2A League Breakdown

Class 2A League Breakdown & Predictions (Patriot East, Patriot West, Tri-Peaks, Western Slope)

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Class 2A League Breakdown & Predictions (Patriot East, Patriot West, Tri-Peaks, Western Slope)

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.

Patriot East League

The Patriot East League was split in half with three teams fighting for the title and the bottom three teams where a combined 4-27.  It will be interesting to see if anything changes this year with some talented players graduating.  Fort Lupton went 1-8 last year and 0-5 in league.  13 seniors are graduating from Fort Lupton teams with possibly 3 offensive linemen graduating.  Fort Lupton will have some holes at the skill positions with the QB and top rusher graduating.  Look for Joseph Welch to step in at RB but a new QB will be a big concern.  Defensively Fort Lupton returns 5 of their 11 top tacklers but leadership must be found.  It may be a year before Fort Lupton makes a move up the standings.  Weld Central went 1-8 last year and 1-4 in league with their lone with over Fort Lupton.  Weld Central loses a big senior class of 17 with possibly their entire offensive line graduating.  An even bigger class of upcoming seniors will have some holes to fill and it will be interesting to see how Weld Central plays this year.  Weld Central does return both QB’s that took snaps Taggyrt Moses and Kolby Olivas.  Defensively 7 of their 11 top tacklers return and Weld Central defense should be much improved this year.  Weld Central returns their top 3 tacklers and some much-needed leadership.  I think Weld Central will improve this year but how much is the question.  Valley went 2-7 last year and 2-3 in league with both wins over Fort Lupton and Weld Central.  Valley is hoping to get back over .500 and losing just 7 seniors will help.  With just 2 offensive linemen graduating Valley should return a solid core on the offensive line.  Valley returns QB Servando Perez who had a solid first year at QB and RB Jeff Gore also returns for what should be an improved Valley offense.  Defensively Valley will have a few holes to fill but they do return their leading tackler Jeff Gore and 6 of their 11 top tacklers.  I think leadership is key for the defensive side of the ball for Valley.  Brush finished third in the Patriot East going 4-5 and 3-2 in league.  I expected Brush to take a big step last season but winning just 1 non-league game hurt their shot at the playoffs.  Brush will have some key pieces to replace with 13 seniors graduating.  Brush is possibly losing 4 or 5 linemen and will put pressure on replacing those linemen.  Brush does return RB Nick Wellen and QB Alejandro Maltos-Garcia.  Defensively Brush returns their leading tackler Nick Wellen and 6 of their 11 top tacklers.  Brush could be a team to watch but holes on the line make it tough.  Sterling went 5-4 last year and 4-1 in league and like Brush just won 1 non-league game.  Sterling at times showed flashes and seeing now if Sterling can move into the playoffs is key.  Sterling is losing 15 seniors to graduation with 4 or possibly 5 offensive linemen graduating.  Zach Busmente and others will have to step up on the offensive line.  Sterling does return a big piece of the offense in QB Brock Shalla.  Defensively Sterling will return 5 of their 11 top tacklers but do return leading tackler Zach Busmente.  Sterling has some holes to fill but leadership at QB will help this team.  Last year’s league champion was Platte Valley and they went 12-1 and 5-0 in league.  Platte Valley also reached the state championship and came up just short 7-3.  Platte Valley will have some holes to fill of course with 9 seniors graduating.  Possibly 4 offensive linemen are graduating but look for Nehamia Santa Cruz and Gryphin Hooper to step up on the offensive line.  The skill position was hit hard by graduation losing starting QB Trevon Wehrman.  Look for Kade McDaniel to step into that role at QB.  RB was also hit hard by graduation, but Josh Yancy should fill that hole.  Platte Valley biggest strength coming back will be their defense.  Platte Valley returns 8 of their 11 top tacklers with leading tacklers Josh Yancy and Alberto Perez returning.  My prediction is Platte Valley in 1st, Sterling in 2nd, Valley in 3rd, and Brush in 4th.

