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2021 prep football season preview capsules

20210327-bc-ridgeviewliberty

Liberty wide receiver Jason Oliver catches a pass before being tackled by Ridgeview cornerback Richard Hernandez last season at Liberty.

2021 prep football season preview capsules

Southeast Yosemite League

EAST BLADES

Head coach: Bibi Carrasco, first year

Assistants: David Fanucchi, OC; Kenny Holms, WR/DC; Ken Chapman, OL/DL; Todd Hanson, WR, special teams; Gary Sherman, QB/scout teams.

Spring season: 1-2; 2019 season: 7-3, 3-2 SEYL.

Top returners: Josiah Blanco, RB, sr.; Nathan Gonzalez, C/NG, sr.; Elijah Hena Devora, LB, sr.; Kenneth Barrera, RB/DB, sr.

Top newcomers: Gabriel Gutierrez, RB/DB, jr.; Jovany Gonzalez, DB/WR, jr.; Matthew Moore, QB, jr.; David Chacon, LB/RB, jr.; Yahir Ortiz, OL, soph.; Taj Bowe, WR, soph.

Quote from Carrasco: “These kids (freshmen to varsity) have worked extremely hard the past three weeks. They have all been putting in the time and I’m very proud of them. They have all adjusted well to my madness. This has been a very fast-paced learning-on-the-fly situation for these kids and they all have embraced it well. This program is on track to turn some heads this year.”

FOOTHILL TROJANS

Head coach: Brandon Deckard, fourth season (7-20); 21st season overall (41-41)

Spring season: 2-3; 2019 season: 5-7, 1-4 SEYL

Top returners: Kaelan Deloney, RB, sr.; Rafael Monje, QB, sr.

Quote from Deckard: “This year the team has put in a lot of work and is ready to try to take it to the next level. We have a good core of seniors coming back, looking forward to getting the season started.”

HIGHLAND SCOTS

Head coach: Michael Gutierrez, eighth year (41-30)

Assistants: Christopher Jaquez, DC/RB; Angel Posadas, OL/DL; Gabe Johnson, WR/CB; Tony Varela, H/LB; Marcus Cornford, WR/CB; Michael Aguirre, OL/DL; Ernie Contreras, director of statistics; Jorge Moreno, analyst.

Spring season: 2-2; 2019 season: 9-2, 5-0 SEYL

Top returners: Jojo Mata, QB/SS, jr.; Zephan Stevens, WR/CB, sr.; Andrew Turney, OL/DL, sr.; George Venegas, RB/LB, jr.

Top newcomers: Darren Maiden, WR/CB, soph.; Adrian Juarez, RB/LB, jr.; Diego Duenas, WR/SS, soph.; Manny Veleta, WR/CB, jr.

Quote from Gutierrez: “We are very excited about the talent we have in our secondary and skill positions. Each group has gotten better each day during camp to be ready for the upcoming season.”

MIRA MONTE LIONS

Head coach: Christian Johnson, fourth season (8-18)

Assistants: Steve Tucker, WR; Joe Cooper, DC; Ricky Carter, DL; Theo Gergen, QB; Andrew Letourneau, RB/DB; Jeff Skidmore, OL.

Spring season: 3-2; 2019 season: 2-9, 1-4 SEYL.

Top returners: Vic Hernandez, WR/DB, sr.; Abraham Casillas, RB/LB, sr.; Elias Martinez, OL/LB, sr.; Rafael Gutierrez, OL/DL, sr.

Top newcomers: Hector Bermudez, QB; Nathan Perez, K.

Quote from Johnson: “We plan to improve off of our winning season in the spring. Our kids have been working hard and are ready to take this program to the next level.”

NORTH STARS

Head coach: Richie Bolin, second full season (6-4), took over the program midway through the 2019 season.

Assistants: Anthony Reed, DC; Larry Whitby, LB/special teams; Tony Silver, RB/Safeties; Tim Lemon, WR/CB; Tyler Saso, OL; Danny Saso, DL; Tanner Melson, OL/DL; Anthony Wood, H.

Spring season: 2-3; 2019 season: 8-4, 3-2 SEYL.

