1A League Breakdown

Class 1A Football League Predictions & Playoff Predictions

Class 1A Football League Predictions & Playoff Predictions

We move into Class 1A, and we look at my league predictions.  I will also give my playoff predictions for fun.  I know regular season games kick off tonight, but most will start playing Friday Night and Saturday Night.  These predictions are always fun to look back at the end of the season.  I am going to shorter my Class 1A and 2A predictions but will make sure to dive more in depth next week.  Good Luck to all teams this year.

Foothills League

#1 Platte Canyon

#2 Manual

#3 Bennett

#4 Clear Creek

#5 Jefferson

#6 Sheridan

The Foothills league is normally one of the weaker leagues in Class 1A but should be very competitive this season with some younger teams gaining valuable experience and some teams returning key starters.  My pick to win the Foothills League is Platte Canyon.  In my opinion I think Platte Canyon returns the most starters on both sides of the ball.  Manual, Bennett, and Clear Creek should all challenge Platte Canyon for the league title.  Clear Creek is my dark horse pick.  Clear Creek played a lot of sophomores last year and should get better as the year goes on.

My predictions for the Foothills League

League Champion: Platte Canyon

Playoff Contenders: Platte Canyon, Manual, Bennett, Clear Creek

Dark Horse: Clear Creek

Player of the League: QB Allen Hardey (Platte Canyon)

Others to watch for: Sam Patterson (Crowley County), Jewel Cameron (Manual), Donovan Jenkins (Manual), Bode Baker (Clear Creek), Evan Brandt (Clear Creek)

North Central League

#1 Limon

#2 Holyoke

#3 Wray

#4 Yuma

#5 Wiggins

#6 Burlington

The North Central League is traditionally one of the tougher leagues in Class 1A.  The league could get as many as 4 teams if not 5 teams into the playoffs this season.  Limon is my pick to win the North Central league and has to be considered as one of the favorites to win the Class 1A title again.  Holyoke and Wray will be the immediate threats to challenge Limon for the league title.  Holyoke was young a season ago and return nearly all skill positions and 10 of their top 13 tacklers.  Wray will have to replace key skill position players but have more than enough talent coming back.  Yuma, and Wiggins will both be very tough this season as well with plenty of talent coming back and cannot be overlooked.  Wiggins is my dark horse pick.  Wiggins has been rebuilding the past few seasons and this year we will see if everything comes together. 

My predictions for the Central League

League Champion: Limon

Playoff Contenders: Limon, Holyoke, Wray, Yuma, Wiggins

Dark Horse: Wiggins

Player of the League: QB Miles Sprague (Holyoke)

Others to watch for: Carlos Legareeta (Holyoke), Wyatt Sprague (Holyoke), Trey Hines (Limon), Jeremiah Leeper (Limon), Camden Riggleman (Wray), Caeden Bauer (Wray), Brady Collins (Wray), Clay Robinson (Yuma), Yahir Trejo (Yuma), Cole Kerr (Wiggins), Austin Huwa (Wiggins), Omar Perez (Wiggins), Ty Marcum (Burlington)

Northern League

#1 Strasburg

#2 Highland

#3 Estes Park

#4 Flatirons Academy

#5 Prospect Ridge

The Northern League should be extremely competitive this season and I think wide open for the first time in a few years.  Strasburg is still my pick to win the North League but lose key pieces on both offense and defense.  Strasburg biggest strength will be their defense and of course they are always well coached which is my they are my pick for #1.  Highland I think is the biggest challenger to Strasburg.  Highland returns nearly their entire offensive line and have a good QB in Sam Hzindil back.  Defensively Highland has a few holes to fill returning just 5 of their top 13 tacklers.  Estes Park is my dark horse pick to win the league this year.  Estes Park had a lot of success last season and return the key piece to that success in QB Collin Reetz.  Estes Park will also return nearly their entire offensive line.  The biggest question mark for Estes Park is their defense.  Flatirons Academy could also be considered an outside threat for a league title but have plenty of holes to fill this year.

