Class 2A League Breakdown & Predictions (Colorado, Flatirons, Intermountain)
I have decided to only do 3 or 4 leagues at a time instead of the full 7 leagues. I am going to breakdown the league then at the end predict my champion and playoff contenders.
No changes from last year to this year within the Colorado League. Last year the Colorado League had just 1 team in the State Playoffs and that was Kent Denver. The League Champion last year was Kent Denver with Englewood in second and Machebeuf in third. We will kick off with the bottom half of the league starting with Riverdale Ridge. Riverdale Ridge played their first season of 2A football and went 0-8. Their closest game was against Arvada losing 39-21 and to Alameda 40-21. Riverdale Ridge will return nearly every player with just 1 senior, 0 juniors and the rest are sophomore and freshman. Riverdale Ridge should improve heading into year two but their offense must get things figured out. Riverdale Ridge only posted stats for 5 games but they should improve this year. Alameda finished 5th in league last year going 2-7. Alameda had to do a bit of rebuilding last year and are still losing 13 seniors from last year’s team. Alameda should return the core of their offensive line but will need to find a QB to run the offense. Look for Ray Martinez to step into that role and Alameda must also find a RB. Defensively Alameda returns 7 of their 11 top tacklers and this unit should improve from last year. Ridgeview Academy finished 4th last year going 3-6 but were blasted by Englewood and Kent Denver. Ridge View Academy did not have any stats or roster posted from last year’s team. We will see how they do this year. Machebeuf will kick off the top three from last year and I think Machebeuf will stick in the top 3 again this year as well. Machebeuf is hoping with the amount of talent returning they can jump into the top 2 and I think they have a chance. Machebeuf loses just 4 seniors from last year’s team. Machebeuf does lose offensive linemen at least 3 three of them. Machebeuf does return QB Ryan Schmitt and RB Darius Richards. Defensively Machebeuf returns 7 of their top 11 tacklers and this unit should improve. Englewood finished second in league last year going 7-2 but missed the playoffs due to their low RPI. Englewood returns a ton of talent from last year’s. Only 1 possible offensive linemen graduates and their main RB graduates as well. Englewood returns the core of their offensive line and QB Mason Robertson who has a chance to be player of the year. RB will be a hole that must be filled. Defensively Englewood returns 9 of their 11 top tacklers and I expect this unit to be a Top 10 defense this year. Last year’s League Champion is Kent Denver and they are losing a great senior class losing at least 4 offensive linemen, their QB, and RB. This could be a bit of a rebuilding/retooling year for Kent Denver. At QB I expect to see sophomore Blake Wheeler and at RB Miles Adams. Defensively Kent Denver returns just 3 of their 11 top tacklers. Kent Denver will have to quickly get things together.
My predictions for the Colorado League
League Champion: Englewood
Playoff Contenders: Englewood, Kent Denver, Machebeuf
Dark Horse: Machebeuf (Could they jump into the top 2 or win the league)
Player of the League: Mason Robertson QB Englewood
Others to watch for: Darius Richard RB Machebeuf
No Changes from last year to this year in the Flatirons league. Faith Christian was your League Champion last year with D’Evelyn in second and Bennett in third. We will kick off are league breakdown with Denver West. Denver West went 1-8 last year and finished last in the Flatirons league. Denver West loses 9 seniors from last year’s team but will return their offensive line from last year. Offensively they will be looking to replace their QB from last year. Top rusher Troy Miller does return to anchor the offense. Defensively Denver West must improve, and they also don’t have updated stats. Arvada finished 5th in the Flatirons league going 3-6 overall. Arvada will be returning some talent from their team last year with 11 seniors graduating. Arvada also losses 3 or possibly 4 offensive linemen. Arvada did not really keep stats this year so it’s tough to see what is returning or what is not returning. Middle Park kicks off 1 of 4 teams I think have a shot to make the playoffs or at least contend for a playoff spot. Middle Park went 5-4 last year with just 6 seniors graduating. 2 offensive linemen will be graduating but the core will remain in place. QB Gabe Loberg will return and Middle Park must find a replacement at RB to help the offense. Defensively 7 of their 11 top tacklers return. Middle Park should improve this year especially with core pieces coming back. The question is can they jump one of the next 3 teams. Bennett went 5-4 in their first season in 2A. They finished third in league last year. Bennett does lose a big senior class with 12 seniors graduating. Their offensive line will have a few holes with 3 or 4 starters graduating. Bennett is a power running team and will return leading rusher Mac Copeland and #3 rusher Jordan Despues. QB Mikey Babi also returns but the biggest question mark for Bennett will be their offensive line. Defensively Bennett returns 6 of their 11 top tacklers including their leading tackler. Bennett had a top 15 defense last year and improving to the top 10 could help them improve as a team this year. D’Evelyn went 7-3 last year and made the playoffs. D’Evelyn losses a big senior class of 16. D’Evelyn will have a few holes on the offensive line to replace with possible three starter graduating but plenty of depth coming up next year. Offensively a new QB takes over with Junior Shane Bishop taking over. RB is another position that must be filled but look for Camden Jahr to fill that position. D’Evelyn biggest thing this year will be leadership. D’Evelyn is only returning 4 of their 11 top tacklers but leadership is key to defense. Faith Christian went 9-3 last year and is your league champion. Faith Christian losses just 7 seniors from last year’s team but some key pieces did leave. The offensive line losses 3 possibly 4 starters and their top rusher also graduates. The big piece coming back will be QB Isaiah Kroll who is a 4-year starter. Erick Granados should also fill the hole at RB. Offensive line is my biggest concern for Faith Christian on offense. Defensively Faith Christian returns 8 of their top 11 tacklers. Faith Christian was the 6th best defense last year but I expect them to be a Top 3 defense this year.
