Prep Preview: Southwestern League
SOUTHWESTERN LEAGUE PREVIEW
(Records in parenthesis)
Is there a team that can catch Vista Murrieta? Or is the SWL becoming like the Big VIII League in that nobody can match Corona Centennial? Vista Murrieta is shameless with speed thanks to coach Coley Candaele and his outstanding track program. It’s a 1-2 punch that has made the Broncos nearly untouchable the last six seasons.
Vista Murrieta (11-3 overall, 5-0 SWL) has talent all over the field. Senior WR Kyle Williams will catch passes from incoming junior QB Karson Greeley, who transferred from Riverside King and steps in as the starter. He’ll have a familiar target in brother Kade Greeley, and senior RBs Keith Ford and Cole Dubots will split carries behind a great offensive line.
Temecula Great Oak (10-3, 4-1) had its best season, reaching the CIF-SS West Valley Division semifinals in its first try. The Wolfpack may not be that good this season, but still good enough to claim a playoff spot. Senior RB Demetric Felton is the go-to guy on offense. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is second to none in the Inland area.
Temecula Valley (6-5, 2-3) advanced to the postseason in coach Rick Mey’s first season, but were trampled by Santa Ana Mater Dei in the first round. That was a senior-heavy team, however, and Mey’s current roster doesn’t list any of the underclassman who received significant playing time last year so there’s little chance this is a playoff team.
Murrieta Valley (4-6, 2-3) played in some of the best SWL games of the season but lost its final two games to miss the playoffs. Freshman Hank Bachmeir has earned the starting QB job, and he’ll have senior RB Quincy Wimbish, who ran for nine TDs and more than 1,100 yards last season, to lean on in his first varsity season.
Murrieta Mesa (4-6, 0-5) was only close in one league game last season — a loss, clearly — and have yet to even sniff at playoff contention. Some media have that happening this season. Senior T Nathan Smith is committed to USC, and they have returners at QB and RB give Rams some continuity.
Temecula Chaparral (3-7, 2-3) won its final game of the season but saw coach Ryan Fukua let go afterward. The Pumas are now under the command of Ryan McCullough, and will look to junior RB Austin Bacher for positive gains this season.
PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Temecula Great Oak
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB Hank Bachmeir, Fr., Murrieta Valley
RB Austin Bacher, Jr., Chaparral
RB Demetric Felton, Sr., Great Oak
RB Keith Ford, Sr., Vista Murrieta
RB Lika Palmer, Jr., Temecula Valley
T Nathan Smith, Sr., Murrieta Mesa
K Mateo Thompson, Sr., Murrieta Mesa
WR Kyle Williams, Sr., Vista Murrieta
RB/CB Quincy Wimbish, Jr., Murrieta Valley
Sept. 4 — Riverside Poly at Temecula Chaparral, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4 — MoVal Rancho Verde at Murrieta Mesa, 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 — Rancho Cucamonga at Murrieta Valley, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 — Vista Murrieta at Great Oak, 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 — Murrieta Mesa at Great Oak, 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 — Murrieta Valley at Temecula Valley, 7 p.m.