Football Key Players Returning

Mile High Prep Reports Top Returning Defense’s Class 1A

Picture by Matt Hall

Mile High Prep Reports Top Returning Defense’s Class 1A

Picking the best returning defenses is not an easy task but of course it’s always fun to take a look.  I am using PPG given up last year and seeing what teams are returning.  This is one of my favorite articles to write and defense usually wins championships.  I will release my preseason Class 1A Top 10 tomorrow.

High SchoolStats
Centauri HSTheir defense gave up 59 points last year which was good for 4th best in Class 1A.  Defensively Centauri speed makes things extremely difficult.  Centauri returns 11 of their top 13 tacklers and should be one of the more experienced units.  Mason Claunch, Zach Buhr, and Danny Brady all return to lead the defense.
Holyoke HSTheir defense gave up 107 points last year which was good for 11th in Class 1A.  Holyoke played a brutal league schedule and still nearly had a top 10 defense, so I expect a top 5 defense this season.  Holyoke returns 11 of their top 13 tacklers but will look for a leader with the top tackler graduating.  Holyoke will look for Miles Sprague, Aidyn Shafer or, Wyatt Sprague to become the leaders.
Limon HSTheir defense gave up 48 points last year which was 2nd best in Class 1A.  Limon will have some reloading to do this year losing 7 of their top 13 tacklers.  Limon does return their leading tackler in Ky Bandy, but we will see who else step up to help the defense.  I look for Jeremiah Leeper and Brady Rockwell to become leaders on defense as well.
Meeker HSTheir defense gave up 77 points last year which was 7th best in Class 1A.  Meeker defensively is always tough and once again this unit will have to anchor this team early in the season.  Meeker returns 8 of their top 13 tacklers.  Connor Blunt and Zach Eskelson return as 2 of the top 3 tacklers from a season ago.
Wiggins HSTheir defense gave up 231 points last year which is 28th best in Class 1A.  For Wiggins to push for the playoffs this season this is the unit to really watch.  Wiggins returns 11 of their top 13 tacklers and if this unit can improve to top 15, I think they have a shot at the playoffs.  Mohamed Ibrahim, Pepper Rusher, and Cole Kerr are all players I look to see step up for Wiggins.
Buena Vista HSTheir defense gave up 51 points last year during the Spring 2A season.  Buena Vista returns one of the more experience defenses with 9 of their top 13 tacklers coming back.  If Buena Vista can stay inside the top 8 look for Buena Vista to make a big run this year.  Seth Moss, Ethan Flavin, and Elijah Evans were the top 3 tacklers a year ago and all return.
St. Mary’sTheir defense gave up 137 points last year during the Spring 2A season.  St. Mary’s will be rebuilding their offense but defensively this unit could be a top 16 group.  St. Mary’s returns 11 of their top 13 tacklers and this group will be key this season.  Top returning tacklers Everett Ellis and Kolbe Vostatek are key players for St. Mary’s this season.
North Fork HSTheir defense gave up 74 points last year which was 5th in Class 1A.  North Fork is a combination of Paonia, and Hotchkiss and this unit will be extremely tough.  North Fork HS should be a top 10 defensive unit once again.  I look for players like Drayden Taylor and Carter Neff to become leaders for North Fork. 
Strasburg HSTheir defense gave up 76 points last year which was 6th in Class 1A.  Strasburg lose a talented senior class but return 6 of their top 13 tacklers.  Leadership will be the biggest question mark heading into this season.  One player I know will probably be a leader is Matthias Brown who was the second leading tackler a year ago.   
Grand Valley HSTheir defense gave up 131 points last year during the Spring 2A Season.  Grand Valley will look to improve defensively yet again this season.  Grand Valley returns 8 of their top 13 tacklers and 4 of their top 5 tacklers.  Jacob Doyle, Brayden Harper, and Justice France are all players I look to step up this season and try to get Grand Valley to a top 12 Defense.
Peyton HSTheir defense gave up 96 points last year which was 9th in Class 1A. Peyton once again returns a very talented group of players.  Peyton returns 9 of their top 13 tacklers and are eying a top 10 defense yet again.  Peyton will be looking for some leadership to step up with only 3 of their top 7 tacklers returning.  Zak Cobb and Dresden Howeth are the two players I think to watch on defense for Peyton. 
Florence HSTheir defense gave up 47 points last year which was best in Class 1A.  Florence was hit hard by graduation and will have some reloading to do this season.  Florence returns 5 of their top 13 tacklers but return top tackler Jian Aguilar to lead the defense.  Who steps up along side him is the biggest question mark for Florence going forward.
Monte Vista HSTheir defense gave up 121 points last year which was 14th in Class 1A.  Monte Vista will return key pieces to the defense but have a few holes to fill.  Monte Vista returns 7 of their top 13 tacklers.  Jack Noonan, Hunter Pacheco, and Deangelo Archuleta are all players I look to have big years for Monte Vista. 
Yuma HSTheir defense gave up 136 points last year which was 16th in Class 1A.  Yuma returns 7 of their top 13 tacklers and will be a big anchor to a tough Yuma team.  Yuma will have to find some new leadership with 4 of their top 5 tacklers graduating but have Yahir Trejo back to become a leader on the defensive side of the ball. 
Wray HSTheir defense gave up 143 points last year which was 17th in Class 1A. Wray returns 6 of their top 13 tacklers and this unit will have some reloading to do.  Wray will turn to a big Junior class to become leaders and look for Brady Collins, Tell Wade, and Payton Wade to become leaders this season for Wray.
Defensive Unit Watch List:Flatirons Academy, Highland, Center, Bennett, Burlington, Platte Canyon, Banning Lewis, Cedaredge