Top returners: Mar Kai Shaw, RB/DB, jr.; Xarrion Foreman, WR/LB, jr.; Jan Mapa, WR/DB, jr.; Carson Bennett, QB, soph.; Andon Sampson, OL/DL, sr.; David Chaves, OL/DL, jr.

Top newcomers: Treydarius Jones, OL/DL, jr.; Luis Ortiz, DB/WR, jr.; Andre Jefferson, DB/WR, sr.

Quote from Bolin: “I expect our team to play extremely hard, disciplined, and with great enthusiasm. This young group is now in their second season in our system and have worked extremely hard this off-season. This team has a lot of potential, and much to prove.”

SOUTH SPARTANS

Head coach: Cary Mills, ninth season (54-30)

Assistants: Norm Brown, DC; Richie Maestre, special teams/RB; Chris Lucas, LB; Jihad Lawrence, DB/WR; James Holland OL; Paxton Garner DL/OL.

Spring season: 4-1; 2019 season: 5-6, 2-3 SEYL.

Top returners: DeeShawn Brown, QB/SS, sr.; Mario Avalos, OG/LB, sr.; Erick Organista, OG/LB, sr.; Joe Dabney, OT/DT, sr.

Top newcomers: Shane Carr, OB/FS; Immanuel Banuelos, DT/OT; James Webster, DE/H.

Quote from Mills: “This year’s South High team may be more talented than last year’s team. That’s saying a lot when you consider last year, the team rushed for over 1,540 yards, scored 147 points and intercepted 10 passes in just five games. What this year’s team lacks is experience. I expect some growing pains, but hopefully a challenging pre-season schedule will prepare us for league and the postseason. Over the past year there have been many changes at South: a new stadium and new mascot. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the mission of our football team. We will play fast, hit hard and always give our best effort.”

Southwest Yosemite League

BAKERSFIELD DRILLERS

Head coach: Michael Stewart, third season (8-8)

Assistants: Rashaan Shehee, OC, assistant head coach; Noah Holle, QB; DJ Martin, OL/DL; Robbie Moseley, assist. OL/DL; Ken Cooper, LB; Pete Hernandez, defensive assistant/head JV coach; Gary Austin, Offensive assistant.

Spring season: 2-2; 2019 season: 6-6, 3-2 SWYL.

Top returners: Vincent Cuellar, QB, sr.; Alex Rocha, LB/TE, sr.; Jayden Dock, OLB/DE/TE, sr.; Chris Qualls, DB/WR, sr.; Danny Johnson, RB/LB, sr.; Carmelo Wright, C/DL, sr.; Tyrese Howard, OL/DL/Specialist, sr.; Luke Myer, OL/DL, sr.; Tybo Rogers, DB/SL/RB, jr.; T.J. Richards, WR/CB/returner, sr.; Makya Douglas, OL/DE/LB, jr.

Top newcomers: Daylon Leach, CB/SL/WR, sr.; Ty Monteiro, QB/S, jr.; Anthony Rivera, Jr. OLB/TE, jr.; Tyler Stewart, WR/CB, jr.; Bryson Campos, WR/CB, jr.; Isaac Cueller, WR/S, jr.; Drahcir Mackey, RB/LB, soph.

Quote from Stewart: “The Drillers are a team on the rise!”

CENTENNIAL GOLDEN HAWKS

Head coach: Richard Starrett, third year (6-9)

Assistants: Andy Coyle, DC/DB; Sean Alexander, QB; Chad Brown, LB/RB; Jim Arneson, WR.

Spring season: 2-3; 2019 season: 4-6, 1-4 SWYL.

Top returners: Levi Manning, QB, jr.; Tyler Fimple, WR, sr.; Jaxton Santiago, WR, soph.; Tristan Flores, WR, sr.; Tyler Routh WR, sr.; Garrett Austin, S, sr.; AJ Morgan, DL, sr.; Matthew Dominguez, OL, sr.; Ethan Oliver, OL, sr.; Wyatt Freeman, C, sr.; Connor Warkentin, DL, soph.; Justin Vecere, LB, sr.; Grant Harrer, DB, sr.; Noe Estrada, CB, jr.

Top newcomer: Jackson McDonald, RB, jr.

Quote from Starrett: “Excited for the growth of the program and their opportunity to safely compete this year. Twenty-four seniors have an opportunity to return to some form of normalcy and compete at a very high level their senior year.”

