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South Sequoia Preview — Arvin, Bakersfield Christian, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco

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

Arvin
2009 Record: 2-8 (1-4)
2009 Scoring: 14.1 PFpg, 34.6 PApg

The Bears’ offense will be led by running backs Christian Lopez and Isidro Zavala and the O-line is anchored by OL/DL Rene Deniz.

Linebacker Esteban Torres and safeties Matt Williams and Luis Moradel will hold down the defense.

“Our team brings experience and a strong work ethic,” head coach Edgar Mares said. “We are not deep, so if we can stay away from injury, the nucleus of the team is ready to improve from the 2009 season.”

Bakersfield Christian
2009 Record: 3-8 (1-4)
2009 Scoring: 19.8 PFpg, 24.9 PApg

Last season the Eagles’ offense may have been the most senior-dependent unit in the entire Valley and only have three players who gained even 100 yards from scrimmage a year ago — Christian Carlin (138 rushing, 116 receiving), Jacob Fulce (127 rushing) and Dillon Fahrney (121 receiving).

The defense wasn’t much different, but it does have its leading tackler returning, in linebacker Jess Visser, as well as defensive lineman Alex Dehoog and Fulce at linebacker.

Shafter
2009 Record: 2-8 (1-4)
2009 Scoring: 8.8 PFpg, 31.5 PApg

Running back Fernando Saucedo rushed for 302 yards and one touchdown last year and hopes to lead an improved Shafter offense.

On the other side of the ball, safety Skyler Rockey will look to anchor the Generals’ defense.

Taft
2009 Record: 10-3 (4-1)
2009 Scoring: 36.9 PFpg, 14.7 PApg

The Wildcats are coming off a 2009 Valley Championship appearance (which it lost 47-16 to Kingsburg) and look to return this year.

Running back Brice Royal was second on the team in rushing last year with 649 yards and eight touchdowns. But the junior will have an even bigger workload with the majority of carries in the overpowering Wildcat ground game this year.

Royal also plays a significant role in the defense as a DB and last year finished second on the team in tackles, with 98.

“Royal is a beast,” head coach Steve Sprague said. “He will be on the field every down.”

Fellow running backs Daniel Watts and Shaquil Gant will see a lot of reps in the backfield. They will have fullback Kevin Rivera lead blocking for them.

Linemen Joe Savali (6-foot, 280 pounds) and Freddy Tuuamalemalo (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) also return for the Wildcats.

Last season the Taft defense limited opponents to just 14.7 points per game. In addition to Royal, the defense has Gant coming back at the linebacker position. Last year Gant recorded 86 tackles and three sacks.

“We need to replace a great group of seniors, but the cupboards aren’t bare,” Sprague said. “Expect the Cats to go deep into the playoffs.”

Tehachapi
2009 Record: 10-3 (4-1)
2009 Scoring: 27.8 PFpg, 16.6 PApg

The Warriors lost the majority of their dominant rushing attack, which gained 3,402 yards on the ground. But they bring back promising rusher Phil Rhodes who rushed for 375 yards and three touchdowns on an 8.0 yards-per-carry average.

Tehachapi also has a reliable target in tight end Travis Farewell, who accounted for 331 of the Warriors’ 625 receiving yards and six of their nine receiving touchdowns.

Defensive lineman Cameron King was second on the team with 106 tackles and also chipped in 2.5 sacks. Linebackers Cory Lange and Adam Bullard each picked off three passes a year ago.

Wasco
2009 Record: 8-3 (4-1)
2009 Scoring: 30.5 PFpg, 17.0 PApg

The traditionally strong Wasco rushing game might be even more powerful than usual in 2010 with running backs Quentin Cheatham and Michael Martinez coming back. Last season Cheatham led the team with 1,699 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground, while Martinez added 502 yards and nine touchdowns, as only a sophomore.

As a whole, the Tigers averaged 334.8 rushing yards per game and 7.2 yards per carry.

Safety Chris Rocha will lead a defense that gave up only 17.0 points per game.

Central Valley Football » Arvin, Bakersfield Christian, High School Football, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco » South Sequoia Preview — Arvin, Bakersfield Christian, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco

Filed under: Arvin, Bakersfield Christian, High School Football, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco