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December 8, 2019
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HS football: No horsin' around

Monte Vista Christian bounced back late last season after winning its final four Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division games of the season.  

The Mustangs were the runners-up behind league champion Carmel High but still earned a trip to the Central Coast Section Division V playoffs.

MVC was eliminated in the opening round in a loss against Monterey High, which are the newcomers of the PCAL-Mission after going undefeated in the Cypress division.

The league also features Alisal High, North Salinas High, Scotts Valley High, Seaside High and Soledad High. MVC is the lone private school in the division.

Jubenal Rodriguez returns for his second year with the program. He helped lead the Mustangs back into the postseason after they missed the playoffs two years ago, which was the first time since 2013.

Here’s a breakdown of this year’s MVC football team:

  • Last year’s record: 5-6 (Central Coast Section Division V quarterfinalist)
  • Last year’s league record: 5-1 (Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission division runner-up)
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state ranking: 446th
  • Coach: Jubenal Rodriguez
  • Key losses: All-PCAL-Cypress First Team receiver Daniel Brierley evolved from a solid option in the slot as a sophomore to an all-around threat the past two seasons…Scott Tinsley was one of the more underrated defensive backs in the league last season.He was a solid tackler in the alley and in space and earned a spot on the all-league first team…Nick Bautista, the 6-foot, 180-pound receiver was a huge presence on and off the field and an all-league second team selection…Jason Bettencourt was an all-league second team defensive lineman that caused havoc up front…Alec Ramirez’s absence will hurt the offensive line and will need to find someone to replace the All-PCAL-Cypress First Team selection. 
  • Key possible returners: Nathan Renggli (Sr.); the 6-foot quarterback will be under center for most of the season in a run-heavy offense but can use his arm to deliver a throw when he’s called upon…Anthony Sheppard (Sr.) the 6-foot, 4-inch, 270-pound two-way lineman is the anchor on the offensive line and was an All-PCAL-Mission First Team selection…Nolan Lukin (Sr.); the 6-foot, 1-inch, 248 pound two-way lineman is another big part on both sides of the ball. He was an all-league second team selection…Quinn Alexander (Sr.); the quick defensive back can play a big role for the pass defense. He can also step in as a running back to pick up some yards on the outside.

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PRESEASON

Ann Sobrato High

  • When: Aug. 30
  • Where: Watsonville High
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state ranking: 922nd
  • Last year’s overall record: 6-4
  • Last year’s league record: 5-2 (third in West Valley League)
  • Coach: Tony Holmes 
  • Notes: The Bulldogs finished last year with a five-game winning streak after starting the season 1-4. Ann Sobrato lost to San Lorenzo Valley, 41-0 but received a win via forfeit…The Bulldogs will be without leading receiver Jason Martinez, who finished with 466 receiving yards on 20 receptions and three touchdown…But the Bulldogs will have senior quarterback Jordan Sheets, who completed 54 percent of his pass attempts (92-of-168) for 1,512 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last year, returning… Leading rusher Jesse Redmond, who racked up 873 rushing yards on 121 carries and six touchdowns, is also expected to return.

North Monterey County High

  • When: Sept. 6
  • Where: North Monterey County High
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state ranking: 661st
  • Last year’s overall record: 5-5
  • Last year’s league record: 3-3 (fourth in PCAL-Cypress division)
  • Coach: Sean Gomes
  • Notes: The Mustangs have a five-game winning streak against the Condors going into this year’s game… Since 2004, MVC and NMC have split its regular season series at 6-6… Condors will be without leading receiver Isaiah Solorio, who finished with 323 receiving yards on 24 receptions and four touchdowns…NMC will have the services of senior quarterback Brandon Ducusin, who completed 49 percent of his pass attempts (53-of-107) for 762 passing yards to go along with five touchdowns and eight interceptions. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 402 yards on 99 carries and nine touchdowns.

The King’s Academy

  • When: Sept. 13
  • Where: Mustangs Stadium
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state ranking: 132nd
  • Last year’s overall record: 11-2 (Central Coast Section Division V champions)
  • Last year’s league record: 4-1 (second in Peninsula Athletic League Ocean division)
  • Coach: Pete Lavorato
  • Notes: It’s the second straight year both teams will meet. The Knights won last year’s contest, 37-14…TKA will become an ‘A’ League team this season after breezing through the Division V playoffs, outscoring three opponents 138-34...The Knights will be without offensive juggernaut Bralyn Lux, who racked up 1,811 rushing yards on 170 carries and 24 touchdowns. He was also the team’s leading receiver with 670 receiving yards on 34 receptions and nine touchdowns…Senior running back Jayden Frazier will try to fill the void. He finished with 704 rushing yards on 105 carries and 13 touchdowns for TKA… The Knights are also expecting receivers Zach Paszkeicz and Kevin Sielski to come back for their senior year.  