FRONTIER TITANS

Head coach: Chris Bandy, fifth year (19-20)

Assistants: Chad Grider, DC; Brent Durkan, QB/RB; Matt Bushnell, WR/OLB; Kenny Haslip, DB; Dewayne Williams, DL/OL; Dallas Lafond, OL; Nathen Essman, LB.

Spring season: 4-1; 2019 season: 5-6, 2-3 SWYL.

Top returners: ​Vincent Igoa, QB, sr.; ​Daniel Overton, RB/LB, sr.; ​Jaden Perez, WR/S, sr.; ​Arturo Terrazas, TE/DL, sr.; ​Reece Greer RB/LB, sr.; ​Mason Tapia, WR/DB, jr.; ​James Moon, LB/RB/TE, soph.; ​Travis Perry, OL, jr.; ​Raul Campas, OL, sr.; ​John Appleton, DB/WR, jr.; ​Devin Cockren, WR/DB, jr.; ​Samuel Marquez, RB/LB, soph.; ​Brycen Tablit, DB/RB, soph.; Isaiah Munoz, DL, sr.; ​Jaykob Jones, RB/DL, sr.; ​Ethan Adkins, DE, soph.; ​Chris Holley, TE/DE, soph.; Noah Cruz, LB, sr.

Quote from Bandy: “After the abbreviated season in the spring and all the hard work over the summer these kids have put in, I think everyone has high expectations. The most important part though for our success is the expectation that we win every day in practice and continue to give great effort and have a great attitude every day in practice and the wins will take care of themselves.”

GARCES RAMS

Head coach: Paul Golla, third year; 19th overall (162-66-1)

Assistants: Adam Levinson, OC; Adam Dawson, OL; Cody Stone, QB; Dan Ingle, WR; Ed Romero, RB; Lance McCullah, RB; Loren Hall, DB; Mike Cooper, LB; Chris Herstam, DL; Jay Durant, def spec; Dallas Plater, special teams; Kirk Erickson, assistant head coach.

Spring season: 2-3; 2019 season: 5-7, 2-3 SWYL.

Top returners: Travis Plugge, QB, sr.; Ian Jernagin, RB, sr.; Logan Bowers, LB/FB, sr.

Top newcomers: Julian Smith, S/ATH, jr.; Jayden Hollis, WR/CB, sr.; Zamir Hall, RB/LB, jr.

Quote from Golla: “This is a team that has bonded very well together and hopefully that translates on the field. They really enjoy each other on and off the field.”

LIBERTY PATRIOTS

Head coach: Bryan Nixon, ninth year (70-22); 23rd overall (180-86)

Assistants: Ryan Renz, DB/DC; Jason Oliver, DB/WR; Erich Smith, OL/DL; Mike Lewis, RB/LB/special teams; Russell Robertson, OL-DL; Rick Brogdon, LB/RB; Craig McMahon, K; David Jacobsen, DL-OL.

Spring season: 5-0; 2019 season: 10-2, 5-0 SWYL.

Top returners: Jason Oliver, WR/DB, sr.; Luke Wattenbarger, WR/DB, sr.; Riley Hernandez, LB/TE, sr.; Will Kanavalov, LB/WR, sr.; Jalen Hankins, RB/DB, jr.; Austin Pratt, WR/DB, sr.; Shay Achen, OL/DL, sr.; Cade Gretlein, OL/DE, jr.; Xavier Campos, OL/DL, sr.; Max Juarez, OL/DL, jr.; Dion Williams, WR/DB, sr.; Bryce Monsevias, OL/DL, sr.; Grant Meadors, K, jr.; Dylan Lynch, K, sr.; Carson Woods, QB, sr.

Top newcomers: Grant Buckey, OL/DL, jr.; Jackson Provensal, LB/RB, jr.; Kresean Kizzy, WR/DB, jr.; Beckam Nilsson, WR/LB, jr.; Ethan Mehanke, WR/DB, jr.

Quote from Nixon: “Our team has embraced being back in full swing. We have great senior leadership and a good number of returners from the spring season. We are looking forward to a challenging pre-season to prepare us for league and playoffs.”