My predictions for the North League

League Champion: Strasburg

Playoff Contenders: Strasburg, Highland, Estes Park

Dark Horse: Estes Park

Player of the League: QB Sam Hzindil (Highland)

Others to watch for: Tallin Hall (Strasburg), Zach Marrero (Strasburg), Jeanluke Barkley (Highland), Collin Reetz (Estes Park), Michael Mccown (Estes Park), Jonah Burdick (Estes Park), Trenton Rowan (Flatirons Academy),  

Santa Fe League

#1 Peyton

#2 Banning Lewis

#3 Rocky Ford

#4 Trinidad

The Santa Fe League is down to 4 teams this year with Ellicott not fielding a team.  The Santa Fe League has 3 teams I think can really push each other for the league crown.  Peyton is my pick to win the Santa Fe League.  Peyton returns their starter at QB in Gunner Graham and their #2 RB in Dresden Howeth.  Peyton biggest strength will be their defense with 9 of their top 13 tacklers back.  Banning Lewis and Rocky Ford should both push Peyton for the league crown.  Banning Lewis returns 8 of their top 13 tacklers plus their starters at QB Kaden Levi and RB Rickey Fletcher.  Rocky Ford will also return key pieces on offense. QB Shaun Gonzales is back along with 2 or 3 starters on the offensive line.  Trinidad is still looking for their identity and we will see what steps they take this year.

My predictions for the Santa Fe League

League Champion: Peyton

Playoff Contenders: Peyton, Banning Lewis, Rocky Ford

Dark Horse: Banning Lewis

Player of the League: RB Dresden Howeth (Peyton)

Others to watch for: QB Gunner Graham (Peyton), QB Kaden Levi (Banning Lewis), Rickey Fletcher (Banning Lewis), QB Shaun Gonzalez (Rocky Ford),

Southern Peaks League

#1 Centauri

#2 Monte Vista

#3 Center

#4 Ignacio

#5 Del Norte

The Southern Peaks league has 5 teams this year with Dolores moving into an 8-Man schedule.  Centauri has to be the clear-cut favorite to win the Southern Peaks League and must be considered a favorite to win the 1A State Title.  Centauri has a ton of talent back returning nearly their entire offensive line plus 11 of their top 13 tacklers.  Centauri also has some big weapons back in QB Byron Shawcroft, RB Mason Claunch, and WR Baron Holman.  Monte Vista will threaten for a league title and have a lot coming back.  QB Colton Mellott is back along with RB Hunter Pacheco.  Defensively Monte Vista should be very tough returning 8 of their top 13 tacklers.  Center will also be in the mix.  Center returns a big offensive line and RB Abraham Echauri.  Defensively Center should also improve heading into this season.  Ignacio and Del Norte will also improve this season and could pull an upset off. 

My predictions for the Southern Peaks League

League Champion: Centauri

Playoff Contenders: Centauri, Monte Vista, Center

Dark Horse: Center

Player of the League: RB Mason Claunch (Centauri)

Others to watch for: QB Byron Shawcroft (Centauri, RB Zach Buhr (Centauri), WR Baron Holman (Centauri), QB Colton Mellot (monte Vista), RB Hunter Pacheco (Monte Vista), LB Jack Noonan (Monte Vista), RB Abraham Echauri (Center), RB/LB Cael Ruggles (Center), QB Gabe Tuscon (Ignacio)

Tri-Peaks League

#1 Buena Vista

#2 Florence

#3 C.S Christian

#4 Rye

The Tri-Peaks league is down to 4 teams this year.  St. Mary’s is not fielding a team this season.  The Tri-Peaks has been very tough and should continue that this season.  Buena Vista has to be the early favorite this season.  Buena Vista defense could be a top 5 defense this season using their speed and aggressiveness.  Buena Vista also returns QB Haden Camp and RB Jacob Phelps.  Florence will be in the mix as well for the league title.  Florence lose key leadership but have plenty of talent to step up.  QB Lincoln Nix and RB Jacob Kennedy are both back.  Defensively Florence will need some kids to step up returning just 5 of their top 13 tacklers.  Florence is always well coached and I think they will still be a threat especially on the offensive side of the ball.  C.S Christian lose key pieces from last years team.  They will be needing skill players to step up.  Defensively C.S Christian is always tough and will need kids to step up.  Rye could be the dark horse this season.  A lot of young kids played key minutes and we will have to see how that translates into this season.

