anchors a senior loaded group. At 6'4 and 245 lbs., he will be noticed by defensive coordinators. The consummate leader of the Grizzlies is Willie Castillo. As a captain, he does it the right way everyday. Along the same line, Everado Bretado is a senior OLman who is a special leader. Two DB's returning for their senior year are Dominic Olson and Christian Dodge.The Florez brothers will contribute defensively.
Top juniors: Brooks Maldonado.LB/OL
Sophomores to watch: As for underclassmen, Alonzo Lopez, Jordan Gage and Justin Diershow will provide size and depth.

2013 highlight: Finished the season strong.

2014 Coach's outlook: We will line up properly and play hard. Strong senior group.

Editor's Notes: Coach Fulton will rely on the Grizzlies offensive duo of seniors QB Brendon Fulton and WR Jay Frye to lead Northridge in 2014. Fulton accounted for 77% of their total yards last year passing for 2286 yards and rushing for 371 with Frye catching 986 of those passing yards. Fulton was the fourth leading QB in 3A last year and Frye was the third leading receiving in 3A in the state. Defensively, seniors Willy Castillo (LB), Christian Dodge (DB) and Kayson Werner (DB) were the 3rd, 4th and 5th leading tacklers in 2013) and should lead the defensive unit.

Grizzlies Football Stadium
Roosevelt Roughriders
Head Coach: Noland E. Eastin
2013 Record: 8-3

Returning Lettermen: 21
Leading seniors: Nathon Putallaz - 6'2" 290lbs All Conference, Adrian Pastrana - 5'10" 165lbs All Conference, Elijah Derrera - 5'9" 170lbs DB/ RB, Jesus Castillo - 6'2" 260lbs OL/DL, Chico Hernandez - 6'2" 270lbs OL/DL, Jarret Hatch - 6'0" 260lbs OL/DL, Christian Sanchez - 6'0" 240lbs OL/DL
Top juniors: Andrew Kammerzell - 6'3" 225lbs OL/DL, Riley Simpson - 6'1" 170lbs DB/WR, Orlondo Rivera - 6'1" 170lbs DB/WR, Dalton Hulbert - 5'10" 175lbs- DB/WR, Alonso Archuleta - 5'11" 330lbs OL/DL, Christian Majszak - 5'10" 190lbs LB/RB, Ray Garcia - 5'10" 190lbs  LB/RB, Joe Brendenmihl - 6'1" 200lbs OL/DL, Carlos Ortega - 5'6" 140lbs RB/DB, Austin Smith - 6'1" 170lbs RB/DB, Victor Gomez - 5'10" 160lbs RB/LB
Sophomores to watch: Cameron Hurtado - 6'0" 180lbs DB/QB, Daniel Aguilar - 6'2" 185lbs LB/RB, Jay McCloughan - 6'1" 180lbs LB/RB

2013 highlight: Averaged 36 pts. a game- Offense. Allowed 15pts a game on Defense. Advanced to the Quarterfinals for second straight year. Won 2nd Consecutive League Title. Have been League Champs 3 of the last 4 years.

2014 Coach's outlook:  We graduated a lot of our starters from last year's team. We will be young and inexperienced. Will need to mature in a hurry and have players develop roles early in the season. We will be big and strong and need to take care of the ball if we want to be successful. We will be Physical.

Editor's Notes: Some significant football leadership graduated in 2013 (QB Kane Krantz and RB Randy Molinar), however the Roughrider seem to reload every year. This year they will be anchored by their big boys upfront buoyed by offensive lineman Nathon Putallaz (6'1' 260 lbs). Adrian Pastrana (DB) was second in the state (3A) in interceptions last year with 8 picks, All-around athlete Christian Majszak and Elijah Derrera should also be keys to Roosevelt's performance this season.

