1A League Breakdown

Class 1A League Breakdown & Predictions (Foothills, North Central, Northern)

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Class 1A League Breakdown & Predictions (Foothills, North Central, Northern)

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.  I know these articles are a bit lengthy, but I try and mention every team.

Foothills League

The Foothills League had just 1 team make the playoffs despite having three teams with .500 records.  The strength of the league was down a bit last year and could be the same again this year.  Lake County went 1-8 overall and 0-5 in league.  Lake County continues to try and build and losing 7 seniors should help return some size to this team.  No stats were posted for Lake County but this will be their final year in Class 1A as they move to 8-Man next year.  Sheridan went 2-7 last year and 1-4 in league.  Sheridan lone league win was over Lake County.  Sheridan is losing 8 seniors from last year’s team with 3 linemen graduating.  Sheridan looks like they may be returning their QB Edwin Gutierrez and leading rusher Elijah Jones.  Sheridan also didn’t really keep stats and hard to tell what they are brining back.  Jefferson had a successful season last year going 5-4 overall and 2-3 in league but missed out on the playoffs due to losing 3 league games and their SOS was very low.  Jefferson is only losing 9 seniors from last year’s team and only two offensive linemen so this team could really push for a top spot in league and maybe playoffs.  Jefferson will return QB Devon Kemp who threw for over 1400 yards but must find a replacement at RB with their top two rushers graduating.  WR is another position that must find some players with their top 3 graduating.  Defensively Jefferson will be returning 7 of their 11 top tacklers but will lose some leadership with their top tackler leaving.  This could be the year for Jefferson to really take a big step.  I was expect Manual to take a big step last year but going 3-6 overall and 3-2 in league kept them out of the playoffs and third in league.  Manual is losing 11 seniors this year.  The offensive line will be losing possibly 3 starters on the offensive line but some experience will return and look for Nick Lovato to step up to lead the line.  For the skill positions Manual is returning some talent with QB Melvin Taylor returning.  Taylor will have to improve going into his Junior year and throw less INT’s.  Manual will have to replace their RB from last year but look for Rai-zohn Bell to fill that hole.  Defensively Manual will have some holes to fill returning just 4 of their 11 top tacklers.  Manual defense will have to step up a ton next year.  Clear Creek went 7-3 last year but a weak schedule and a loss to Hotchkiss kept Clear Creek out of the playoffs.  Clear Creek will have a new head coach this year and it will be interesting to see what system he keeps in place.  Clear Creek is losing just 8 seniors from last year’s team.  Clear Creek on the offensive line is losing just 1 starter on the offensive line.  Ben Jeffers, Eduardo Palafo, and Tanner Younger will lead a solid returning offensive line.  Clear Creek will have big holes to fill at QB with Lucas Gerding graduating.  Look for Michael Hillman to jump into that spot.  RB is another big position that must be filled but with a very good offensive line returning they should find success.  Defensively Clear Creek returns just 4 of their top 11 tacklers.  Clear Creek has some potential to be good this year but some big holes to fill.  Platte Canyon won the Foothills league last year and qualified for the playoffs.  Platte Canyon went 6-4 overall and 5-0 in league.  Platte Canyon will have a new head coach this year with long time head coach Mike Schmidt retiring.  Platte Canyon is losing 10 seniors from last year’s team.  Platte Canyon will be looking for a new QB and RB this year.  I see Platte Canyon possibly taking a bit of a step back offensively this year.  Defensively Platte Canyon returns 5 of their 11 top tacklers.  Brandon Petterson returns to lead the defense but not much is known about Platte Canyon heading into next year.  I think the Foothills league is wide open next year, but it looks like only one team will get into the playoffs.  My order is: 1st Clear Creek, 2nd Platte Canyon, 3rd Jefferson, 4th Manual

My predictions for the Foothills League

League Champion: Clear Creek

Playoff Contenders: Clear Creek, Platte Canyon, Jefferson

Dark Horse: Jefferson (This could be Jefferson year to get into the playoffs with a weaker Foothills League)

Player of the League: QB Devon Kemp Jefferson

Others to watch for: QB Melvin Taylor Manual, RB Rai-zohn Bell Manual, RB Blake Mewborn Platte Canyon, RB Elijah Pacheco Martinez Jefferson, WR Ben Griffin Clear Creek, LB Brandon Patterson Platte Canyon, LB Tanner Younger Clear Creek, Nick Gallegos Jefferson