STOCKDALE MUSTANGS

Head coach: Brett Shelton, ninth season

Assistants: Sean McKeown, OC/OLB; Tony Morales, Special teams/LB/slots; Nathan Odle, OL/DL; Andrew Brown, DB/WR; Geoff Demalade, DL/OL.

Spring season: 0-4; 2019 season: 6-6, 2-3 SWYL.

Top returners: Brandon Arzabal, WR/CB, sr.; Joseph Gonzales, OT/DT, sr.; Ifeanyichukwu Mbagwu, DE/WR, sr.; Kadin Johansson, OL/DT, jr.; Julian Leon, S/WR, sr.; Adrien Medina, S/WR, sr.; Aaron Charles, MLB/RB, sr.; Jordan Gallegoz, QB, jr.; Leon Smith, CB/WR, jr.; Shaine Heriford, S/WR, jr.; Isaak Herrera, LB/QB, jr.

Top newcomers: Benjamin Spears, WR/S, soph.; Bradley Taylor, MLB/OT, soph.; Ian Harrison, QB/WR/S, soph.; Jonathan Gonzalez, G/DL, jr.; Brandon Stevens, G/DT, jr.

Quote from Shelton: “We are excited to be back on the field again. Our Mustangs have done a great job of developing a strong culture within our program this summer; developing a positive process. Our expectations are to continue to be process based and work to get better every day as individuals and as teammates. Positive attitude and great effort every day.”

South Yosemite League

BAKERSFIELD CHRISTIAN EAGLES

Head coach: Darren Carr, seventh season (52-17).

Assistants: David Carr, OC/QB; Rodger Carr, QB; Bryson Sumlin, RB; DeMarcus Clear, WR/JV head coach; Johnny Maran, DB; Alex Wallace, DB; Derrick Martin, DB; Sergio Furtado, Offense; Mike Carr, OL; Efrain Morales, OL/DL; Eddie Drake, video; Gus Theodore, defense; Jason Gauthier, LB; Darrell Miller, assistant/stats; Natha DeJager, K; Coach Mac, Assistant, equipment.

Spring season: 1-2; 2019 season: 12-3, 4-1 SYL, CIF State Division 3A championship.

Top returners: Nathan Perez, RB/DB; David Bonales, RB/LB; Evan Cloyd, OT/LB; Garrett Stephenson DE/WR; Ben Bidart, OT/DT; Bryson Waterman, RB/WR/FS.

Quote from Carr: “Excited for a full season of football. It’s been too long. These young men have been very patient. Done everything we’ve asked them to do. Now they get to go out and play for something. Can’t wait to watch this team play ball.”

GOLDEN VALLEY BULLDOGS

Head coach: James Cain, third year (5-10)

Assistants: Demus Reza, OL; Derek Blackshere, DL; Don Turner, DB; Phil Turner, LB; Will Cross, WR; Demetrius Henderson, DC; Deandre Henderson, FS; Ed Morales, RB.

Spring season: 4-1; 2019 season: 1-9, 0-5 SYL.

Top returners: Conroy Hayes, RB/LB; Rickardo Smart, DB/WR; Nicholas Abbott, DB/WR; Marquiz Burns, DB/WR; Jkwon Welch, OL/DL; Juan Olivo, OL/DL.

Top newcomers: Dominick Thompson, WR/DB, soph.; Nate Abbott, TE/OLB, soph.; Rafael Valderama, QB, jr.; Arturo Rangel, RB/OLB, jr.

Quote from Cain: “We are excited about the group this year. The group of returners from a successful spring season mixed with our young talent has been working out well for us this summer. You can expect to see tough, fast and exciting football from Golden Valley this season. The goal is to compete every Friday and make a run at our tough league championship.”

INDEPENDENCE FALCONS

Head coach: Tyler Schilhabel, fourth year (10-15)

Assistants: Dave Schilhabel, LBs/RB; Kenny Wiley, DC/DB; Kenny Davis, WR.

Spring season: 3-1; 2019 season: 3-7, 3-2 SYL

Top returners: LaDon Denmark, QB, sr.; Evan Peaker, RB/LB, sr.; Matthew Tallant, C, sr.; Jude Reyes, OT, sr.; D’Amonte Moten, WR, sr.; Trey Franklin, CB, sr.; Curtis Franklin, CB, sr.