Roughriders Football Stadium
SoCentSouth Central League (6 Teams)
The South Central is comprised of...  the Canon City Tigers, Discovery Canyon Thunder, Harrison Panthers, Lewis-Palmer Rangers, Mitchell Marauders and Woodland Park Panthers
Canon City Tigers
Head Coach: Tom O'Rourke
2013 Record: 6-4

Returning Lettermen: 16
Leading seniors: Trenton Stringari - RB/DB, Daniel Farkas - OL/LB, Hayden Kingery - OL/DL,
Blake Repshire - OL/DL, Landon Schluter - K/P
Top juniors: Dylan Allbrandt - RB/LB, Jack Matthews - OL/DL
Sophomores to watch: Dacian Sullivan - RB/DB

2014 Coach's outlook: A lot of returning offensive and defensive linemen with varsity game experience. Need some young kids to step up and replace skilled positions that are vacant due to graduation.

Editor's Notes: Stringari averaged nearly 6 yards a carry in 2013 and should be counted on the carry the rushing load along with Allbrandt. Defensively, Allbrandt along with Matthews should be keys to the defense. Canon City moved this season to the 3A classification after two years in 4A. Their last season in 3A they posted a 10-1 record and should prove again to be a tough 3A test for their South Central League opponents.

Discovery Canyon Thunder
Head Coach: Shawn Mitchell
2013 Record: 9-2

Returning Lettermen: 12
Leading seniors: Scott Betzer - RB, 2nd Team All-conf., Mitch Carter - WR/CB/Kicker, 2nd Team All-conf., League MVP (Specialists), Spencer Chambers - RB/OLB/Returner, Isaac Charlson - OL/DL, Dylan Draper - WR/OLB, 1st Team All-conf., Clayton Eisenach - OL/DL, DJ Elder - OL/DL, Hon. Mention All-conf., Andrew Hall - QB/CB, Blake Lawrie - FB/DE, Alexis Sotomayor - WR/FS,
Patrick Stauffer - OL/DL, Eric Tronnier - OL/ILB, Alex Weber - FB/ILB, 1st Team All-conf.
Top juniors: Matt Call - QB/ILB, Beau Beattie - OL/DL 
Sophomores to watch: Thad Bejadhar - WR/FS, Tyler McFarland - QB, Zane Nichols - WR/OLB,
Colt O'Connell - FB/ILB, Josh Tomjack - RB/OLB, Jacob Vonloh - RB/CB, Sterling Watkins - RB/CB,
Ryan Weber - OL/DL

2013 highlight: 9-1 regular season, league champions (2nd year in a row), #1 seed in 3A playoffs (lost 1st round to Pueblo East)

2014 Coach's outlook: Graduated 20 seniors from last year's team. A lot of position questions to be answered. Rigorous non-league schedule: Silver Creek, Holy Family, TCA, Pueblo East, and Rampart. Addition of Canon City makes league schedule tougher

Editor's Notes: Discovery Canyon posted the #1 seed in the CHSAA state playoffs last season. This season senior's Alex Weber (337 yards in 2013) and Scott Betzer (297 yards in (2013) should be lining up to carry the biggest rushing assignments. Betzer is also a receiving threat out of the backfield. Senior linebacker Dylan Draper the team's leading tackler last year (91 tackles) along with Weber (second leading tackler with 81) will need to lead a relatively young defensive core. The biggest question mark will be who is going to step in at QB to lead the Thunder in 2014.

Harrison Panthers
Head Coach: Al Melo
2013 Record: 2-8

Returning Lettermen: 40
Leading seniors: Steven Barrett - OL/DL All League, Nate Sloan - OL/DL All League, Mike Salazar - OL/DL, Gabriel Puga OL/DL, Miguel Contreras - OL/LB All League
Top juniors: Sam Garcia - QB/DB, Daniel Pangelinan - OL/DL All League, Nick Jacquez - RB/DB All League, Justin Davis - RB/LB, Alex Sanchez OL/DL

2013 highlight: Young team. Sophomores had to play due to injuries. 

2014 Coach's outlook: Lots of players with experience. Look forward to improvements. 

Editor's Notes: Jacquez should be a dual threat running and catching the ball from the backfield. He led the team in all purpose yards as a sophomore in 2013.  Contreras was the team's third leading tackler last year with 73 total tackles. Pangelinan and Barrett will anchor the OL and should be key contributors for the Panthers on defense. With 16 juniors on the roster Harrison should benefit with some maturity as the season progresses and into next year.