My predictions for the Patriot East League

League Champion: Platte Valley

Playoff Contenders: Platte Valley, Sterling, Valley, Brush

Dark Horse: Valley (A lot of talent returning we could see Valley move into the Top 3 and maybe push for a playoff spot)

Player of the League: QB Brock Shalla Sterling

Others to watch for: RB Nick Wellen Brush, QB Servando Perez Valley, QB Alejandro Maltos-Garcia Brush, DB/RB/WR Josh Yancy Platte Valley, LB Alberto Perez Platte Valley, Bernardo Chavez Weld Central, RB/LB Jeff Gore

Patriot West

The Patriot West was one of the most competitive league in Class 2A with 4 of the 6 teams finishing with record over .500 and 3 teams making it into the playoffs.  It will be interesting to see if the League remains as competitive this year.  Prospect Ridge went 1-8 and 0-5 in league last year.  Prospect Ridge losses 13 seniors from last year’s team but only 2 offensive linemen.  James Luehr and Duston Nguyen should help lead this unit.  Prospect Ridge will though have to find a new QB and new RB with a lot of skill players leaving.  Defensively Prospect Ridge will return 6 of their 11 top tacklers.  I think Prospect Ridge will improve from last year, but we will see how much.  The Academy went 3-6 last year and just 1-4 in league.  The Academy is losing 17 seniors including most of their offensive linemen.  The Academy must find players to step up on the offensive line.  The Academy does return QB Brandon Boston and if they can get a solid line this offense could be dangerous.  The Academy defensively returns 6 of their 11 top tacklers but return their leading two tacklers.  The Academy will have success if their offensive line materializes.  University went 5-4 last year and 3-2 in league and just missed the playoffs finishing inside the Top 20 RPI.  University will be losing 11 seniors to graduation but only 2 offensive linemen.  University will have their core on the offensive line back and Emanuel Munoz Alcala and Trevor Ballew must lead this unit.  University also returns key skill players with QB Chayden Cox coming back but he must have an improved season this year also RB Sam Custer returns as well.  University defensively returns 6 of their 11 top tacklers but are losing some leadership.  Sam Custer will have to step up to lead the defensive unit and I think University could be a playoff threat again this year.  Berthoud played their first year of 2A Football and went 6-4 overall and 3-2 in league.  Berthoud has a new head coach heading into the 2019 season.  Berthoud could take a bit of a step back this year losing 20 seniors and most of the starting offensive line.  At the skill position’s they are also hurting with QB/RB Jake Lozinski graduating and Brennen Garvin Transferring.  More than likely Sam Baird will step into the QB position.  Cooper Stratmeyer will move into the RB position this year for Berthoud.  Defensively Berthoud has just 3 of their 11 top tacklers returning.  I am just not sure what Berthoud has coming back and will make them interesting to watch.  Eaton went 6-4 overall last year and 3-2 in league to qualify for the playoffs.  Eaton is losing 9 seniors to graduation with possibly all 5 starters on the offensive line graduating.  Eaton does have some size coming back with Hector Magana and Garrett Bean needing to step up.  Eaton also returns QB Scott Grable who performed well in his first year at QB.  Eaton will have to find a new #1 RB but look for Gage Butler and Salvador Rojas to fill that position.  Defensively Eaton will have some holes to fill and are returning just 4 of their top 11 tacklers.  Derek Renfroe and Spencer Renfroe must step up to lead this unit.  Leadership will be key for Eaton this year.  Last year’s league champion was Resurrection Christian and they went 11-1 overall and 5-0 in league.  Resurrection Christian is losing a talented senior class of 15.  On the offensive line they are losing possibly 3 or 4 starters on the offensive line.  Tyler Prebish and Holden Tatman will have to anchor this offensive line this year.  QB Buck Coors returns and will provide leadership for this offense.  Resurrection Christian will have to find a new RB but look for Colton Stahla to move into that spot.  Defensively Resurrection Christian returns 5 of their 11 top tacklers but should have leadership with Tanner Applebee and Sawyer Shepherd returning.  Resurrection Christian always seems to play tough defense so this unit should still be tough.  My predictions for finishing order is: 1st Resurrection Christian, 2nd Eaton, 3rd University, 4th Berthoud

My predictions for the Patriot West League

League Champion: Resurrection Christian

Playoff Contenders: Resurrection Christian, Eaton, University, Berthoud

Dark Horse: Berthoud (We just don’t know enough about Berthoud and they could have plenty of talent coming back to hold onto a Top 3 spot)

Player of the League: QB Buck Coors Resurrection Christian

Others to watch for: QB Scott Grable Eaton, QB Brandon Boston The Academy, QB Sam Baird Berthoud, RB Gage Butler Eaton, RB Sam Custer University, QB Chayden Cox University, LB Tanner Applebee Resurrection Christian, MLB Seth Hagan Prospect Ridge,

