Prep football: The Bee’s Top 20

Published: Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 - 11:05 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 - 11:18 pm

1. FOLSOM

Co-coaches: Kris Richardson/Troy Taylor

2013 record: 14-1

Opener: Friday, at Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), 7:30 p.m.

League: Sierra Foothill

Quick hit: The Bulldogs, who moved from the Delta River League to the SFL, could have the most prolific offense this region has ever seen, led by record-setting quarterback Jake Browning and anchored by offensive linemen Cody Creason, Sam Whitney and Will Koch.

2. ELK GROVE

Coach: Chris Nixon

2013 record: 12-2

Opener: Friday, vs. Damonte Ranch (Reno), at Del Oro, 5 p.m.

League: Delta

Quick hit: The Thundering Herd, led by emerging quarterback Tyler Vander Waal, expects a fourth successive 12-win season – at least. Spencer Sheff makes plays on both sides of the ball, at running back and linebacker.

3. DEL ORO

Coach: Casey Taylor

2013 record: 13-3

Opener: Friday, vs. Kamehameha (Honolulu), 8 p.m.

League: Sierra Foothill

Quick hit: Del Oro is the only team from this region to play in two CIF Bowl games, including last season, and no team has a more rigorous nonleague schedule. Defensive back Justin Burrage and wide receiver Tre Udoffia are the lone returning starters.

4. OAK RIDGE

Coach: Eric Cavaliere

Record in 2013: 12-2

Opener: Friday, at Whitney, 7:30 p.m.

League: Sierra Foothill

Quick hit: The Trojans were a power in Division III in the early 1980s, then in Division II and now in Division I. Their top players this fall are the Book brothers, junior Ian at quarterback (who passed for 2,558 yards and 30 touchdowns last season) and senior Nolan on the defensive line.

5. GRANT

Coach: Mike Alberghini

2013 record: 8-4

Opener: Friday, at Burbank, 5:30 p.m.

League: Delta

Quick hit: The Pacers, who figure to add to their section record 23 consecutive playoff berths, have 18 starters back, including offensive lineman Darrin Paulo and linebacker Chris Atteberry.

6. JESUIT

Coach: Marlon Blanton

2013 record: 9-4

Opener: Friday, vs. De La Salle (Concord), Cal Memorial Stadium, 8 p.m.

League: Delta

Quick hit: The Marauders last fall won their first postseason game in 10 seasons and pushed Folsom in the playoffs. Now they are eager for more with new quarterbacks Cole Brownholtz and Isaac Lessard and rugged running back Beau Bisharat.

7. FRANKLIN

Coach: Mike Johnson

2013 record: 8-4

Opener: Friday, at Atwater, 7:30 p.m.

League: Delta

Quick hit: The typically fast and prolific Wildcats should be again, led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, who runs and passes, and new lead running back Patrick Walker.

8. GRANITE BAY

Coach: Ernie Cooper

2013 record: 8-4

Opener: Sept. 5, vs. Cosumnes Oaks

League: Sierra Foothill

Quick hit: Cooper returns after a one-year absence for the Grizzlies, who were hit hard by injuries in 2013 before falling to Oak Ridge in the playoffs. Linebackers Cameron Smith and Drew Tonda are as good a 1-2 punch as there is.

9. ROCKLIN

Coach: Greg Benzel

2013 record: 7-4

Opener: Friday, at Pleasant Grove, 7:30 p.m.

League: Sierra Foothill

Quick hit: Running back Evyn Holtz rushed for 1,130 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games as a sophomore last year, and the line should be strong again. Ditto the defense under the direction of veteran defensive coordinator Jason Adams.

10. SACRAMENTO

Coach: Paul Doherty

2013 record: 11-3

Opener: Sept. 5, at El Camino

League: Metropolitan

Quick hit: The Dragons won playoff games for the first time in school history last season and reached the Division III final behind quarterback Caden Voges (4,351 yards and 48 touchdown passes) and linebacker Lonny Powell (23 sacks).

11. INDERKUM

Coach: Terry Stark

2013 record: 10-3

Opener: Friday, vs. Reno, 7 p.m.

League: Tri-County Conference

Quick hit: The Tigers live by the speed, deception and execution of the timeless wing-T, having won the TCC six of the last seven seasons; DL Nick Falo is a dominating player and the program’s next D-I prospect.

12. PLEASANT GROVE

Coach: Russell Gardner

2013 record: 10-3

Opener: Friday, vs. Rocklin, 7:30 p.m.

League: Delta

Quick hit: A new coaching era begins, with Gardner replacing his friend and first-year coach Jason Rossow, who is out following recent surgery. Running back Damaree Morris (673 yards, nine touchdowns) and wide receiver-defensive back Sedrick Thomas are the top playmakers.

13. BURBANK

Coach: John Heffernan

2013 record: 9-3

Opener: Friday, vs. Grant, 5:30 p.m.

League: Metropolitan

Quick hit: The Titans – seeking their fourth consecutive league title, though Sacramento won’t make it easy – will try to race past opponents with running back Harrison Anderson (655 yards, eight touchdowns) and stuff them with defensive lineman Gerald Pliman.

14. PLACER

Coach: Joey Montoya

2013 record: 6-6

Opener: Friday, vs. Nevada Union, 7:30 p.m.

League: Pioneer Valley

Quick hit: After starting slow, the Hillmen finished fast to reach the playoffs last season. Brothers Johnny and Jacob Capra are 6-foot-5, 260-pound-plus linemen generating a flood of recruiting interest.

15. WHITNEY

Coach: Mike Gimenez

2013 record: 8-4

Opener: Friday, vs. Oak Ridge, 7:30 p.m.

League: Capital Valley

Quick hit: The Wildcats, a powerhouse seemingly since the school opened in 2005, has a new quarterback in versatile playmaker Hunter Rodrigues, who led the junior varsity team to a 9-1 record.

16. RIO LINDA

Coach: Justin Reber

2013 record: 11-2

Opener: Friday, at Center, 7:30 p.m.

League: Tri-County Conference

Quick hit: Reber takes over for all-time-winningest coach Mike Morris. Standout running back Marcel Brown (2,031 yards, 26 touchdowns) is back but replacing linemen is paramount.

17. CHRISTIAN BROTHERS

Coach: Dan Carmazzi

2013 record: 9-4

Opener: Friday, at River City, 7:30 p.m.

League: Capital Athletic

Quick hit: Carmazzi, a 200-game winner at Jesuit, takes over at his alma mater and inherits a star in quarterback Chris Guillen (2,652 passing yards, 584rushing yards, 36 total touchdowns) after CBS won a playoff game for the first time since 1986.

18. ROSEVILLE

Coach: Larry Cunha

2013 record: 5-5

Opener: Friday, vs. Chico, 7:30 p.m.

League: Capital Valley

Quick hit: The Tigers have been a playoff regular since the late 1980s under Cunha, one of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s longest-tenured and most highly regarded coaches; a new league means new hope, too.

19. MONTEREY TRAIL

Coach: T.J. Ewing

2013 record: 5-5

Opener: Friday, vs. Antelope, 7:30 p.m.

League: Delta

Quick hit: Running back Tre Nahhas (885 yards, eight touchdowns) leads the fast-paced veer offense, anchored by four returning starting offensive linemen.

20. VISTA DEL LAGO

Coach: Mike Struebing

2013 record: 7-4

Opener: Friday, vs. Wood (Vacaville), at Folsom, 7 p.m.

League: Capital Athletic

Quick hit: Quarterback Matt Jimison (3,238 yards, 37 touchdown passes) is a three-year starter and one of the best in the section.

Read more articles by Joe Davidson



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