Lewis-Palmer Rangers
Head Coach: Dustin Tupper - 1st year
2013 Record: 4-6

Leading seniors: Sam Warner - OG/NG - 2nd Team All Conference, Joseph Scott - OT/OLB - 2nd Team All Conference, Brian Tims - FS/WR - 2nd Team All Conference, Brad Ellis - ILB/FB, Joey Neumann - OLB/Slot
Top juniors: Nick Pavlik - Slot/CB, Cameron Fraser - Slot/SS

2013 highlight: Coming back from a large 1st half deficit to beat larger classification 4A Rampart HS in overtime.

2014 Coach's outlook: Hoping to win some games with an Old School T.E.A.M. mentality.

Editor's Notes: Dustin Tupper takes over for long time coach Tony Ramunno (25 seasons, 146-117 record) as the new head coach. Tupper was previously the Rangers Defensive Coordinator. Lewis-Palmer is looking to get back to the playoffs where they were quarter-finalist in 2010 and 2011 The combination of Warner and Scott on the O-Line will help solidify Rangers up front considering the RB position is relatively inexperienced. Tims is a good all around athlete and should see his game elevate even more as a senior.

Mitchell Marauders
Head Coach: Archie Malloy III
2013 Record: 1-9

Returning Lettermen: 14
Leading seniors: TJ Conklin - QB, Marcus Cheyney - RB/LB, Chase Bess - OL/LB, Jacolbie Chalmers - WR/DB, Rahiem Stafford - WR/DB, Daniel Terrell - RB/LB
Top juniors: Paul Sypert - OL/DL, Justin Wilder - WR/DB, Gabe Gleeton - WR/DB

2014 Coach's outlook: Thin as far as depth, but a talented first string of student-athletes. Skill positions have speed on both sides of the ball.

Editor's Notes: Conklin returns from playing time in 2013 and that should help the Marauders with an experienced signal caller. Defense has some question marks and Mitchell will need to see some younger players step up with eight of their top nine tacklers from last year graduating this past May. Senior Chase Bess - TE/ML 5'9" 185lbs is the top returning defending.

Woodland Park Panthers
Head Coach: Joe Roskam
2013 Record: 5-5

Returning Lettermen: 17
Leading seniors: Dylan Schaller - LB/RB 1st Team All-conference LB, Joel Woolley - OL/DL,
Josh Woods - WR, Hunter Wilson - OL/DL
Top juniors: Cecil Cox - QB/LB, Joey Ereon - WR/DB, Devin Carter - OL/DL, Sam Garner - WR/DB,
Spencer Gurley - WR/DB
Sophomores to watch: Orion Drummond - OL/DE, Christian Cox - DB, Damon Sarmiento - RB/LB

2014 Coach's outlook: Young team. Tough, hard working. Got to stay healthy.

Editor's Notes: Junior QB Cecil Cox should benefit from being a 10 game starter as a sophomore in 2013. He ended up being the Panthers leading rusher last year. Handing off to senior RB Dylan Schaller (who also led the team in tackles 87) should help with the health and passing game maturation of the QB. Junior WR Joey Ereon returns and as the case with Cox took snaps in all 10 games last year. Defensively, Schaller should have a big year, but will need help as the 2nd through 7th leading tacklers from 2013 all graduated. Woodland Park scheduled a tough 4A opponent in week one (Rampart) and regardless of the score that could give them a good gauge on how they stack up as a team in 2014.

SouthSouthern League (5 Teams)
The Southern is comprised of... the Pueblo Central Wildcats, Pueblo County Hornets, Pueblo East Eagles, The Classical Academy Titans and Sierra Stallions
Pueblo Central Wildcats
Head Coach: Jeremy Mercer
2013 Record: 2-8

Leading seniors: Nikko Valdez, Chris Ortiz

Editor's Notes: WR Nikko Valdez is a dual threat in receiving (905 yards in 2013) and rushing (804 yards in 2013) where he led the team in both categories. Junior QB Michael Ranson gained valuable experience last year throwing for 1234 yards as well as being on the receiving end for 208 yards. Graduation didn't hit Pueblo Central too hard with seven of the Wildcats top nine tacklers from 2013 return with Valdez leading that group, followed by senior Chris Ortiz and junior Beau Gordon. What was once a team of younger players is now playing with some experienced players for the Wildcats.