Tri-Peaks League

For the first time in a while the Tri-Peaks had just 1 team make the playoffs and that was La Junta, but they did win the State Championship.  The Tri-Peaks this year should have more than 1 team in the playoffs and will be interesting to see.  Woodland Park went 0-9 last year and 0-5 in league.  Woodland Park played their first year of 2A football but not as much success as they wanted.  Woodland Park does lose just 10 seniors from last year’s team but possibly 3 starters on the offensive line.  Woodland Park will have big shoes to fill at QB but look for Colin Kucera and Braden Roskam to compete for that spot.  Woodland Park does return RB Elliott Patterson who must lead this team.  What I think will be the biggest improvement for Woodland Park will be their defense.  Woodland Park returns 8 of their 11 top tacklers including their leading tackler Colton Simonis.  We will see if Woodland Park can get a victory this year.  Manitou Springs went 3-6 overall and 1-4 in league.  Manitou Springs is hoping to get back to their winning ways after a tough season last year.  Manitou Springs will have talent coming back with just 10 seniors graduating.  Manitou Springs will have some holes to fill on the offensive line but should have a decent core back.  At the Skill positions they will be looking for a new QB but look for sophomore Tate Christian to fill that hole.  RB is another position that must be filled but look for Dominick Pearson to step up.  Defensively Manitou Springs will return 5 of their top 11 tacklers but will need to find leadership with their top 5 tacklers graduating.  Manitou Springs could be one year away from really making noise.  Elizabeth was a team I expected to make it to the playoffs last year but a loss to Lamar kept them out of the playoffs.  Elizabeth finished the year at 5-4 and 3-2 overall.  Elizabeth is losing a good senior class with 14 seniors graduating.  The offensive line for Elizabeth should be in decent shape with just 2 or 3 offensive linemen graduating.  Simmons Morgan and Cole Morse are two players who must step up for Elizabeth this year on the offensive line.  At the skill positions Elizabeth is hurting with their QB graduating and RB Reece Ullery graduating.  Defensively Elizabeth will return 6 of their 11 top tacklers and this unit may be needed to hold things down early until the offense gets going.  The Classical Academy went 4-5 last year and missed the playoffs.  TCA will now be looking to get back to the playoffs.  TCA offensive line was hurt by graduation losing possibly 4 starters, but TCA has plenty of size coming back with at least 3 players of 225 lbs on the line.  TCA will have to find a QB this year, but they will have #2 RB Hunter Christopherson coming back.  Defensively TCA must have players step up with just 3 of their 11 top tacklers coming back.  Cole Palmer will have to become the leader of this unit.  Lamar went 4-5 overall and 3-2 in league.  Lamar just missed out on the playoffs and this year are hoping to get back.  Lamar will need some players to step up and be leaders with 11 seniors graduating.  The offensive line will have a few holes with 3 linemen to replace.  Look for Sy Spitz and Rigo Yanez to step up and become leaders on the offensive line.  QB Zane Rankin returns for Lamar, he is a duel threat QB but must lower his INT’s this season.  RB Walker Kee also returns and this offensive unit should be very good.  Defensively Lamar returns 6 of their 11 top tacklers but return their leading tacklers Gabe Estrada and Jesus Gonzalez.  I think Lamar has a chance at the playoffs, but leadership is key.  La Junta won the Tri-Peaks League and Won the Class 2A State Title.  La Junta is losing a great senior class of 10 including some key offensive linemen and QB Jon Nuschy.  The offensive linemen returning will have to step up but look for Syrus Carillo, Francisco Naputi, and Ryan Metzger to fill holes left on the line.  QB is the one position that will be the hardest to fill and only one other player to reps and that was Nathan Frankmore.  RB La Junta should have plenty of talent coming back with Antonio Chavez and Ryan Malden coming back.  I think with the style La Junta plays their offense should be just fine.  Defensively this unit will be extremely tough.  La Junta returns 7 of their 11 top tacklers including their leading tacklers Kyle Keck and Mitch Peabody.  I think La Junta defense will be a top 3 defense yet again.  My prediction for order is: 1st La Junta, 2nd Lamar, 3rd The Classical Academy, 4th Elizabeth.