North Central League

The North Central was a brutal battle inside the league with 4 teams qualifying for the playoffs and the eventual state champion coming out of this league.  The North Central could be a bit down this year but I expect 4 teams to once again contend for playoff spots.  Wiggins went 1-8 last year and 0-5 in league.  No stats were posted for Wiggins last year but they are only losing 3 seniors from last year’s team.  Wiggins had lower #’s last year I believe around the 20 mark so it will be interesting to see if Wiggins improves or not.  I don’t have enough information on Wiggins to really know much about this team.  Yuma was a team I expect to really compete for a playoff spot last year but a new head coach and much lower participation I thin hurt this team.  Yuma did not post stats from last year but they had just 2 seniors on last year’s team and this team could be one to watch this year.  Like Wiggins I just don’t have enough information on Yuma to have an accurate grasp on them.  Yuma in my opinion could be dangerous with at least 9 of the 11 starters returning on both sides of the ball.  If anyone has more info on Yuma, please let me know.  Wray went 5-5 (6-4) last year and 2-3 in league.  Wray made it into the playoffs and came up just short against Florence in the first round.  Wray is losing 8 seniors from last year’s team but some talent did graduate. On the offensive line possibly 3 starters on the offensive line will graduate but some size is coming up.  Look for Carson Berghuis, Ike Fisher, and Landon Salmans to step up on the offensive line this year.  Wray will return their QB Tyler Collins but this is a run first team so replacing Cade Hillman is important.  Wray will look to Emmanuel Huerta and Junior Arambula to fill the holes left at RB.  Defensively Wray looks to be loaded with 8 of their 11 top tacklers returning.  Wray will have to find a leader on defense with Cade Hillman graduating but look for Junior Arambula and Tyler Collins to step up this year.  Wray should get back into the playoffs this year and possibly finish Top 3 in league.  Holyoke went 7-3 last year and 3-2 overall.  Holyoke started the season 5-0 last year before having to run the gauntlet of league but a young Holyoke team stepped up to the challenge.  Holyoke is losing just 3 seniors from last year’s team.  On the offensive line they should be returning all 5 starters and this unit should be improve from a year ago.  Andrew Rivera and Hunter Bergstorm will be the senior leaders for this offensive line.  Looking at the skill positions Holyoke is returning a ton of talent.  QB Miles Sprague will have a year of experience under his belt and he played well as a freshman.  At RB Blake Mosenteen also returns along with #2 rusher Mikey Ramos.  Defensively Holyoke returns 10 of their 11 top tacklers.  Holyoke losses their leading tackler and senior leader but look for Blake Mosenteen and Mikey Ramos to step up on the defensive side of the ball as well.  Holyoke looks poised for a big year.  Burlington went 8-3 last year and 4-1 in league.  Burlington had a solid season losing to Strasburg in the Quarterfinals.  Burlington will be hurt by graduation losing 13 seniors.  On the offensive line they could possibly be losing all 5 starters on the offensive side of the ball.  Charlie Neal and Wyatt Barnes will be the lone two seniors on next year’s offensive line so look for them to lead that group.  Burlington will be looking for a new QB this year and look for Michael Gutierrez and Morgan Erker to battle for that spot.  Burlington will return RB Taylor Scott and he will be leaned on heavily early on.  Defensively Burlington will be returning 4 of their 11 top tacklers but will return their leading tackler Taylor Scott.  He will have to step up to lead both sides of the football this year for Burlington.  Limon is your defending League Champion and your defending State Champion.  Limon is losing a great senior class that lead them to a perfect 13-0 record.  Limon is losing 11 seniors from last year’s team.  On the offensive line 4 of the 5 starters on the offensive line are graduating.  Logan Marx is the lone return and he will be looking to lead a young offensive line.  Looking at the skill positions Limon is losing QB Cannan Bennett and RB Hauk Hubbard.  Look for Kory Tacha to fill in at the QB spot and also look for Jeremiah Leeper to fill in at the RB spot.  Leadership will be the biggest thing Limon must replace.  Defensively Limon will have plenty of holes to fill as well with just 3 of their 11 top tacklers returning.  Kory Tacha and Logan Marx will be the leaders on the defensive side of the ball but younger kids will have to step up this year.  Limon may take a slight step back but I think they should still compete for the playoffs.  My prediction for the order is: 1st Holyoke, 2nd Limon, 3rd Wray, 4th Burlington

My predictions for the North Central League

League Champion: Holyoke

Playoff Contenders: Holyoke, Limon, Wray, Burlington

Dark Horse: Wray (Wray has the talent to push both Limon and Holyoke but can they put it all together this season.)