Pueblo County Hornets
Head Coach: Scott Egan
2013 Record: 5-5

Returning Lettermen: 17
Leading seniors: Troy Keys - QB/DB 6'2 170, Zach Gonzales - RB/LB 6' 175, Kolton Vialpando - WR/DB 5'11" 175, Ty Fox OL/LB  - 5'11" 215
Top juniors: Joey Paradiso - WR/DB 5'7" 145, Reece Weatherford - RB/LB 6' 170, Elijah Martinez - WR/DB 5'9" 150, JJ Muniz RB/DB - 5'10" 170
Sophomores to watch: Mason Mooring - RB/DB 10 - 5'7" 150

2013 highlight: The 2013 team went (5-5) and every loss coming to playoff bound teams. With a couple of breaks this team could have gone (7-3).

2014 Coach's outlook: Most of the starting offense is back, some kids have been moved to make us a little more of a complete package. Some good young kids are making a positive impact on our practice and we are going to be more competitive as a result. Defensively we return six players and our speed throughout has improved.

Editor's Note's: With 19 sophomores and 15 juniors on last year's roster that should bode well for the Hornets by adding more experience to the squad in 2014. A dozen players top 200 lbs and with their large number of skilled position players, if they can create the right mix of the big fellas and the ball possession athletes they could improve upon .500 record. 

Pueblo East Eagles
Head Coach: David Ramirez
2013 Record: 7-5

Leading seniors: Marco Perez - RB/LB 5'9" 196lbs, Kevin Ribarich - WR/DB 5''8" 135lbs, Sonny Arellano - RB/LB 6'1" 212lbs
Top juniors: Danny Martin - QB/DB 5'9" 160lbs, Bruno DeRose - TE/LB 6'0" 210lbs

Editor's Note's: Junior QB Danny Martin saw some extensive time under center in 2013 throwing for 13 TDs with only 7 picks and accounted for an additional 693 on the ground. The Eagles leading rusher senior Marco Perez returns. Paired with Martin as well junior RB Bruno DeRose Pueblo East could have an effective running game in 2014. Defensively, DeRose registered 104 tackles in 2013 as a sophomore and should be a force in 2014. Another defender to watch is senior DB Kevin Ribarich (5 interceptions in 2013).

The Classical Academy Titans
Head Coach: David Bervig
2013 Record: 10-3

Returning Lettermen: N/A
Leading seniors: Nick DeRay - WB 5'8" 155lbs 2013 All Conference, Peter Troupe - WB/S 6'1" 170lbs 2013 All Conference, Chuck Calvert - WR/OLB 6'2" 190lbs 2013 All Conference, Dakota Yourkowski - TE/OLB/LS 6'0" 190lbs All Conference, Jayson Hoyt RB/CB 5'6" 160lbs 
Top juniors: Luke Bethany - OL/DL 2013 All Conference, Ben Hinds - OL/DL/OLB 6' 195lbs 2013 All Conference, Austin Bervig - QB/ILB, Jayce Hall RB/S 5'7" 175lbs, Patrick Gheorghe - WB/CB 5'9" 170lbs, Christian Carlson - WB/CB 6'2" 185lbs, Alex Miller - S/WB 5'11" 165lbs, Ben Griffith - TE/OLB/LS 6'0" 185lbs 
Sophomores to watch: Sawyer Weeks - WR/WB/S 5'10" 160lbs, Chris Leland - OL/ILB/LS 6"0" 185lbs, Austin Weingart - RB/ILB 6'0" 180lbs, Anthony Ciolli - TE/ILB, Anders Carlson - K 6' 175lbs

2013 highlight: First 10 win season. First playoff win. Advanced the Semi-finals

2014 Coach's outlook: Even though we lost 18 seniors from 2013, we have a talented group of kids returning. We have a lot of first time starters on both sides of the ball and this will be challenge with our difficult schedule. Our 6 non conference games are top 10 3A teams or 4A teams. Pueblo East is in our conference and they have to be a favorite to win that. Our goal with this difficult schedule is just find a way to make it in the playoffs and see how we do from there.

