The Bee's Top 20: High school football

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 - 8:50 am

Staff writer Joe Davidson breaks down The Bee's Top 20 high school preseason football rankings (with last year's record):

1. FOLSOM (14-1)

• Coaches: Kris Richardson/Troy Taylor

• League: Delta River

• Opener: Friday vs. Woodcreek

• Quick hit: The Bulldogs return eight offensive starters, headed by QB Jake Browning (5,247 passing yards, 63 TDs) and WR Troy Knox (1,249 yards, 15 TDs). Folsom longs for a NorCal Open rematch vs. De La Salle.

2. GRANITE BAY (13-3)

• Coach: Skip Albano

• League: Sierra Foothill

• Opener: Sept. 6 vs. Folsom

• Quick hit: A new era dawns for the defending state Division I champions as Albano takes over for Ernie Cooper. But the fly offense returns with fly back Tony Ellison. Linebackers Cameron Smith and Dylan Keeney head the defense.

3. ELK GROVE (12-2)

• Coach: Chris Nixon

• League: Delta Valley

• Opener: Friday vs. Lincoln-Stockton

• Quick hit: The Herd returns 15 starters, including QB Tommy Arnold, RB Wadus Parker (1,373 yards, 24 TDs). Two-way leaders TE/LB Noah Letuligasenoa and WR/DE B'won Canada return for a fast, physical defense.

4. DEL ORO (7-6)

• Coach: Casey Taylor

• League: Sierra Foothill

• Opener: Friday vs. Logan-Union City

• Quick hit: The Golden Eagles have their best offensive line in Taylor's 12 years at the helm and feature Bee All-Metro TE Tyler Meteer and All-Metro DL Tanner Woods. Del Oro plays De La Salle on Sept. 20 for fun. 

5. PLEASANT GROVE (7-5)

• Coach: Joe Cattolico

• League: Delta River

• Opener: Friday at Rocklin

• Quick hit: The Eagles return 12 starters, led by QB Dre Terrell (1,496 yards, 17 TDs), WR Wyatt Demps (620 yards, 12 TDs), TE/LB Earl Chism and DB Brandon Lewis.

6. ROCKLIN (5-6)

• Coach: Greg Benzel

• League: Sierra Foothill

• Opener: Friday vs. Pleasant Grove

• Quick hit: Eight starters return, and there's the infusion of talent from a 9-0-1 junior varsity team to maintain tradition. QB Logan Webb (2,187 yards, 29 TDs) and LB Patrick Ryan lead the way.

7. OAK RIDGE (12-2)

• Coach: Eric Cavaliere

• League: Delta River

• Opener: Friday vs. Vista del Lago

• Quick hit: The Trojans target another D-I title push with nine returning starters, including RB Josh Wellman (944 yards, 11 TDs), LB Thomas Mahlman (149 tackles) and Jacob Sipes, who plays multiple positions.

8. BURBANK (12-1)

• Coach: John Heffernan

• League: Metro

• Opener: Friday vs. Napa

• Quick hit: QB Ernest Jenkins (968 passing yards, 1,367 rushing yards, 21 total TDs) and RB/DB Calvin Green (1,178 yards, 12 TDs) lead one of the fastest teams in the section.

9. GRANT (5-6)

• Coach: Mike Alberghini

• League: Delta Valley

• Opener: Friday at Paradise

• Quick hit: Alberghini's youngest team with 17 underclassman starters, including RB Deondre Grays and OL Darrin Paulo, is not short on speed or athleticism. DE Moses Moala heads the defense.

10. VISTA DEL LAGO (12-2)

• Coach: Mike Struebing

• League: Sierra Valley

• Opener: Friday at Oak Ridge

• Quick hit: New coach Struebing worked with the QBs last season, including record-setting Matt Jimison (2,592 yards, 37 TDs), who along with RB Josh Pfeffer (1,159 yards, 18 TDs) powered the Eagles to the D-III section final.

11. COSUMNES OAKS (9-3) 

• Coach: Scooter Gomes

• League: Sierra Valley

• Opener: Friday at Roseville

• Quick hit: The Wolfpack lost the SVC title game to Vista del Lago late and will likely get a title rematch behind QB Alex Kropp (1,427 yards, 16 TDs) and swift WRs Alex Van Dyke and L.J. Reed and OL Kameron Schroeder.

12. INDERKUM (10-3)

• Coach: Terry Stark

• League: Tri-County

• Opener: Friday at Monterey Trail

• Quick hit: The Tigers' five-year stranglehold of the league ended last season to Yuba City, but this is again the Tri-County's most experienced and explosive team, led by QB C.J. Spencer (1,673 yards, 16 TDs) and LB N.J. Falo.

13. FRANKLIN (12-1)

• Coach: Mike Johnson

• League: Delta Valley

• Opener: Friday vs. Atwater

• Quick hit: No starters return on offense, though three do on defense in leading tackler LB Joey Banks (135) and DBs Robert Sanders and Kyron O'Berry.

14. ANTELOPE (10-2)

• Coach: Matt Ray

• League: Capital Athletic

• Opener: Friday at Del Campo

• Quick hit: Eight starters return, none more paramount than QB Tyler McCombs (2,057 yards, 24 TDs) and LB D.J. Hollingshead for a team seeking its third league title in four years.

15. DEL CAMPO (9-3)

• Coach: Mike Dimino

• League: Capital Valley

• Opener: Friday vs. Antelope

• Quick hit: The Cougars aim to repeat as league champions but first look forward to Sept. 14 against Elk Grove (two losses to Herd in 2012, including the playoffs) behind RB Austin Brown (21 TDs) and OL Anthony Girola.

16. RIO LINDA (8-3)

• Coach: Mike Morris

• League: Capital Valley

• Opener: Sept. 6 at Roseville

• Quick hit: The Knights return 11 starters, headed by their Big 3 in FB/LB Leonard Skattebo, WR/DB Keenan Hunt and RB Marcel Brown (1,454 yards, 15 TDs), all rising recruits.

17. PLACER (11-1)

• Coach: Joey Montoya

• League: Pioneer Valley

• Opener: Friday vs. Central Catholic-Modesto

• Quick hit: Todd Valliere (660 yards, 12 TDs) is the feature back in the wing-T offense, and LB Robbie Lopez (81 tackles) heads the defense in a top-heavy PVL race.

18. CENTER (10-3)

• Coach: Digol J'Beily

• League: Pioneer Valley

• Opener: Friday vs. Encina Prep

• Quick hit: The surprise team of 2012 plans to maintain momentum with returning QB Tyrel Anderson (1,501 passing yards, 889 rushing yards, 30 total TDs) and DL Jason Perry (14 sacks) in seeking a trip to its first section title game since 1988.

19. JESUIT (5-5)

• Coach: Marlon Blanton

• League: Delta River

• Opener: Sept. 7 vs. Rio Americano.

• Quick hit: The veer offense is back for another run with new QB Jason Elenberger, who is thrilled to carry on the tradition of talented quarterbacks in the school's 50th year.

20. EL CAMINO (8-4)

• Coach: Adam Reinking

• League: Capital Athletic

• Opener: Friday vs. Union Mine

• Quick hit: The Eagles return all five starting offensive linemen and plenty on defense, too, including star LB Quenton Hagen (103 tackles).

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