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Foothill League predictions

Posted: August 28, 2014 10:36 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2014 10:36 p.m.
Valencia wide reciever/defensive back Jay Jay Wilson will be one of the Foothill League's players to watch. Jonathan Pobre/For The Signal Valencia wide reciever/defensive back Jay Jay Wilson will be one of the Foothill League's players to watch. Jonathan Pobre/For The Signal
Valencia wide reciever/defensive back Jay Jay Wilson will be one of the Foothill League's players to watch. Jonathan Pobre/For The Signal

The 2014 SCV High School Football Preview was so jam-packed we didn’t have room for the Signal Staff’s 2014 Foothill League predictions.

So here’s the bulletin board material for 2014:

Dan Agnew

1. Hart: In high school football, one extraordinarily talented player can take you a long way. Hart has two, quarterback Brady White and wide receiver Trent Irwin. Say what you want about the rest of the roster, this offense will be unstoppable.

2. Valencia: Offensively, Valencia is probably a notch better than last year. Defensively, we all know they’ll be fine no matter how many starters they need to replace. The only reason Valencia is No. 2 on this list is the fact that Hart stands in the way.

3. Canyon: I’m continuing the theme of assuming a select number of very talented players will carry Canyon to the playoffs. Liam Cabrera, Israel Cabrera and Myron McAfee come to mind. In the end, there’s too little experience at quarterback and elsewhere for Canyon to finish higher in the standings.

4. Saugus: This is year three of the Chris Hamilton-led offense, and it will be prolific. My concern is that the inexperienced defense won’t be able to keep the premier offenses in this league at bay.

5. West Ranch: This may be the least experienced team in the Foothill League, and this team has struggled against the top end of the league in recent years.

6. Golden Valley: Could first-year head coach Dan Kelley be the savior of Golden Valley football? Maybe. But I don’t think it’s going to happen all at once. We could very well see another close game between Golden Valley and West Ranch.

Jon Stein

1. Hart: Many on the Indians’ roster may have a CIF-Southern Section division championship under their belts, but what none of these guys have is a Foothill League title, with Hart winless in that category since 2007. That changes this year, as no defense in the league will be able to stop the tandem of Brady White and Trent Irwin.

2. Valencia: The Vikings offense shouldn’t lose a beat with Cole Parkinson taking over under center. And wide receiver/defensive back Jay Jay Wilson will stand out as one of the league’s best players. But the combination won’t be enough for the Vikings’ to win a sixth-straight league title.

3. Canyon: Canyon loses quarterback and Foothill League Player of the Year Cade Apsay, and there will without a doubt be a drop off this season. Canyon beat Hart to close out the 2013 season, but don’t count on that happening again.

4. Saugus: The Centurions have the talent to compete, but a lack of experience on the defensive side of the ball, magnified by the talent on offense in the Foothill League, creates a large question mark. Saugus might make the playoffs as an at-large, but a top-three finish seems unlikely.

5. Golden Valley: There’s no logical reason this will be the year Golden Valley ends its 39-game Foothill League winless streak. It has a first-year head coach, rookie quarterback and brand new offense. But this group has rallied around coach Dan Kelly and his spread offense. The Grizzlies may just have what it takes to knock off the Wildcats and win their first-ever Foothill Game.

6. West Ranch: The Wildcats return quarterback Chase Killingsworth, but an inexperienced defense could cost them in Foothill League play. The juniors on the team lost soundly to the Grizzlies last season at the junior varsity level, and could do so again. This is a team in an odd position, as it could just as easily finish here as it could be in playoff position.

Cary Osborne

1. Valencia: A team is much more than two and I think the Vikings have the best collection of talent in the Foothill League. Valencia head coach Larry Muir has told me for a year that Cole Parkinson is special and the running backs should make the Vikings more explosive. Defense should be good enough so I believe its the Vikings with a sixth straight Foothill title.

2. Hart: It’s a shame that Hart doesn’t have more veterans surrounding Brady White and Trent Irwin because with a couple more pieces, this could be one of the special teams in SCV history. Just too much inexperience here. Hart will be great, but it won’t be the best.

3. Canyon: The separator here is defense, and I think Canyon’s identity is first and foremost defense. I could see Canyon and Saugus battling to a 13-10 game. Canyon will have a tough defense and just enough offense to be the third Foothill League team to make the playoffs.

4. Saugus: I want to believe in Saugus. I want to believe quarterback Chris Hamilton has a big season. I want to believe the defense will regroup after a slew of graduations. I want to believe. But I can’t. I just feel like Saugus will lose too many close games.

5. West Ranch: I’m intrigued by the Wildcats’ offensive and defensive lines and experience at the quarterback position gives them the edge over Golden Valley in a very close call for me.

6. Golden Valley: I was so close to picking Golden Valley over West Ranch, but thinking deeply about the matchup, the Grizzlies have so many unknowns and until they prove they can close games, I can’t pick them to win their first Foothill game. Now if they close out teams in pre-league play and West Ranch starts the season slow, I may have to rethink this pick.

Matt Lechuga

1. Valencia: It’s hard to argue with a team that has won five straight Foothill League titles, especially with players like Jay Jay Wilson and Stone Jackson returning. The Vikings will have to fill some holes on the defensive line, but they’ll still be strong enough for a sixth straight league title.

2. Hart: The Indians’ combo of Brady White and Trent Irwin are getting all the attention, and for good reason. The rest of the offensive skill players are relatively unknown, but White is a good enough quarterback to put them in a position to make a play.

3. Canyon: Last season’s second-place finisher in the Foothill League brings back some significant pieces in Liam and Israel Cabrera, Myron McAfee and Austin Barry. Replacing Cade Apsay is near impossible, but the Cowboys have enough talent on the offensive side of the ball to make the transition easier.

4. Saugus: Third-year quarterback Chris Hamilton is back for one last year along with workhorse Marc Langford. The offense will be good, the defense is a mystery. The only reason Saugus doesn’t take the No. 3 spot is because of the inexperience on the defensive side of the ball.

5. West Ranch: The Wildcats return starting quarterback Chase Killingsworth, but their strengths will be the offensive and defensive line. But there are still too many unanswered questions on both sides of the ball, meaning West Ranch will probably finish 1-4 in league play for the fourth straight year.

6. Golden Valley: The Grizzlies might have to wait another year to pick up their first Foothill League win. With a new head coach, new quarterback and new offensive system, there’s too much turnover and inexperience for Golden Valley to top any of it’s league opponents.

Player of the Year predictions

Agnew: Hart QB Brady White

Osborne: Hart QB Brady White

Stein: Hart QB Brady White


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