Top newcomers: TJ Stocker, WR/S, jr.; Anthony Rico, WR/RB, jr.; Jorge Pineda, OL/DT, jr.

Quote from Schilhabel: “We are excited for this year’s team. With the experience coming back and the athletes we have, we feel we can make a run this year. We have a very tough schedule for D-III, but know it will prepare us for the playoffs.”

RIDGEVIEW WOLF PACK

Head coach: Casey Quinn, first season; 13th year overall

Assistants: Amad Moya; Elisceo Estrada; MIchael Neva; Diego Hernandez; Jason Grant; Jerome WIlliams; Ivan Gallardo; Marcus Levels.

Spring season: 1-4; 2019 season: 8-4, 5-0 SYL

Top returners: Isaiah Nunez, RB/LB, jr.; Jacari Simpkins, SL/LB, jr.; Andres Rivera Corona, QB/DB, jr.; Aaron Martinez, WR/DB, sr.; Elvis Kemp, SL/LB, sr.; Isiah Kemp, WR/DB, sr.; Yesmine Johnson, RB/DB, sr.; David Luna, OL/DL, sr.; Devin Talkington, OL/DL, jr.; Luke Kopp, OL/DL, sr.

TEHACHAPI WARRIORS

Head coach: Kris Krempien, first year; sixth year overall (23-31)

Assistants: Mike Ledesma, OC; Jason Hail, DC; Ralph Curiel, OL/DL.

Spring season: Did not play; 2019 season: 1-9, 1-4 SYL.

Top returners: Sam Orellana, RB/DB, sr.; Conner Davis, OL/DL, sr.; Rodney Michael, OL/DL, sr.; Bennie Williams, OL/DL, sr.; Tylar Love, RB/DB, sr.; Steven Sills, TE/LB, sr.

Top newcomers: Rashad McElroy, RB/DB, sr.; Mike Jones, FB/LB, so.; AJ Anderson, RB/LB, so.; Christian Morse, TE/DL, jr.; Ethan Reese, OL/DL, sr.

Quote from Krempien: “We’re starting over and hitting the reset button at Tehachapi High School. This year is about laying the foundation for the future of our program. We will compete week in and week out, and leave no doubt that we played to the best of our ability.”

WEST VIKINGS

Head coach: Derrick Dunham, sixth season (18-32 overall)

Assistants: Nathan Claunch, OL/LB; Seto Castaneda, DL/RB; Daniel Torres, DB/WR; Pete Bustamante; Christian Garcia; Chris Peterson.

Spring season: 1-4; 2019 season: 4-7, 2-3 SYL.

Top returners: James Rufus, QB/FS, sr.; Bruno Ponce, OL/DL, sr.; David Santos OL/DL, sr.; Jermoni Bellows, WR/LB, sr.; Nick Harris, WR/DB, sr.

Top newcomers: Lennox Laulu, OL/DL, jr.; Julian Navarro, OL/DL, jr.; Anthony James, WR/DB, jr.

Quote from Dunham: “We are looking forward to continuing the great ‘Viking football tradition.’ We will take every opportunity at practice and at games as a chance to compete with class. Our goal is to represent our school on and off the field with Viking Pride. We will rely heavily on our senior class of 18 players to lead us to our goals.”

South Sequoia League

ARVIN BEARS

Head coach: Edgar Mares, 21st year

Assistants: Chris Carlos, DC/RB/LB; Robert Riley, OC/OL/DL; Victor Garcia, special teams/WR/DB; Ramon Carillo, trainer.

Spring season: 0-5; 2019 season: 6-6, 3-3 SSL.

Top returners: Daniel Noriega, Z/DB, sr.; Jesus Rojas, X/DB, sr.; Josue Salazar, OL/DL/K, sr.; Anthony Sarabia, QB, sr.; Jorge Mireles, TE/DL, sr.

Top newcomers: Javier Mireles, OL/DL, sr.; Andres Alcaraz, OL/DL, jr.; Jonathan Moreno, RB/DB, jr.; Chris Carlos, FB/LB, jr.

Quote from Mares: “We will be young and inexperienced. COVID-19 has hit our program hard as we are struggling to get pre-COVID numbers out. Either because of grades, fear, or loss of interest, we will only be able to suit two teams. The kids that have been coming out have been getting better each day, have a great attitude, and have been working hard in the weight room and on the field. You will see the Bears get better as the season rolls along.”