My predictions for the Tri-Peaks League

League Champion: La Junta

Playoff Contenders: La Junta, Lamar, Classical Academy, Elizabeth

Dark Horse: Elizabeth (It will be interesting to see what Elizabeth returns and if they can compete for a Top 3 spot)

Player of the League: QB Zane Rankin Lamar

Others to watch for: RB Antonio Chavez La Junta, RB Walker Kee Lamar, RB Ryan Malden La Junta, LB Colton Simonis, LB Kyle Keck, LB Gabe Estrada, LB Cole Palmer

Western Slope League

The Western Slope League has slowly become one of the toughest leagues in Class 2A and crazy how a couple years ago they were just getting one team into the State Playoffs.  Last Year 4 of the 6 teams from the Western Slope League got into the playoffs and most performed well in their games.  Coal Ridge went 1-8 overall and 0-5 in league.  Coal Ridge had a tough season last year winning just 1 game and are losing 14 seniors from last year’s team.  Possibly the entire offensive line is graduating, and some younger kids will have to step up.  Coal Ridge will have QB Karsen Dubios coming back and RB Damian Spell.  Defensively Coal Ridge is returning 5 of their 11 top tacklers and this unit must improve from last year.  Coal Ridge may be a year out from competing again for a league title.  Moffat County is the other team who didn’t qualify for the playoffs last year and they went 3-6 overall and 1-4 in league.  Moffat County is losing 11 seniors from last year’s team with possibly 3 or 4 starters on the offensive line graduating.  Moffat County will look to the upcoming Junior and Sophomore class to fill those holes.  Moffat County will be looking for a new QB.  Moffat county does return RB Kevin Hernandez and he will be the leader of the offense.  Defensively Moffat County will have some holes to fill with just 5 of their top 11 tacklers returning.  Leadership will be key for Moffat County.  Aspen kicks of the 1st of 4 teams who made the playoffs last year.  Aspen went 6-4 overall and 3-2 in league.  Aspen is losing 10 seniors to graduation, but this team is returning a lot of talent.  The offensive line will have a couple holes to fill with just 2 offensive linemen graduating.  The offensive line will have to really step up this year and if they can watch out.  Aspen returns POY Canidate Tyler Ward who threw for over 2200 yards and having his leadership will be big.  At RB Trey Fabrocini also returns and WR Max Ufkes will return as well.  Defensively we don’t know much about Aspen due to no stats being posted.  Delta went 6-4 overall and 3-2 in league.  Delta loses just 5 seniors from last year’s team, but they were key players.  Delta on the offensive line will have to find replacements for 3 starters.  Sheldon Cox, Dakota Griffith, Odin Higgs, and Ethan Lawrence should anchor this offensive line.  Another big key for Delta is for QB Nolan Bynum.  He must stay health and he will threat for POY as well.  Delta also returns leading RB Cody Sauve and WR Skyler Kraai.  Delta defensively will be a big reason why they improve this year. Delta returns 8 of their 11 top tacklers but lose leadership with their top two tacklers graduating.  Delta will be a team to watch for this year with the talent coming back.  Basalt went 9-2 overall and 4-1 in league.  Basalt is losing a good senior class with 13 seniors graduating.  A lot of leadership was lost from this team and Basalt could take a bit of a step back.  Possibly 4 starters on the offensive line are graduating.  I see this team taking a year to reload on the offensive line with a lot of upcoming Junior this year.  A new QB and RB must be developed this year.  Defensively Basalt is losing 9 of their top 11 tacklers and this unit will have some rebuilding to do.  Like I said Basalt I think will be rebuilding this year but look out for them next year.  Rifle went 9-2 overall and 4-1 in league in their first year of Class 2A Football.  Rifle is losing 11 seniors to graduation, but key players are leaving.  Rifle is losing possibly 4 starters on the offensive line but look for some of the upcoming seniors to step into those positions.  QB Holden Stutsman returns for Rifle this year but must lower his INT’s.  A big player that Rifle must replace is RB Tanner Vines.  Look for Levi Warfel to step into that position along with Talon Cordova.  Defensively Rifle returns 6 of their 11 top tacklers but are losing they two leading tacklers and leaders.  Look for Kenny Tlaxcala and Levi Warfel to step up as leaders for this defense.  Rifle should not take much of a step back this year and should just reload for another push.  My predictions of the order is: 1st Delta, 2nd Aspen, 3rd Rifle, 4th Basalt

My predictions for the Western Slope League

League Champion: Delta

Playoff Contenders: Delta, Aspen, Rifle

Dark Horse: Rifle (They lose a good senior class and some key pieces to their team but how well do they reload and push for another league crown)

Player of the League: QB Tyler Ward Aspen

Others to watch for: QB Nolan Bynum, RB Levi Warfel Rifle, RB Cody Sauve Delta, RB Trey Fabrocini Aspen, RB Kevin Hernandez Moffat County, WR Max Ufkes Aspen, WR Skyler Kraai Delta, LB Brandon Butler Delta, DB Kenny Tlaxcala Rifle

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