My predictions for the Flatirons League
League Champion: Faith Christian
Playoff Contenders: Faith Christian, D’Evelyn, Bennett, Middle Park
Dark Horse: Middle Park (Can they jump into the top 3 and qualify for the playoffs)
Player of the League: Isaiah Kroll QB Faith Christian
Others to watch for: QB Gabe Loberg Middle Park, RB Mac Copeland Bennett, RB Eric Granados Faith Christian, LB Michael Osgood Faith Christian, LB Cameron Conger Middle Park,
The Intermountain League last year was very competitive and came down to the wire on who was getting into the playoffs. 4 of the 5 teams got into the playoffs I don’t see that happening again this year, but this should be a very completive league again. We will start with the lone team that didn’t qualify for that playoffs last year. Pagosa Springs was the lone team left out of the playoffs finishing 17th in the RPI. Pagosa Springs hit a rough patch at the end of the year losing three straight games. Pagosa Springs loses just 6 seniors from last year’s team and possibly just 2 offensive linemen. The big hole to fill will be at QB and a #2 rusher. Pagosa Springs does return leading rusher Paden Bailey but must find some other rushers. Defensively Pagosa Springs returns 5 of their 11 top tacklers. Pagosa Springs will have holes to fill but could still be fighting for a playoff spot again this year. Montezuma-Cortez was a bit of a dark horse last year going 4-6 and getting into the playoffs. Cortez losses a good senior class of 12 including most of the offensive line. Montezuma-Cortez will be in rebuilding mode this year with a new QB and RB. Defensively Montezuma-Cortez will also only return 2 of their 11 top tacklers and I just see this team taking a step back this year. Alamosa went 4-5 last year and got into the playoffs. I expected Alamosa to possibly finish higher, but their offense just couldn’t get going. Alamosa this year has a new head coach and could help rejuvenate this offense. Alamosa is losing a big senior class of 15+ including most of their offensive linemen. Alex Ulibarri, and Austin Trujillo will have to step up this year to lead this unit. At QB look for Brendon Madril to take over and at RB look for Ian Jackson to step up there. Defensively Alamosa was hit hard by graduation but expect Cash Mueller and Kane Absmeier to step up. Salida went 9-2 last year and finished second in the IML. Salida was hit hard by graduation losing 14 seniors. Salida will have to rebuild their offensive line but look for Keegan Piencikowski and Trevor Lucero to lead this group. Salida does return signal caller Zayne Walker but the RB position will need someone to step up. Look for Ben Fuller to fill this hole. Defensively Salida returns just 3 of their 11 top tacklers but Salida seems to always play tough defense. Salida has holes to fill like most teams in the IML. Bayfield went 8-2 last year to win the IML. Bayfield was hit hard by graduation once again losing 19 seniors. Bayfield offensive line lost 4 of their 5 starters. Bayfield must also find a new QB and RB. Dylan Hilliker looked like the big piece coming back but an injury may have slowed that plan. Bayfield defensively returns just 2 of their 11 top tacklers. Honestly the IML is completely up in the air and it just depends which team can build their team chemistry quickly.
My predictions for the Intermountain League
League Champion: Salida
Playoff Contenders: Alamosa, Pagosa Springs, Bayfield
Dark Horse: Alamosa (Can Alamosa finally put it all together and win the IML)
Player of the League: QB/RB Brendon Madril Alamosa
Others to watch for: QB Zayne Walker Salida, RB/QB Ian Jackson Alamosa, QB/RB Paden Bailey, RB Ben Fuller Salida, FS Cash Mueller Alamosa, DE Mitch Lewis Pagosa Springs, LB Jesse Camp Salida