Editor's Notes: Junior Austin Bervig will be taking over the QB position in 2014. The rushing load should be a tandem of seniors Peter Troupe and Nick DeRay (both averaged over 5 yards a carry in 2013). Troupe and DeRay should also be receiving threats joining senior Calvert and last year;s leading receiver (TE) Dakota Yourkowski (378 yards with a 17.18 yards per catch average) Senior Chuck Calvert returns after logging over 100 tackles in 2013 (101). Troupe and Yourkowski along with senior LB NIck Krause should be key players for the defense. The Titan's made it to the semi-finals of the state playoffs in 2013 and that experience should be helpful. Sophomore kicker Anders Carlson will be an offensive weapon with his field goal kicking.

Sierra Stallions
Head Coach: Phil Jackson
2013 Record: 2-8

Leading seniors: Fernando Gutierrez - QB/LB/SS 6'1" 185lbs, William Nelson - 6'0" 148lbs, Darrion Pyos - WR/LB 6'2" 190lbs, Israel Gonzales - 6'1" 180lbs, Tim Valdez - 5'6" 134lbs, Remmon Brown - 5'9" 195lbs

Editor's Notes: There may be a battle for starting QB between seniors Fernando Gutierrez and William Nelson who both saw time taking snaps last season. The bigger question is who will step and take the RB position with no back returning with more than 41 carries (Nelson) in 2013. The Stallions leading receiver in senior Darrion Pyos will add experience to the offensive unit. Seniors Israel Gonzales, Tim Valdez and Remmon Brown along with Nelson should be the core defensive players to help Sierra in 2014.

WSWestern Slope League (8 Teams)
The Western Slope is comprised of... the Delta Panthers, Eagle Valley Devils, Glenwood Springs Demons, Grand Junction Central Warriors, Palisade Bulldogs, Rifle Bears, Steamboat Springs Sailors and the Summit Tigers
Delta Panthers
Head Coach: Ben Johnson
2013 Record: 9-4

Returning Lettermen: 30
Leading seniors: Marcus Garcia - OL/DL 6'4" 297, Cade Gafford - QB 6'6" 200, Eain Baier - WR 6'5 175, Ali Medina - OL/DL 5'9" 210, Chance Wolfe - OL/DL 5'9" 250, Drew Elliot - OL/DL 6'0" 190, Derek Horn - RB/FS 5'9" 165, Easton Byers - OLB 5'9" 190, David Brown DB - 5'7 150, Daniel Brown - DL 6'1" 190
Top juniors: Jonny Ponce - RB 5'9" 195, Kory Mills - LB/TE 6'1" 190, Kelby Brown - LB 5'10 185
Sophomores to watch: Tristen Brown - LB/FB 6'2" 210, Lavan Santander - OL/DL 5'8" 200, Damon Jensen - OLB 5'10" 165, Kole Roberts - WR 6'0" 140

2013 highlight: Going to the state semi finals.

2014 Coach's outlook: Good senior leadership, and very tough schedule.

Editor's Notes: Senior QB Cade Gafford (6'6" 180 lbs) returns after throwing for 2290 yards last year with 25 TDs and only 5 interceptions logging a 110 QB rating in 2013. He was the third leading passer in 3A in 2013. The running game should be solid with junior Jonathan Ponce returning after leading the state (3A) in rushing with 1702 yards as sophomore. Senior OL Marcus Garcia (6'4" 285 lbs) opened some eyes at the Colorado State High School Camp this past summer which could bode well for the Panthers and help Delta repeat as an elite offensive squad on the ground. In the air they will need to find a wide-out to step in and fill the void of losing the number WR in 3A in 2013 (Ryan Whiteside) to graduation, however senior Eian Baier (6'5") may fit the bill. Defensively, Delta lost their top six tacklers from 2013 and will rely on seniors David Brown and Easton Byers to lead on defense. Delta returns enough talent to not only win the tough Western Slope league, but advance deep into the playoffs. They made it to the semi-finals of the CHSAA state playoffs last year.

