Articles Comments

West Sierra League preview — Avenal, Dos Palos, Firebaugh, Mendota, Tranquilty

West Sierra League Season Preview in alphabetical order. Be sure to vote for the 2010 Preseason WSL Player of the Year in the poll to the right.

Avenal
2009 Record: 1-9 (0-4)
2009 Scoring: 7.2 PFpg, 49.2 PApg

The Buccaneers will need to improve in just about every facet of the game — 7.2 points for per game and 49.2 points against per game.

One bright spot is running back/linebacker Kaleo Lopez, who led the team in rushing (610 yards) and tackles (79) and tied for the team lead in sacks (two). All-league DB Christian Velasco should also help stiffen up that defense.

Dos Palos
2009 Record: 6-6 (4-2)
2009 Scoring: 21.25 PFpg, 21.5 PApg

The Broncos put together a 6-6 record in 2009, after combining for just seven wins in 2007 and 2008. But four of those wins were in league action and they had a chance to win the North Sequoia League, but was routed by Washington Union 42-14.

Dos Palos will bring back starting quarterback Ryan Yriarte, who has three years of varsity experience and will look lead the Broncos past that .500 for the first time in four years.

Four other three-year varsity players return for Dos Palos, in RB/LB Kevin Schofield, TE/DL Shawn Demmers, C Travis Martin and RB/DB David Quiroz.

Broncos head coach Mike Sparks cites “Experience, hard work, intelligences and toughness,” as their key attributes, with their entire starting offense and seven defensive starters returning from last year’s squad.

Firebaugh
2009 Record: 5-6 (2-2)
2009 Scoring: 23.1 PFpg, 27.9 PApg

The Firebaugh defense looks to be much improved with the majority of its starters returning. The 2009 West Sierra League Lineman of the Year Wyatt McBee will lead the defense. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior had five sacks a year ago. Also joining McBee in the trenches is all-league nose guard Brian Cervantes.

The linebacking core is led by all-league backer Chris Aguayo and returning starter Jose Sanchez. The secondary brings back three starters in Carlos Ramos, Jorge Saldana and Francisco Godoy.

In addition to playing defense, Ramos is the starting running back and will look to make the Eagle offense even more explosive in 2010. Rene Cervantes, Jobani Arambula and Juan Garcia will round out the running back stable.

Blocking for Ramos and crew will be all-league O-lineman Chris Aguayo and 6-foot-4, 240-pound Felipe Rodriguez.

Senior Jorge Saldana has been named the starting quarterback, but he will be pushed by Raul Lopez and Ricky Hurt, who was All-WSL in basketball and baseball last school year.

The Eagles also bring back a special teams extraordinaire in Jobani Arambula, who recorded 15 tackles and two fumble recoveries in 2009.

“The 2010 Eagle football season is full of expectations,” head coach Bill Magnusson said. “We are committed to our mission, communicate it to others and we will demonstrate character.”

Mendota
2009 Record: 6-6 (3-1)
2009 Scoring: 21.3 PFpg, 22.8 PApg

With back-to-back 3-1 marks in league play in 2008 and 2009, the Aztecs are hoping 2010 will be their breakthrough year for the West Sierra League title.

Mendota brings back its two leading rushers in Estefan Velasco (967 yards) and Rafael Cervantes (653 yards), who led a powerful rushing attack that averaged 220.0 yards per game in 2009. But Aztec head coach Mike Daniel is quick to remind his backs they aren’t doing it on their own.

“They would not be gaining much yardage though if it wasn’t for our offensive lineman led by center/guard Juan Medina,” Daniel said. “Tony Gamez, Alfonso Perez, Jacob Torres, Martin Maravilla, Lelis Gamez and a few others are going to play a major role in the offensive line this season.

It also doesn’t hurt to have leading receiver and a three-year start returning in tight end/wide receiver Julian Almanza (375 yards and two touchdowns).

On defense the Aztecs will look for big plays in a defensive backfield consisting of Oscar Navarro, Sergio Chavez, Alex Estrada and Armando Lua. Daniels will also look for major contributions on defense from players who led the Aztec’s 2009 J.V. squad to a 10-0 record, such as Alfredo Muratalla and Omar Cisneros.

Daniel may have summed up the West Sierra League best by saying, “Our whole league is going to be tough. Many of us have similar styles and athletes so it’s going to come down to who wants it more.”

Tranquility
2009 Record: 8-3 (4-0)
2009 Scoring: 29.1 PFpg, 17.1 PApg

The Tigers have morphed from cellar-dwellers (back-to-back 1-9 season in 2006 and 2007) to one of the premier teams in Division VI (10-3 in 2008 and 8-3 in 2009 with a West Sierra League title).

Tranquility will usher in a new ear with head coach Del Hawkins taking over the reigns in 2010. He is a former Fresno State Bulldog and assistant at Kerman

Athletic quarterback/defensive back Omar Flores will lead the Tigers on both sides of the ball.

The Tigers will hang their hat on a defense that allowed just 17.1 points per game last year.

Central Valley Football » Avenal, Dos Palos, Firebaugh, High School Football, Mendota, Tranquility » West Sierra League preview — Avenal, Dos Palos, Firebaugh, Mendota, Tranquilty

Filed under: Avenal, Dos Palos, Firebaugh, High School Football, Mendota, Tranquility