Dayspring Christian Eagles (1A 8 players)
Dayspring is expected to remain among the top echelon of the 1A 8-man – where it has operated for decades – after a season in which it went 7-4 and advanced to the second round of the 1A 8 state tournament. -man.
But whether the Eagles are serious about chasing their first state title since 2013 — which would be their fourth title overall — could hinge heavily on how effectively the players adapt to bigger leadership roles.
Dayspring graduated its top passer and rusher (Garrett Krehbiel) a year ago, as well as its top receiver (Jacob Martin) and its second-top rusher and top tackle (Wyatt Eichman).
The Eagles open their road season against Sanford at 7 p.m. Friday. Dayspring will play alongside familiar foes in the 8-man League 4 1A, which also includes Akron, Caliche, Haxtun, Merino and Sedgwick County.
Central Greeley Wildcats (4A)
Greeley Central went 1-9 a year ago, but that single victory was significant, as the Wildcats outscored crosstown rivals Greeley West 32-13 on September 24.
The Wildcats’ passing game looked promising a year ago, as sophomore quarterback Zjhonoah Trujillo completed 87 of 191 passes for 1,143 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Trujillo is back this fall, looking to take another leap forward.
Greeley Central will have to replace its first receiver from a year ago, Randy Macias (291 yards, 2 TDs), and its first murderous rusher, Yahir Chairez-Salazar (728 yards, 6 TDs). Chairez-Salazar also led the team in tackles (108).
The Wildcats could be moving in the right direction. But making a dent in a strong new Ligue 1 4A will not be an easy task this fall.
Greeley Central opens its road season against Niwot at 7 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats league includes Grand Junction Central, Skyline and Windsor.
Greeley West Spartans (4A)
The past few years have not been favorable to a normally competitive program at Greeley West. The Spartans went 0-10 a year ago, and they haven’t won a game since the 2019 season.
West will get a fresh start this fall with a new coaching staff led by head coach John Hickey. Hickey graduated from Broomfield High School and coached at Waldorf University in Iowa, Norwood High School and Boulder High School.
Ushering in a new era with many returning from a year ago, Greeley West will be looking to take a step towards restoring past success.
The Spartans open on the road against Mountain Range at 7 p.m. Friday. They are members of 4A League 2, alongside Erie, Longmont, Loveland, Monarch and Silver Creek.
Resurrection Christian Cougars (3A)
After years of being a top 2A contender, Resurrection Christian is moving up to 3A where he will be a member of League 7 3A along with Roosevelt, Severance, Thompson Valley, Mountain View and Northridge.
The Cougars are coming off an 8-2 season in which they advanced to the second round of the 16-team 2A playoffs. Resurrection Christian will have shoes to fill this fall; none bigger than last season’s all-around senior quarterback Eddie Lemos.
Lemos led the team in passing yards (418), rushing yards (1,431), total touchdowns (29) and defensive interceptions (3).
The Cougars also need to replace defensive point guard Justin Hawthorne, who led the team in tackles (119) and sacks (11).
Resurrection Christian opens its road season against Moffat County at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The Cougars are 10th in CHSAANow.com’s 3A preseason rankings.
Roosevelt’s Brutal Horsemen (3A)
Another highly successful season for Roosevelt ended just before the Rough Riders’ intense season pursuit for a state title.
Roosevelt went 12-1 but fell in the 3A playoff semifinals, 38-21 to Mead.
The Rough Riders will be looking to stay in the title hunt behind plenty of new faces.
Roosevelt graduated his best passer in program history, Brock Saya, who had 2,402 and 32 touchdowns a year ago.
However, waiting in the wings is Saya’s very capable replacement from a year ago, junior Bronco Hartson, who completed 12 of 16 passes for 221 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, playing at QB a year ago. season.
The Rough Riders’ powerhouse offense also has the comfort of bringing back its best rusher from a year ago: senior Ryan Doucette, who rushed for 900 yards and 13 touchdowns on 88 carries (an average of 10.2 yards per race).
Roosevelt is also bringing back his very talented first receiver from a year ago, senior Tucker Peterson. Peterson caught 54 passes for 1,147 yards and 17 touchdowns a year ago.
With weapons galore, the Rough Riders should once again be one of the top 3A contenders this fall. They open at home at 6 p.m. Friday against Palisade in a battle of the top 10 teams.
Roosevelt opens the season ranked second, behind Mead, in CHSAANow.com’s 3A ranking. Palisade is seventh.
The Rough Riders will play in 3A League 7 with Mountain View, Northridge, Resurrection Christian, Severance and Thompson Valley.
College Bulldogs (2A)
The university has steadily climbed the 2A ranks in recent years.
However, taking another step forward this fall won’t be an easy task as the Bulldogs need to replace several key players from a year ago, including star quarterback/safety Greg Garza.
A season ago, University went 7-5 and advanced to the 2A playoff semifinals, falling to eventual two-time defending champion Eaton.
Garza passed for 2,589 yards and rushed for 404 more for a total of 44 of the team’s 49 touchdowns a year ago. He was the team’s best passer and rusher.
The Bulldogs also graduated their two best receivers, the dynamic duo of Kanon Padilla (892 yards, 11 TDs) and Tayt Chacon (790 yards, 9 TDs).
The university also graduated top defensive players Jack Vigil (98 tackles) and Padilla (78 tackles, 8 interceptions).
No doubt new stars are going to have to step up if the Bulldogs are to stay in the top tier of 2A and a unique 2A League that also includes Arvada, Sterling, Timnath, Weld Central and, last year, the 2A runner-up. up, brush.
University enters the season with a very strong fifth place finish in CHSAANow.com’s Pre-Season 2A rankings.
– Keep reading the Greeley Tribune in the coming days for more team-by-team football preview capsules.
Bobby Fernandez covers high school sports for the Greeley Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.