Eagle Valley Devils
Head Coach: John Ramunno
2013 Record: 5-5

Returning Lettermen: 15
Leading seniors: Riley Rowles - RB/LB 6' 190 All League 1,000 Rushing, Luis Chavez - WB/LB 5'10" 175 Leading Team Tackler, Xavier Mendoza - OT/DT 6' 240 also did some kicking & Punting, Mike Ramunno - WB/S 5'8" Leading returning receiver, Devin Ward - OG/DE 6'3" 185 Second Team All-League, Harrison Stevens - QB/DB 6' 155 Threw 5 TD passes last fall, Christian Aguilar - WB/DB 5'11" Led team in interceptions
Top juniors: Jay Neal - RB/DB 5'11" 180, Juan Tuscano - OL/DL 6'1" 230, Wyatt Borah - LB 6'2" 180,
Bryce Mulenthaler - TE/DL 6' 180, Oscar Rubio - OL/DL 5'11" 200

2014 Coach's outlook: Our Team returns players who gained valuable varsity experience from last fall. We will need to stay healthy and depend on some newcomers in some key positions. For our team to be successful we will have to be able move the ball on the ground as well establish a passing attack. We should have about fifteen seniors who want to make their last season a sound one. Our Western Slope Conference does well in the post season and our goal is to be in that group.

Editor's Notes: Eagle Valley got off to a fast start last year winning four of their first five games. Knocking off a couple of the elite Western Slope teams this year will need to happen to give them a shot at making the playoffs.

Glenwood Springs Demons
Head Coach: Rocky Whitworth
2013 Record: 8-4

Returning Lettermen: 12
Leading seniors: Everett MarrWR/S ALL CONF, Sam CarmerC/LB, Christian Gonzalez - LBR, Chase NeislanikTE/OLBR, Tristen HarrisNG, Zane LundinC/WR, Robert HilesOLBR/G, Luke ProsenceRB, Shane ClerveringaDL
Top juniors: Matt Osier - RB
Sophomores to watch: Dante Sparaco - QB

2013 highlight: Won 8 in a row - State Qtr Finalist

2014 Coach's outlook: Young Players, Solid LBRS, Tough League

Editor's Notes: Sophomore Dante Sparaco is poised to lead the Demons at the QB position in 2014, but someone is going to have to step up at running back with no experienced varsity ball carriers on the roster. Senior WR Evrett Marr should help Sparaco as a key passing target. Senior LB Christian Gonzalez (5'9" 215 lbs) should be a Demons strength on defense. Gonzalez led the team in tackles last year with 82.

Grand Junction Central Warriors
Head Coach: Shawn Marsh
2013 Record: 0-10

Palisade Bulldogs
2013 Record: 10-2

Leading seniors: Alselmo Quezada - OL/DL, Easton Woods - RB/DB, Quincy Campbell - LB, Travis Peden - OL/DL, Drake Buford - DL
Top juniors: John Goff - TE/LB

Editor's Notes: The Bulldogs usually find a way to retool from year to year and always stay a top of the Western Slope elite. Losing their QB who was also their leading rusher along with their second leading rusher leaves some question marks for 2014. Palisade will need to find QB to lead the team and the personnel to continue to compliment their ground game which has been their bread and butter. Seniors Quincy Campbell and Drake Buford will be the leaders on defense which saw a lot of defensive unit graduate.

Rifle Bears
Head Coach: Damon Wells
2013 Record: 8-3

Leading seniors: Layton Stutsman - QB/CB, Brock Clark - RB/MLB/P, Austin Knight - RB/SS, Cody Rice - TE/OLB

Editor's Notes: Any time you can return a starting senior QB (Layton Stutsman) who played in 11 games the previous year, return a RB who averaged over 10 yards per carry (senior Brock Clark with 891 yards and 11 touchdowns) and your leading receiver (senior Austin Knight) from 2013 you're poised for positives things. Couple that with the return of your top three tacklers (senior Austin Shepard one the top linebackers in the state along with Clark and senior Cody Rice your prospects for 2014 are good. Add a tradition of football excellence and Rifle should again battle for the Western Slope title.

