Prep Preview: Mt. Pass League
MT. PASS LEAGUE PREVIEW
(Records in parenthesis)
Citrus Hill has been so good for so long now that the question is inevitable. How long will Eric Zomalt stay with the Hawks? Now, we know he loves and appreciates his role there at ‘The Hill,’ and that he’s committed completely to the task at hand. He’s solid like that. But opportunity is a revolving door, not a vault. Things will change. Matt Logan will eventually coach another team.
Perris Citrus Hill (11-2 overall, 5-0 Mt. Pass League) is the unquestioned powerhouse here, and the defense is one the hawkish few in the Inland area. Questions remain on offense, however. Will senior RB Devin “The Dude” Floyd follow up his 17-TD, 1,000-yard performance with a season to really remember? Is there another dual-threat QB around the corner?
San Jacinto (9-2, 4-1) is still in the immediate aftermath of Bill Powell’s departure. New coach Aric Galliano will work with what looks like a revised roster after the Tigers’ top returning underclassmen — including Noah Kimbrough and Isiah Boldin — left the program.
Hemet Tahquitz (4-7, 2-3) faces its own coaching change as Dennis Gregovich exits and Damon Dustin enters. Gregovich is now coach JUCO in at MSJC. Dustin, formerly the head coach at Riverside Ramona, inherits a playoff-caliber defense.
Hemet (6-4, 2-3) had one of the best records of any CIF-SS non-playoff team last season, and now they have a new coach as Jason Thornburg takes over for Jeff Reitz. Thornburg steps in as senior ATH Tanner Manning steps in to play QB.
Beaumont (4-6, 1-4) may benefit from some continuity as head coach Paul Lopez is back for his eighth season. The Cougars were in the playoff hunt last season and bring back a two-way QB and a few pieces on defense.
Hemet West Valley (1-9, 1-4) is the fourth Mt. Pass League team enduring a coaching switch. Its also the least likely to do so and see a big boost after posting a 3-17 record the last two seasons.
PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Hemet West Valley
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
DL/OL Quentin Blair, Sr., Beaumont
T/DE Chris Estrella, Sr., San Jacinto
RB Devin Floyd, Sr. Citrus Hill
DE Desmond Johnson, Sr., Tahquitz
QB Tanner Manning, Sr., Hemet
QB/DB Noah Rhodes, Sr., Beaumont
DB/WR Steven Richardson, Sr., Hemet
FS Rayvon Simon, Sr., San Jacinto
WR/FS C.J. Sullivan, Sr., Tahquitz
ATH Skyler Thomas, Sr., Citrus Hill
Aug. 28 — MoVal Rancho Verde at Citrus Hill, 7 p.m.
Sept. 25 — Citrus Hill at Norco, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 — Hemet at Hemet Tahquitz, 7 p.m.
Nov. 6 — Hemet at Beaumont, 7 p.m.