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North Sequoia Preview — Chowchilla, Kerman, Liberty-Madera Ranchos, Sierra, Washington Union, Yosemite

North Sequoia League Season Preview in alphabetical order. Be sure to vote for the 2010 Preseason NSL Player of the Year in the poll to the right.

2009 Record: 4-6 (2-4)
2009 Scoring: 22.3 PFpg, 20.0 PApg

Junior quarterback Devin Gaines leads a predominantly inexperienced Redskin team into the 2010 season, looking to improve upon its 4-6 mark it posted in 2009.

Chowchilla has its leading tackler from a year ago returning, in linebacker Chad Neal. It also has its leading pass rusher, defensive end Christian Alcaraz, coming back to anchor the defensive line.

In the secondary, Carlos Flores is the only player returning that logged significant varsity time a year ago.

2009 Record: 6-6 (2-4)
2009 Scoring: 13.7 PFpg, 23.0 PApg

Last season the Lions had the opportunity to play a lot of youth and this year they have as many contributors returning as any team in the Valley.

This season the offense should be much improved, with highly-touted senior quarterback Marcus Montero back behind center. Last season Montero injured his knee before the season and missed the entire year.

“Marc had a good summer and if he stays healthy, I think we’ll be able to keep people from loading the box on us and able to throw the ball a little and keep them honest,” Kerman head coach Marty Martin said.

Running backs Ceasar Villanueva and Aldo Valencia will share the rushing load that will give the Kerman offense balance.

The Lions will look to stretch the field with a pair of speedy receivers in Jose Ayon and Antonio Castillo.

They bring a lot of experience back on defense, but not a lot of size, so they will look to make up for that with athleticism.

“Our defensive front is pretty quick, so we’ll try to do a few things with speed and try to get after people,” Martin said.

Liberty-Madera Ranchos
2009 Record: 8-5 (3-3)
2009 Scoring: 22.9 PFpg, 15.6 PApg

Fullback Bobby Watkins returns to lead a Liberty offense that averaged 27.0 points per game in 2009.

Conversely on the other side of the ball, linebacker Sam Sanders will lead the defense.

2009 Record: 8-4 (3-3)
2009 Scoring: 18.9 PFpg, 23.3 PApg

Running back Gavin Hamilton rushed for 757 yards and three touchdowns a year ago, as he led the Chieftains to an 8-4 finish and a first round 41-14 victory over Immanuel in the Valley Playoffs.

But Sierra will have its hands full with an inexperienced defense. The only players returning that had more than 30 tackles last year are Hamilton and junior DB Sean Ryan.

Washington Union
2009 Record: 9-3 (6-0)
2009 Scoring: 38.4 PFpg, 18.9 PApg

Head coach Jeff Freitas and Panthers are looking at 2010 as the year they push past the Valley semifinals.

“This team has a lot of experience playing at a very high level, which includes a 2009 league championship as well as three-consecutive semifinal playoff runs,” Freitas said. “We are very focused on bringing home a section title in 2010.”

The offense has a lot of expectations, after averaging 38.4 points per game a year ago.

Washington Union lays claim to one of the best receivers in the Valley, in senior Josh Williams. Last season Williams caught 93 passes for 1,330 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The Panthers will also have their top two rushers from a year ago, in Yaffet Thomas (810 yards and 10 TD) and Deshawn Johnson (583 yards and three TD).

Center Jacob Freitas made the commitment in the offseason and has bulked up to 250 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame. He’ll be joined by right tackle John Hobbs, to make up an experienced O-line

Hobbs is also an excellent middle linebacker and will lead the defense the defense, after making 168 stops for the Panthers a year ago. He’ll be joined by linebacker Jose Hernandez.

The Panthers boast a formidable defensive front, led by four-year starter Carlos Flores at defensive end. He’s joined on the line by Jose Hernandez, Jesus Terrones and Poindexter Hatley, who all started a year ago.

Third-year starting cornerback Donzell Amey will lead the defense and his coach believes he has a “good chance of playing corner next year at some level.”

2009 Record: 3-7 (1-5)
2009 Scoring: 25.3 PFpg, 29.4 PApg

Yosemite has the luxury of bringing back its quarterback, Bradley Rolff, with a year of varsity experience for 2010. But he will need to forge chemistry with a new set of receivers this year.

The Badgers also bring back running back Cody Essary, which should relieve some pressure from the passing game.

Junior linebacker Harley Glines will lead the defense that will look to tighten up and improve upon the 29.4 points per game it gave up a year ago.

Central Valley Football » Chowchilla, High School Football, Kerman, Liberty-Madera Ranchos, Sierra, Washington Union, Yosemite » North Sequoia Preview — Chowchilla, Kerman, Liberty-Madera Ranchos, Sierra, Washington Union, Yosemite

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