Prep Preview: Citrus Belt League

San Bernardino Cajon QB Jayden Daniels will be looking to avoid a sophomore slump.

San Bernardino Cajon QB Jayden Daniels will be looking to avoid a sophomore slump.

PREP FOOTBALL 2016
CITRUS BELT LEAGUE PREVIEW

(2015 records in parenthesis)

By HARVEY KAHN
Featured Contributor / HarveyMKahn@aol.com

It’s Redlands East Valley, San Bernardino Cajon and a battle for playoff positioning after that. No one goes undefeated in CBL this season. The REV-at-Cajon contest on Oct. 28 should present a No. 1 seed, but with REV going for an amazing 10th straight CBL title the Wildcats have to be favored for at least a co-title. Redlands and Yucaipa could also state their case for that second spot. Carter should play everyone close. Miller is two players away from a slot in the league’s upper tier, just a couple players ahead of Citrus Valley and Eisenhower.

REDLANDS EAST VALLEY (9-3, 6-1) Pre-season CIF-SS rank #38. Senior Armando Herrera has already accomplished enough to be considered one of the top throwing QBs in San Bernardino County history. Junior all-purpose back Gabriel Clark should be a factor. Senior RB Vincent Bilderrain has shown promise. Linebacker’s Jaelan Phillips and Voi Fata are a frightful presence.

SAN BERNARDINO CAJON (11-2, 6-1 CBL) Pre-season CIF-SS rank #53. The Cowboys can be summed up in two words: Jayden Daniels. As a freshman led Cajon to a 37-17 win at REV, a totaled 2,694 yards and 38 TDs on the year. Zero of his top three receivers return, but he and senior RB Aaron Ortega have a massive offensive line to run behind. LB Nicolas Wilson leads the defense.

RIALTO CARTER (7-3, 4-3) Pre-season CIF-SS rank #142. Long known for a stingy defense. Shouldn’t be any different this season. QB Sonny Robinson should put up numbers, but graduation of RB Spencer Coleman leaves a big hole. Ethan Howe made big plays on defense last year and should do the same. The Lions will upset someone.

YUCAIPA (8-4, 4-3) Pre-season CIF-SS rank #59. Perhaps best offensive line in CBL but who will run behind it. Three-year starting QB Nathan Martinez is always a threat. Gavin Norris looks like a good target. DBs Josh Torrance and Asani Hampton are two of the best. TE Blake Barbour could be a sleeper.

REDLANDS (8-4, 5-2) Preseason CIF-SS rank #38. Nearly all starters graduated including entire backfield. New quarterback Steven Garcia has thrown only ten varsity passes but directed Redlands to titles at JV and frosh level. All-purpose Doug Haugh should get plenty of touches.

FONTANA MILLER (2-8, 1-6) Pre-season CIF-SS rank: #245. First-year coach Shawn Moore faces a challenge. Has skeleton crew of exceptional players led by QB Malik Flowers and Joseph Radgowski who could lead the Rebels to one CBL upset.

REDLANDS CITRUS VALLEY (4-6, 2-5) Pre-season CIF-SS rank #169. Could be a long season. RB Lawrence Lopez likely to carry the load. Isaac Isaiah and Kellen Pachot are able offensive threats, with Tristen Nichols anchoring the defense.

RIALTO EISENHOWER (1-9, 0-7) Pre-season CIF-SS rank #264. First year coach Al Brown gets to rally his team in Ron Lott Stadium. There’s a full roster here with school spirit galore, so anything can happen. Ike will build around sophomore DT/OT Sataoa Laumea.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Redlands East Valley
Cajon
Yucaipa
Redlands
Carter
Miller
Citrus Valley
Eisenhower

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
OL Paul Bakenhus, Sr., Yucaipa
LB Devan Charles, Sr., Redlands
QB Jayden Daniels, Soph., Cajon
OT Alfred Edwards, Sr., Redlands
LB Voi Fata, Sr., Redlands East Valley
QB/RB Malik Flowers, Sr., Miller
QB Armando Herrera, Sr. Redlands East Valley
DE Ethan Howe, Sr., Carter
DE/LB Jaelan Phillips, Sr., Redlands East Valley
OT Frank Lemos III, Sr., Yucaipa
QB Nathan Martinez, Sr. Yucaipa
QB Sonny Robinson, Sr., Carter
DB Josh Torrance, Sr., Yucaipa
LB Nicolas Wilson, Sr. Cajon

PROMINENT GAMES:
Aug. 26 — Palm Springs at Redlands, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 — REV at Upland, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 — Cajon at Fontana Kaiser, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 — REV at Menifee Heritage, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — Redlands at Yucaipa, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 — Redlands at REV, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 — Carter at Yucaipa, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — Yucaipa at Cajon, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 — REV at Cajon, 7 p.m.

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