Prep Preview: Desert Valley League

Cathedral City RB Orlando Wallace lead all DVL juniors in rush yards and TDs last season. / Photo MYDESERT.com

Cathedral City RB Orlando Wallace lead all DVL juniors in rush yards and TDs last season. / Photo MYDESERT.com

Some might see the Desert Valley League’s move from CIF-Southern Section’s Central Division to its Eastern Division as a demotion. For other teams it’s a chance to get a sniff at a title that was previously unattainable, especially this league; A collective 1-3 in last year’s playoffs.

La Quinta (8-4) won six of its last eight games last season, which was ended by eventual division champion Menifee Heritage, 42-12, in a CIF-SS quarterfinal. QB Michael Avina saw the majority of the snaps last season, and RB Chris Rom-Turibio looks to carry to the rushing workload.

Palm Desert (5-6) was second in the league in points (407) but was also second in points allowed (368). Patrick Blackburn must install key pieces into a new offensive unit while tightening the defensive side. It’s a tall task.

Palm Springs (7-4) had a good regular season but clearly weren’t prepared for postseason play after an early 35-21 exit courtesy Ontario Colony. QB William Olvera looked good in spots but has yet to emerge as full dual-threat talent.

Cathedral City (8-2) lost 13-0 to Palm Springs in the regular season finale and had the best record of any team not to reach the playoffs last season. RB Orlando Wallace’s 12 TDs and 900-plus yards last year are reason to believe they’ll get in this year.

Coachella Valley (4-6) only league victory last season was vs. Indio, indicating a big gap between fourth and fifth. Coach Scott Fisher only had 39 players by the end of last season but returns firecracker QB-RB tandem Ricky Perez and Noah Torres and lights-out LB Carlos Median.

Poor Indio (0-10). Poor, pool Indio. The Rajahs only scored 119 points against 520 last season. If there’s a bright side here, there’s a bright side any where.

Palm Desert Xavier Prep (7-3) had been freelance until joining the Desert Valley this season. Coach Bob Molyet returns a few good receivers and a pair of experienced defenders in LB Florian Martinez and DB Isaac Ortega.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Cathedral City
Coachella Valley
La Quinta
Palm Springs
Palm Desert Xavier Prep
Palm Desert
Indio

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB Michael Avina, La Quinta
LB Tommy Jacobsson, Palm Desert
LB Florian Martinez, Palm Desert Xavier Prep
LB Carlos Median, Coachella Valley
QB William Olvera, Palm Springs
QB Ricky Perez, Coachella Valley
RB Chris Rom-Turibio, La Quinta
OLB Trenton Thompson, Palm Springs
RB Noah Torres, Coachella Valley
RB Orlando Wallace, Cathedral City

GAMES TO CONSIDER:
Sept. 5 — Palm Springs at Redlands
Sept. 26 — Coachella Valley at Cathedral City
Oct. 3 — Cathedral City at Palm Desert Xavier Prep

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