CHAVEZ TITANS

Head coach: Jesse Ortega, sixth year (21-22)

Assistants: Alan Guinto, DC/LB; Robert Mendoza, OC/QB/WR; Coach-Ilario Prieto, DL; Tony Zarate, RB; Larry Ronk, DB.

Spring season: Did not play; 2019 season: 9-3, 5-1 SSL.

Top returners: Alexis Girarte, LB/RB, sr.; Armando Flores, OL/DL, sr.; Isaiah Garcia, QB, sr.; Christopher Martinez, WR/DB, jr.; Uziel Gomez, DL/FB, sr.; Andres Rodriguez, OL/DL, jr.; Jonathan Garcia, OL/DL, jr.; Moises Moreno, OL/DL, jr.;

Quote from Ortega: “(Our expectations are to) continue the momentum that was put on pause going into the 2020 season.”

KENNEDY THUNDERBIRDS

Head coach: Mario Milan, fourth season (23-5); 10th overall (62-35)

Assistants: Jacob Fragoso, OC; Sam Salinas, DB; Joshua Mendoza, DB, JV HC; Jonathan Nunez, DL, strength; Jamal Martinez, LB/RB; Adam Basconcillo, WR; Johnny Salinas, OL; Amador Orozco, F/S HC; George Becerra; Tim Nunez; Alex Rivera; Diamond Hernandez.

Spring season: Did not play; 2019 season: 10-3, 4-2 SSL.

Top returners: Avian Pesina, RB, sr.; Ronaldo Monroy, K/P/ LB, sr.; Drake Sand, RB/DB, sr.; Eduardo Sedano, OL, sr.; Hugo Mora, RB/DB, sr.

Top newcomers: Gamiez Helm, WR/DB, jr.; Sergio Gonzalez, LB, jr.; Sebastian Pimentel, WR/FS, jr.; Julian Orozco, QB, jr.; Jude De La Cueva, OLB, jr.; Jaikel De Leon, RB, jr.; Emiliano Herejon, DL, jr.

Quote from Milan: “This 2021 Thunderbird team has a lot of athleticism with a great junior class. Our biggest challenge will be making up for a lost year of football.”

McFARLAND COUGARS

Head coach: Manny Munoz, first year; third overall (12-9)

Assistants: Kyle Wedel, OC; Skyler Henson, DC; Vincent Ortiz, special teams; Mark Dumlao, JV HC; Ernie Gonzalez, JV asst.

Spring season: Did not play; 2019 season: 2-8, 0-6 SSL.

Top returners: Jose Galvan RB/LB, sr.; Christian Gomez T/LB, sr.; Jose Ceja G/LB, sr.; Jake Morehouse WR/S, sr.; Rodrigo Rodriguez QB/S, sr.; Tino Ayon RB/DE; Jose Garcia G/NG; sr.

Top newcomers: Chris Nunez QB/LB, jr.; Sebastian Casteneda WR/C, soph.; Evaristo Zepeda RB/LB, jr.; Alex Vasquez RB/LB, sr.; Manuel Murillo G/DE, soph.

Quote from Munoz: “This is a very exciting time for McFarland football. We have assembled a great coaching staff and a solid core of the team have been putting in hard work and time into the new program. We will continue to build and improve as the season progresses.”

SHAFTER GENERALS

Head coach: Jerald Pierucci, sixth season (36-15); 12th season overall (71-50)

Assistants: Sean Lozano, DC; Adam Clayton, LB; Zach Clayton, DB/WR; Acie George, DB; Derric Kirschenmann, DL; Lio Maino, OL; Ponch Marquez, trainer; Roger Patterson, QB; Fortino Valdivia, RB.

Spring season: 5-0; 2019 season: 6-5, 5-1 SSL.

Top returners: Tyson Dozhier, DB/QB, sr.; Elijha Lucero, LB/RB, sr.; Devon Sundgren, DB/WR, sr.; Olaniyan Tatum, DL/OL, sr.; EJ Mendez DL/OL, sr.; Murphy “Walker” Maino LB/RB, sr.