Rodriguez High

  • When: Sept. 20
  • Where: Rodriguez High in Fairfield
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state rankings: 591st
  • Last year’s overall record: 5-5 
  • Last year’s league record: 2-3 (fourth in Monticello Empire League in the Sac-Joaquin Section)
  • Coach: Stephen Meyers
  • Notes: It will be the first meeting between both teams… Rodriguez will be without leading rusher Darion Johnson, who tallied 516 rushing yards on 56 carries and six touchdowns… Leading passer Jackson Troutt, who completed 53 percent of his pass attempts (108-of-201) for 1,665 passing yards to go along with 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, will be back… Alexander Mendoza, who finished with 517 receiving yards on 29 receptions and four touchdowns, is also expected to return.       

PCAL-MISSION

Soledad High

  • When: Sept. 27
  • Where: Mustangs Stadium
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state rankings: 659th
  • Last year’s overall record: 3-9 (CCS Division V quarterfinalist)
  • Last year’s league record: 3-3 (third in PCAL-Mission division)
  • Coach: Eric Rodriguez
  • Notes: The Mustangs have won three straight games against the Aztecs, including last year’s 34-19 victory… Soledad will be without the services of Gabriel Flores, who completed 49 percent of his pass attempts (95-of-193) for 1,366 yards to go along with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions… Leading receiver Angel Olivas, who finished with 757 receiving yards on 47 receptions and eight touchdowns, along with leading rusher Chris Gonzalez, who finished with 610 rushing yards on 97 carries and three touchdowns, will also be missed this season.

Monterey High

  • When: Oct. 4
  • Where: Monterey Peninsula College
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state ranking: 356th
  • Last year’s overall record: 11-2 (CCS Division V semifinalist)
  • Last year’s league record: 6-0 (PCAL-Cypress champion)
  • Coach: Henry Lusk
  • Notes: The Toreadores defeated the Mustangs in last year’s CCS Division V quarterfinals, 15-10… Since 2004, MVC is 2-10 against Monterey… The Toreadores will be without dual threat quarterback Evans Charles and running back Timothy Byrd…But senior running back Janias Thomas along with junior receiver Hendrick Lusk are set to have breakout seasons.   

 

Scotts Valley High

  • When: Oct. 11
  • Where: Scotts Valley High
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state rankings: 641st
  • Last year’s overall record: 4-6 
  • Last year’s league record: 1-5 (sixth in PCAL-Mission division)
  • Coach: Lewis LaHood
  • Notes: It’ll be the first season under Lewis LaHood after longtime coach Louie Walters stepped down last year…. Since 2004, the Mustangs are 1-2 against the Falcons. MVC won last year’s game, 36-7… Scotts Valley will be without quarterback Kyle Rajala… Falcons tight end and middle linebacker Will Schwartz will return along with running back Joseph Roach and receiver Casey Collins. 

Alisal High

  • When: Oct. 18
  • Where: Mustangs Stadium
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state rankings: 438th
  • Last year’s overall record: 5-5 
  • Last year’s league record: 3-3 (fourth in PCAL-Mission division)
  • Coach: Cesar Chaidez
  • Notes: The Mustangs have won three-straight games against the Trojans, including last year’s 21-13 road win… Alisal will be without a majority of its starters from last year’s squad, including quarterback Julian Renteria, full back Dorian Segovia, middle linebacker Frankie Hernandez and middle linebacker Rodrigo Ruiz.

North Salinas High

  • When: Nov. 1
  • Where: Rabobank Stadium in Salinas
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state rankings: 573rd
  • Last year’s overall record: 5-5 
  • Last year’s league record: 2-4 (fifth in PCAL-Mission division)
  • Coach: Ben Ceralde 
  • Notes: Since 2012, the Mustangs have defeated the Vikings in four-straight meetings, including last year’s 30-7 home win… North Salinas no longer has running back Matt Morales and receiver Manuel Camberos… But, the Vikings should expect quarterback Jake Sotelo to return for his senior season.

Seaside High

  • When: Nov. 8
  • Where: Mustangs Stadium
  • Last year’s MaxPreps state rankings: 640th
  • Last year’s overall record: 1-10 
  • Last year’s league record: 1-6 (seventh in PCAL-Gabilan division)
  • Coach: Al Avila
  • Notes: The Mustangs are 1-10 against the Spartans dating back to 2004… The last time MVC defeated Seaside was a 35-7 win in 2011… The Spartans will be without offensive star Elijah Robinson, offensive lineman Jamie Ortiz and defensive tackle Terrance Hawkins… Seaside quarterback Tristan Cortez and running back Jacob Salinas are expected to return for their senior seasons. 

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Editor’s Note: This entry is part 2 of 7 in a weekly series that will delve into each local high school football program’s schedule. Following alphabetical order, North Monterey County High’s breakdown will run in the August 9 edition of the The Pajaronian.

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