Prep Preview: River Valley League

Norte Vista's Freddy Holly ran for more than 2,500 yards as a junior last season. / Photo for The Press-Enterprise

Riverside Norte Vista’s Fred Holly, Jr. ran for more than 2,500 yards as a junior last season. / Photo for The Press-Enterprise

PREP FOOTBALL 2015
RIVER VALLEY LEAGUE PREVIEW

(Records for last season)

A rivalry isn’t a rivalry until the little guy rises up and has his say. Riverside La Sierra did that last season and won league, but strangely parted ways with its young head coach in the off-season. To call this a surprise would be a lie. Continuity in the football program does not matter at LSHS.

Riverside La Sierra (8-3 overall, 5-0 River Valley League) reached last season’s playoffs but Derrick Cruz was so tired from carrying the workload for three seasons that another shootout was too big an ask. The Eagles have a couple of players, as usual, so what will new coach Garry Hedlund bring to the fold?

Riverside Norte Vista (10-2, 4-1) would do well to stock plenty of popcorn because ‘The Freddie Holly Show’ is about to start. Hard to imagine he tops last season’s numbers, though. Senior Craig Kilgore probably takes over at QB, and will have all-league returner Devanere Crenshaw as a big-time target.

Jurupa Valley Patriot (6-6, 3-2) returns many of its top skill position players, but will rely heavily on steady senior QB John Holder to continue to make all the right moves. Holder took over under center midway through last season, and groomed a pair of receivers along the way.

Riverside Ramona (2-8, 1-4) looks to benefit the most from a scramble behind Norte Vista. Coach Vinny Fazio had an off-season in the weight room with this program, 1,000-yard rusher Paul Garcia returns, and there’s excitement surrounding dual-threat sophomore QB Omri Edwards.

Riverside Hillcrest (1-9, 1-4) made some strides last season but the Trojan’s first coach, Sebastian Hernandez, was let go in favor of former Corona High coach John Brandom. What the means for this young program remains to be seen.

Jurupa Valley (3-7, 1-4) is a hapless lot on offense. But coach Joe Gerez sure can crank out quality lineman, and he’s got a couple of dandies this season. Now if he can get one or two playmakers…

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

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
RB Miguel Alvarez, Sr., Patriot
QB/DB Noah Anderson, Jr., Ramona
G/T Eddie Contreras, Sr., Jurupa Valley
WR/DB Devanere Crenshaw, Sr., Norte Vista
WR/OLB Dominic Dighton, Jr., La Sierra
QB/DB/WR Omri Edwards, Soph., Ramona
QB Alex Garcia, Sr., Hillcrest
WR/DB/WR Paul Garcia, Sr., Ramona
WB/SS John Holder, Sr., Patriot
RB Freddie Holly, Sr., Norte Vista
QB/SS Laurence Morgan III, Sr., La Sierra
RB Demetrick Watts, Sr., Hillcrest

PROMINENT GAMES:
Sept. 4 — La Sierra at Riverside Arlington, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 — Fontana Summit at Norte Vista, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 — Patriot at Ramona, 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 — La Sierra at Norte Vista, 7 p.m.

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