Prep Preview: River Valley League

Riverside Norte Vista reached the CIF-SS Eastern Division championship game last season. / Photo by PE.com

Riverside Norte Vista reached the CIF-SS Eastern Division championship game last season. / Photo by PE.com

This league produced two CIF-Southern Section Eastern Division semifinalists last season — Norte Vista and Moreno Valley. And although MoVal leaves the RVL, only the Big VIII League in last year’s Inland Division — Centennial and Norco — can boast such a distinction.

Riverside Norte Vista (5-9) survived forfeiting a whole bunch of games because of ineligible player and still managed to make it to the division title game. Coach Ken Batdorf will return his two most prolific runners — Freddy Holley and Andrew Martinez — from last season.

Riverside Patriot (4-6) loses one of its best all-time players — J.D. Gonzalez — to graduation and with him will have to replace almost all its starts on offense this season.

Riverside La Sierra (3-7) got better as last season progressed and came within a finger-tip’s reach of beating Moreno Valley in the regular season finale and clinching a playoff spot under first-year coach Jeff Roney.

Riverside Ramona (4-7) begins anew once more under new coach Vinny Fazio and his defense-first philosophy. One thing is for sure — the Rams will be much tougher and stronger this year than perhaps ever before.

Jurupa Valley (1-9) continues its stay in the cellar of whatever league it happens to be playing in. It’s a shame, too. There are plenty of proud Jaguars who wish they were just a little better.

Riverside Hillcrest begins its first varsity as the Alvord Unified School District’s whipping boy. But with new facilities, a new attitude and new demographics how long will that last.

PROJECTED OF FINISH:
Riverside Norte Vista
Riverside Ramona
Riverside La Sierra
Riverside Patriot
Jurupa Valley
Riverside Hillcrest

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
WR Andreau Benny, Riverside La Sierra
RB Jorge Camacho, Jurupa Valley
QB Derrick Cruz, Riverside La Sierra
LB Randy Hoffman, Riverside La Sierra
RB Freddy Holley, Riverside Norte Vista
ATH Chris Kilgore, Riverside Ramona
RB Chantrail Lathon, Riverside Ramona
RB Andrew Martinez, Riverside Norte Vista
WR Byron Mayes, Riverside Ramona
LB Kevin Meitznheimer, Riverside Norte Vista
OLB Nick Renteria, Riverside Patriot

GAMES TO CONSIDER:
Sept. 6 — Riverside Arlington at Riverside La Sierra
Sept. 12 — Riverside Poly at Riverside Ramona
Oct. 16 — Riverside Norte Vista at Riverside Ramona
Oct. 31 — Riverside La Sierra at Riverside Norte Vista
Nov. 7 — Riverside La Sierra at Riverside Ramona

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