Top newcomers: Armando Loera, DB/WR, jr.; Parker Valderrama, DL/OL, soph.; Thomas Ward, DB/WR, sr.; Gus Waterhouse, DL/TE, sr.; Jesse Abernathy, DL/OL, sr.; Simon Vanderpoel, DL/OL, sr.; Koa Rhodes, LB/RB, jr.

Quote from Pierucci: “This team has the potential to do great things if we can stay healthy and on the field.”

TAFT WILDCATS

Head coach: Brian Durkan, first season, 2014 interim (1-1).

Assistants: Russell Emberson, DC; Eric Newton, DB/WR; Brad Van Roekel, OL/DL; Dee Griffith, RB/LB.

Spring season: Did not play; 2019 season: 4-7, 1-5 SSL.

Top returners: Jackson Berry, QB/FS, sr.; Cyris Gaylord, RB/LB, jr.; Bryce Veach, RB/DE, sr.; Chase Gratt, OL/DE, sr.; Jason Woodards, RBLB, sr.

Top newcomers: Bronson Ortlieb, WR/LB, sr.; Richard Jennings, WR/DB, jr.; Blayden Kenley, OL/DL, so.; Tyler White, OL/DL, soph.

Quote from Durkan: “We are happy to be able to play this year after our season was canceled in 2020. There is a sense of excitement in the program as we have had a good turnout for both the Varsity and JV teams. Our goal is to improve every week, work to compete in every game we play, and enjoy the experience of playing the game of football that was lost last year.”

WASCO TIGERS

Head coach: Chad Martinez, fifth season (19-15)

Assistants: Joe Dominguez, OC/OL; Josh Bocker, QB/S; Dre Hankins, WR/CB, special teams; Ed Moreno, OLB/RB; Alex Gallardo, QC/TE.

Spring season: 0-3; 2019 season: 6-6, 3-3 SSL.

Top returners: Jacob Ruiz, QB; Omar Tovar, RB; Brayan Ruiz, LB; Azai Furgerson, FS; Sean Sharp, ATH.

Top newcomers: Colin Dickson, TE; Ram Lopez, LB.

Quote from Martinez: “We expect to compete at a high level in every game we play with our power run game.”

Other teams

DELANO TIGERS

Head coach: Frank Gonzales Jr., first year.

Assistants: Jason Gonzales, RB; Aviel Menchaca, Assistant offense/DL; Chris Rivas, WR; Ramon Marquez, WR; Sergio Barajas, DC/DB; Mike Chavez, LB; Frank Gonzales Sr., DL.

League: East Yosemite

Spring season: Did not play; 2019 season: 0-9, 0-4 EYL.

Quote from Gonzales Jr.: “Our mantra this year is: Excellence through preparation and accountability. Our coaches are working hard to get our players prepared both mentally and physically, through assignments, fundamentals, and film review, We wanted to build a championship culture by holding each other accountable, in the classroom, in the weight room, in the film room, in public and on the football field. We want our players to make good decisions, take care of their bodies, be relentless in their preparation and give maximum effort in everything they do.”

KERN VALLEY BRONCS

Head coach: Ben Goffinet, 14th season (72-64)

Assistants: Bill Gallis, OC; Scott Tedrow, ST/LB/JV head coach; Frank Woody, OL; Bill Chase, RB/DB; Aaron Lafarga, DL/WR; Robert Hudson, strength.

League: High Desert

Spring season: 1-4; 2019 season: 4-7, 3-2 HDL

Top returners: Nathan Montgomery, OL/DL, sr.; Gaige Smoot, OL/DL, sr.; Johnny Zuniga-Tedrow, WR/DB, sr.; Airian Navin, WR/DB, sr.; Derrick Hinkey, RB/LB, jr.; Hunter Watts, QB/RB/LB, soph.

Top newcomers: Braxton Farnum, WR/DB, sr.; Michael Moreno, RB/LB, sr.; Maximus Armes, K/DB, sr.

Quote from Goffinet: “We are about as young as we’ve ever been in my time here, so we’ll experience quite a few growing pains this year. Despite our youth, I think we have some pretty good ball players and we may surprise some folks. I’m looking forward to watching these guys get some confidence so we’ll be competitive in league play. We’re building a solid foundation for the next few years.”