My predictions for the Tri-Peaks League

League Champion: Buena Vista

Playoff Contenders: Buena Vista and Florence

Dark Horse: Rye

Player of the League: QB Haden Camp (Buena Vista)

Others to watch for: RB Jacob Phelps (Buena Vista), QB Lincoln Nix (Florence), RB Jacob Kennedy (Florence), Rochester Riley (rye) 

Western Slope League

#1 North Fork

#2 Meeker

#3 Grand Valley

#4 Olathe

#5 Cedaredge

#6 Gunnison

#7 Roaring Fork

The Western Slope League is up to 7 teams this year and are the biggest league in Class 1A.  Plenty of solid teams are in the Western Slope this year and should make for a fun year.  North Fork is my pick to win the league.  North Fork is the combination of Paonia and Hotchkiss.  North Fork returns plenty of talent including 4 starters on the offensive line and 8 out of the top 13 tacklers from a year ago.  RBs Mordecai White and Drayden Taylor could have big seasons for North Fork.  Meeker lose a long time starter at QB but I think have the defense and the skill position players to challenge North Fork for the league title.  Kelton Turner will be the main threat on offense and defensively Meeker returns 8 of their top 13 tacklers.  Grand Valley is another team to watch.  Grand Valley returns their starters at QB and RB and 8 of their top 13 tacklers.  The offensive line will also be nearly intact from a year ago.  Olathe is another team and I think the dark horse this season.  Not a ton of information about Olathe but they return plenty a lot of Seniors and Juniors this season.  Gunnison and Cedaredge both are losing a lot of skill position players and will have to reload at those positions.  Roaring Fork moves into 1A this year and are rebuilding their program.

My predictions for the Western Slope League

League Champion: North Fork

Playoff Contenders: North Fork, Meeker, Grand Valley, Olathe

Dark Horse: Olathe

Player of the League: RB Mordecai White (North Fork)

Others to watch for: RB Drayden Taylor (North Fork), RB Kelton Turner (Meeker), QB Steven Hicks (Grand Valley), RB Emilio Garcia (Grand Valley), Xavier Waterman (Olathe), QB Ty Walck (Cedaredge)

Playoff Predictions

I give the 16 teams I think make the playoffs.  This is all in fun because so much can happen between August and November.  In the 8-Man ranks all league champions are guaranteed a berth.  The rest will be selected by RPI.  The League Champions I selected are:

Platte Canyon (Foothills)

Limon (North Central)

Strasburg (Northern)

Peyton (Santa Fe)

Centauri (Southern Peaks)

Buena Vista (Tri-Peaks)

North Fork (Western Slope)

The 16 teams are picked Via RPI.  League strength and non-league schedule will matter a ton in this part.  10 At-Large berths will be given out.  Seeding is determined by CHSAA Seeding Index.  I am picking my 16 teams based on Scheduling and how I think teams will do. 

(NOT IN ORDER!)

#1 Platte Canyon (Foothills)

#2 Limon (North Central)

#3 Holyoke (North Central)

#4 Wray (North Central)

#5 Yuma (North Central)

#6 Strasburg (Northern)

#7 Highland (Northern)

#8 Peyton (Santa Fe)

#9 Centauri (Southern Peaks)

#10 Monte Vista (Southern Peaks)

#11 Buena Vista (Tri-Peaks)

#12 Florence (Tri-Peaks)

#13 North Fork (Western Slope)

#14 Meeker (Western Slope)

#15 Grand Valley (Western Slope)

#16 Center (Southern Peaks)

Banning Lewis, Bennett, Wiggins, Estes Park also in the mix for the #16 spot.