Steamboat Springs Sailors
Head Coach: Lonn Clementson
2013 Record: 4-6

Returning Lettermen: 18
Leading seniors: Mitch McCannon - 5'9"160lbs, Rush-69 514 Yards 7.45 Yards Avg Long-76, 7 TDS, Receiving-26 491 Yards 18.89 Avg Long-67 6 TDS
Top juniors: Zach Holm 6'0" 206 lbs Completions-75 Attempts-144 Yards-1014 .521 Pct Avg-13.520 Total Avg-101.4 TD-8 INT-7 Long-67

2013 highlight: Winning vs natural rival Moffat County, 2 come from behind wins, Homecoming win

2014 Coach's outlook: There are many players that have the opportunity to step up and make plays consistently this coming year. Zach Holm and Mitch McCannon provide a solid foundation in which to build. Joe Deline provides kicking game firepower and a player to watch on both offense and defense this coming year. To compete at the highest levels of well coached and tough 3A WSL football, our program will need to stay healthy and take the next step in mental and physical toughness...

Editor's Notes: QB Zachary Holm has the physical tools to be a top level QB and the maturity that comes with becoming an upperclassman will help his game. McCannon was the Sailors leading rusher and receiver last year and led the team in all purpose yard being their primary punt and kick returner. He should continue to be a workhorse for the Steamboat Springs in 2014. Defensively, the Sailors lost six of their top eight tacklers to graduation.

Summit Tigers
Head Coach: Dylan Hollingsworth
2013 Record: 2-7

Returning Lettermen: 24
Leading seniors: Luke Egging - QB, Tristan McDonald - RB/SS, Colby Chrisman - WR/CB, Ben Hull - OL/DE, Jordan Nelson - WR/SS
Top juniors: Jack Anderson - TE/DL, Drew Chastain - RB/LB, Dekota Rhodes - RB/LB,
Riley Beck - RB/LB, Will Flannagan - OL/DL
Sophomores to watch: Eddie Jain - WR/DB, Adolfo Vasquez - RB/DL, Harmon Daugherty - OL/DL

2014 Coach's outlook: With eight returning starters on both sides of the ball we feel like we have the experience returning to have a successful season. The biggest issue facing the team will be depth, especially in the trenches. A move to the tough 3A western slope league will not only be exciting but difficult as the team will only see one team (Steamboat) that they have seen in recent years. That will mean a lot of film and learning for coaches and players alike.

Editor's Notes: Senior Luke Egging as the Tigers QB and their leading rushing last year will be counted on to lead Summit this season in the tough Western Slope League. Senior Colby Chrisman should lend two-way player experience as Egging's likely #1 target at WR as well as playing in the defensive backfield. Other defenders of note, will be junior Riley Beck the Tiger's second leading tackler last year and senior Jordan Nelson (3rd leading tackler). Summit has numerous players playing on both sides of the ball.

Acknowledgements
Media Source: MaxPreps.com for statistical data, 2014 schedules, team home page and players links.

Thanks: for all of the school's coaches and administrators for their assistance in gathering information about their respective schools, programs and student athletes. Additionally, thanks to the variety of football people who shared their insight on student athletes and programs across the state of Colorado.

A special thanks to Warren McCarty (My Passion is Football) and Aaron Rath with Overtime Sports Net for their assistance in compiling information.

Thank you to the numerous media outlets, newspapers, sports editors and writers for their distribution and assistance with the 2014 Colorado High School Football Preview.

Editor's Personal Note:
And a very special thanks to the men and women who wear another kind of uniform... those who protect and serve our country so we are free to enjoy all of our communities coming together to watch high school football and athletics.
About The Editor
ediJohn Hall has served as the sports editor of the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor since 2009. He is the Chairman of the Berthoud Sports Hall of Fame. He is a voting member of the CHSAANow.com 3A football state rankings as well as the 4A lacrosse state rankings. In the Spring of 2014 he researched and authored the CHSAA 4A/5A lacrosse preview published on CHSAANOW.com. John has earned five Colorado Press Association Awards for sports writing from 2010 to 2013. Prior to his involvement in high school athletics he was a Vice President/General Manager (GM) of the Arena League football team for Madison Square Garden and a former Assistant GM with NFL Europe.


 
2014 Colorado High School Football Preview, 440 Mountain Avenue, Berthoud, Colorado 80513 303-944-4225 sports@berthoudsurveyor.com