Football Key Players Returning

Mile High Prep Reports Top Returning Defense’s 8-Man Football

Mile High Prep Reports Top Returning Defense’s 8-Man Football

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 8-Man Top 10 tomorrow.

High SchoolStats
Sanford HSTheir defense gave up 160 points last year which was 20th best in 8-Man (Fall Season).  Granted 72 of those points came in the State Championship game or Sanford would be the 5th best defense in 8-Man.  Sanford defensively was much improved last season and had multiple big stands during their playoff run.  Sanford will return 7 of their top 10 tacklers.  Plenty of leadership returns as well with Kelton Gartrell, Josh Holman, and Cash Caldon all back.
Merino HSTheir defense gave up 118 points last year which was 13th best in 8-man. (Fall Season).  Merino was extremely tough on defense last season and only had 2 games that they gave up over 20 points.  Merino will be returning plenty of talent from last year returning 7 of their top 10 tacklers.  Leadership could be the biggest loss with Merino top two tacklers graduating but I look to Deacon Trenkle and Tyler Frank to step up.
Crowley County HSTheir defense gave up 95 points last year which was 6th best in 8-Man (Fall Season).  Crowley County played their first season of 8-Man last year and found success defensively.  A talented group of incoming Junior will be a big part of the defense this season.  Crowley County returns 7 of their top 10 tacklers.  The leadership role will be filled by Brandon Geringer and Tach Brewer.
Sedgwick CountyTheir defense gave up 100 points last year which was 10th best in 8-man (Fall Season).  Defensively Sedgwick County was suffocating giving up over 20 points just once all season.  Sedgwick County does lose a big chunk of their defense from last season.  Sedgwick County returns just 4 of their top 10 tacklers but are always well coached.  Nolan Carlson and Brody Parker become the leaders this season for Sedgwick County.
Dayspring ChristianTheir defense gave up 216 points last year which was 32nd best in 8-man (Fall season).  Dayspring Christian will look to improve on the defensive side of the ball this season.  I do believe that if Dayspring Christian improves to a top 15 defense a big playoff run could be instore.  Dayspring Christian returns plenty of talent as well with 9 of their top 10 tacklers returning.  Jacob Martin, Austin Cecil, and Wyatt Eichman all had over 70 tackles last season and return to lead the defense.
Dove Creek HSTheir defense gave up 148 points last year which was 17th best in 8-man (Fall season).  Defensively Dove Creek made big improvements and only gave up over 21 points twice this season both came in the losses to Sanford and Sedgwick County.  Dove Creek will return the core of their defense returning 6 of their top 10 but will lose 3 of their top 5 tacklers.  Leadership must be replaced, and I look to Blane Johnson and Kade Hankins to become leaders on defense. 
Haxtun HSTheir defense gave up 232 points last year which was 34th best in 8-man (Fall Season).  Haxtun will look to take the next step this season and improving their defense must be a big emphasis.  I think if Haxtun can improve to a top 10 defense, they could have a monster season.  Haxtun returns the talent to improve their defense.  Haxtun returns their top 10 tacklers from a season ago.  Owen Knode broke the 70-tackle mark and returns to lead the defense.
Mancos HSTheir defense gave up 78 points last year which was 4th best in 8-man (Fall season).  Mancos will look to keep a top 10 defense this season but have a few big holes to replace.  Mancos defensively lose their top 2 tacklers from last season but return 6 of their top 10 tacklers.  Leadership will have to be replaced for Mancos.  I look to upcoming seniors Chase Moore and Jesse Henry to fill that leadership spot.
Holly HSTheir defense gave up 176 points last year which was 22nd best in 8-Man (Fall season).  Holly will look to improve their defense this year.  I think if Holly can improve to a top 10 defense then you should see them in the playoffs.  Holly returns 8 of their top 10 tacklers including 4 of their top 5.  Eli Ramos, Gabe Neugebauer, and Donovan Pecina should all be names to watch for this season. 
Swink HSTheir defense gave up 104 points last year which was 10th best in 8-Man (Fall season).  Swink did miss the playoffs last season but had the most success in a few years.  Swink defensively will hope to continue to be a top 10 defense this season.  Swink returns 6 of their top 10 tacklers including 4 of their top 5.  Swink defensively could improve to a top 5 defense and possibly a playoff run.  Swink returns key starters in Clay Roweth and Ben Miner.
Rangely HSTheir defense gave up 94 points last year which was 5th best in 8-Man (Fall season).  Rangely made big strides last season and will look to continue to improve this season.  Rangely defensively gave up over 20 points just twice last season.  Rangely will return the core of the defense from last season including 6 of their top 10 tacklers.  Rangely will be looking for new leadership on defense losing their top 3 tacklers but I look to Timothy Scoggins and Zane Varner to become leaders for Rangely.
Calhan HSTheir defense gave up 140 points last year which was 15th best in 8-Man (Fall Season).  Calhan will look to make a playoff run this season and keeping their defense in the top 15 will be a big key.  Calhan does lose some key pieces to their defense but return enough talent on defense to make them a top 15 defense.  Calhan will look Aiden Jack, Ryan Campbell, and Zach Peterson to really step up on defense this season. 
Hoehne HSTheir defense gave up 168 points last year during their run for a Spring Title State Championship.  Hoehne will now look for another big run this season.  Hoehne will have a few holes to fill on defense returning 5 of their top 10 tacklers.  Hoehne will turn to the upcoming Juniors to step up this season.  Michael Armijo and Andrew Santistevan must become leaders for Hoehne this year.
Plateau ValleyTheir defense gave up 234 points last year during their spring season.  Plateau Valley did make the playoffs during the spring season and reached the semifinals and will now look to improve this season.  Plateau Valley must improve their defense this season to at least a top 20 defense if they plan on another playoff run.  Plateau Valley returns their entire defense from last season.  Cael Etcheverry and Dalton Crites both broke the 80-tackle mark and must be the leaders again this season for Plateau Valley.
Simla HSTheir defense gave up 59 points last year which was best in 8-Man (Fall Season).  Simla missed out on the playoffs last season but if they can keep a top 10 defense this season, I bet the playoffs will be within reach.  Simla returns 6 of their top 10 tacklers and should be poised for a big season.  Simla does lose their top tackler from a year ago but return Ethen Gonzalez and Brayden Glover.
Defensive Unit Watch List:Akron, Fowler, Pikes Peak Christian, Vail Christian, Front Range Christian, Sargent, Byers, West Grand