Joe Davidson

Players to watch during prep football season

12 seniors to watch in Sacramento-area high school football

Football always comes down to blocking and tackling, and the Sacramento area features a number of high school football players who are standouts. Here are the best of the best, the most skilled players to look for in 2016. Some have playoff experi
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Football always comes down to blocking and tackling, and the Sacramento area features a number of high school football players who are standouts. Here are the best of the best, the most skilled players to look for in 2016. Some have playoff experi

The Bee’s Joe Davidson takes a look at 25 of the top seniors returning to start again for their teams (no more than two from any school listed):

▪ Jake Bellecci, LB, Elk Grove

A four-year varsity player and the Thundering Herd’s leader, Bellecci also plays tight end for a team coming off a 13-1 season.

▪ Calvin Brownholtz, QB, Jesuit

The Marauders’ latest playmaking passer is generating recruiting interest and hopes to lead Jesuit back to the playoffs after a one-year absence.

▪ Garrett Chapman, DB, Antelope

A shutdown cornerback who plays fast and physically, Chapman also is a playmaker as a receiver for a team seeking a repeat league championship.

▪ Alex Cook, DB, Sheldon

Already committed to Washington, Cook can affect games in the secondary, on offense as a receiver and on special teams for a sleeping giant.

▪ Trajon Cotton, QB/DB, Inderkum

A national recruit who can hurt teams with his throwing and running might be even better on the Tigers’ defense, which will be one of the area’s best in 2016.

▪ Elijah Dotson, RB, Antelope

Following in the footsteps of his dad, Robert, a Grant star in 1992, the son has done pops proud. Elijah ran for 1,513 yards in 2015.

▪ Josh Falo, TE, Inderkum

The next Falo brother to lead the Tigers is a national recruit who also makes plays at linebacker.

▪ Tucker Fisk, TE, Davis

Like father, like son, Fisk is headed to Stanford, where Jason Fisk excelled after a stellar Davis career on the defensive line.

▪ Tariq Hollandsworth, RB/LB, Sacramento

He rushed for 1,363 yards and 22 touchdowns for the Metropolitan Conference champions last year and also led goal-line stands on defense.

▪ Robert Holt, QB/DB, Monterey Trail

A three-year starter and the team’s most driven, competitive player, Holt vows to keep the Mustangs in the Delta League hunt.

▪ Mason Hurst, DB, Del Oro

One of seven three-year starters on the team, Hurst had a Sac-Joaquin Section-best nine interceptions for the state champions.

▪ Jamarri Jackson, RB/DB, Christian Brothers

Diminutive yet explosive, Jackson ran for 18 touchdowns in 2015 and made plays as a receiver, on defense and on special teams.

▪ Jimmy Jaggers, TE, Roseville

The most heavily recruited Tiger since Tedy Bruschi in 1991, Jaggers can catch, block and run and is headed to UCLA.

▪ Brad Jenner, LB, Folsom

The area’s top returning tackler (144) from last season, Jenner plays hard and smart for a program that seeks its fifth consecutive section championship.

▪ D.J. Johnson, DE, Burbank

Fast off the edge and coming off a 14 1/2 -sack season, the Miami commit is the most heavily recruited athlete in school history.

▪ Isaiah Lewis, DB, Granite Bay

A Colorado commit, Lewis is fast in the secondary and also expects to boost the Grizzlies as a runner and receiver.

▪ Zach Orman, RB, Galt

The area’s most unsung player is the region’s top returning rusher with 1,651 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2015.

▪ Trey Overton, DB, Rocklin

A key piece from last year’s defense that at times dominated, Overton leads the charge for a team seeking a return to the section final.

▪ Gavin Reinwald, WR, Elk Grove

Gaining recruiting interest, Reinwald can catch balls from quarterback Jayden Machado in traffic or break free on a short route.

▪ Brent Schaeffer, QB, Vista del Lago

The Eagles’ career passing records are being threatened by Schaeffer, who threw for 2,387 yards and 27 touchdowns last season.

▪ Stone Smartt, QB, Del Oro

With returning linemen Dalton Heryford, Hunter Halverson, Israel Luna, Pablo Miller and Ray Thomas protecting him, Smartt will treat his buddies for lunch regularly.

▪ Drake Stallworth, WR/DB, Folsom

Fast, explosive and a rising recruit, Stallworth scored on receptions, interceptions and special-team returns last year.

▪ Kaderro Tamondong, LB, Franklin

The top returning tackler for the Wildcats also will try his hand at quarterback as the “BEST player on our team,” according to coach Mike Johnson.

▪ Orlando Umana, OL, Grant

The Pacers’ latest national recruit is a 330-pound lineman who wows coaches and recruiters for his ability to race downfield, eager to block anyone.

▪ Chris Volek, WR, El Dorado

The son of coach Joe Volek had 1,302 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, and he and quarterback Aaron Golmitz again should form one of the top passing combinations in the section.

Who's No. 1 as the 2016 high school football season begins in the Sacramento region? The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson has some strong thoughts about that. See who Joe tabs as the best and where the other top teams fall on his list.

Grant High School will honor its longtime football coach, Mike Alberghini, before the Pacers' season-opening game against Rocklin on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, renaming its football stadium after Alberghini, the Sacramento area's winningest active coa

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