Player of the League: RB Blake Mosenteen Holyoke

Others to watch for: QB/RB Kory Tacha Limon, QB Miles Sprague Holyoke, QB Tyler Collins, RB Emmanual Huerta Wray, RB Jeremiah Leeper Limon, RB/LB Taylor Scott Burlington, DB Junior Arambula Wray, DL Logan Marx Limon

Northern League

The Northern League has been dominated by Strasburg and we will see if any of the other 5 teams can challenge Strasburg for the Northern League Crown.  Lyons went 0-9 last year and 0-5 in league.  Lyons has struggled the past few seasons, Lyons last winning season was in 2014.  Lyons will look to improve this year and losing just 3 seniors should help.  The core of the offensive line will return but leadership will be key for Lyons.  Lyons did not really keep stats this year but with only 3 seniors graduating this team should improve this year.  I think watch out for Lyons next year.  Pinnacle went 1-8 last year and 1-4 in league.  Their lone win was over Lyons.  Pinnacle is losing just 6 seniors from last year’s team but with a roster of just 22 that is a good amount of experience leaving.  Pinnacle offensive line should return their core this season.  Looking at the skill position Pinnacle will be looking for both a QB and RB this season.  Samuel Moreno Jr. should jump into the QB position and Moises Lavanderos should move into the RB position.  Defensively Pinnacle will be tough with 7 of their 11 top tacklers returning.  Pinnacle should also improve a bit this year but with holes at QB and RB it will be interesting to see how much they grow.  Estes Park had a much more successful season last year going 4-5 and 2-3 in league.  Estes Park will look to grow on last year’s success.  Estes Park is losing just 6 seniors from last year’s team and this team should improve heading into 2019.  Estes Park will have to replace possibly 3 starters on the offensive line but with some key players coming back this unit could be solid.  Estes Park will also return QB Collin Reetz and #2 rusher Cole Wallace.  Defensively Estes Park returns 7 of their 11 top tacklers.  Leadership will be big to replace with their top two tacklers graduating.  Flatirons Academy was a team I thought would get into the playoffs a year ago but just missed out.  Flatirons Academy will have some holes to fill with 11 seniors graduating.  Flatirions Academy will be looking to replace all 5 starters on the offensive line and a small upcoming senior class of 3 could hurt this team.  Flatirons Academy will look to replace their QB.  Look for Russell Kingery to step into that role.  At RB they will return Dillon Zastrocky and he will be leaned on heavily.  Defensively Flatirons Academy returns 6 of their 11 top tacklers and this unit will be called upon heavily.  I see Flatirons Academy taking a bit of a step back this year but next year look for this team again.  Highland went 6-4 last year and qualified for the playoffs last year.  Highland finished second in the North league and are losing a solid senior class.  Highland is losing 14 seniors from last year’s team.  On the offensive line possibly 5 starters graduated.  Some inexperience on the offensive line will happen this year but look for this unit to be led by Elliott Friesen.  Highland will be looking for a new QB this year but look for Sam Hnizdil to fill that role.  RB Holden Morgan does return for this offense and his leadership will be key.  Defensively Highland returns 6 of their 11 top tacklers.  Highland defensively should be strong, and leadership will be there with Blake Fabrizius and Holden Morgan returning.  Highland should still compete for a playoff spot this year.  Strasburg is your defending league champion and were the runner ups a year ago.  Strasburg will have a new head coach as Jeff Giger left for a new position.  I believe Brian Brown is the new head coach and he will have some holes to fill but have plenty of talent coming back.  Strasburg will be losing 11 seniors from last year’s team.  On the offensive line Strasburg is possibly replacing 4 of the 5 starters on the offensive line.  They will be returing some talent and look for Chad Sutherland and Trevor Smith to lead this offensive line.  Strasburg will be returning QB Collin Russel but will have to replace #1 rusher Michael Spence.  Michael Burns should easily step into the role this year along with Kody Robson.  Defensively Strasburg will return 4 of their top 11 tacklers but A.J Hemphill and Michael Burns will be solid leaders for this defense.  Strasburg rarely rebuilds or takes a step back and I don’t see that starting now.  Strasburg, I think will be very good this year again.  My prediction for the order is: 1st Strasburg, 2nd Highland, 3rd Estes Park, 4th Flatirons Academy

My predictions for the North Central League

League Champion: Strasburg

Playoff Contenders: Strasburg and Highland

Dark Horse: Estes Park (Can they improve enough to push Highland or Strasburg, and can Estes Park compete for a Playoff spot.)

Player of the League: RB Michael Burns Strasburg

Others to watch for: QB Collin Russel Strasbrug, QB Collin Reetz Estes Park, QB Sam Hnizdil Highland, RB Holden Morgan Highland, RB Dillon Zastrocky Flatirons Academy, Aidan Christiansen Lyons, LB Jacob Dube Flatirons Academy, LB Blake Fabrizius Highland, A.J Hemphill Strasburg

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