Season Preview: Citrus Belt League

PREP FOOTBALL 2021 (PRESEASON)
CITRUS BELT LEAGUE PREVIEW

(Spring 2021 records in parenthesis)

The Citrus Belt League has been the playground of the San Bernardino Cajon Cowboys since the bygone days of Jayden Daniels. Cajon has a tight senior class but coach Nick Rogers loves competition and the Cowboys have loads of talented underclassmen ready for their shot at the upcoming rodeo. Citrus Valley lost an all-timer gamer at QB but coach Kurt Bruich knows a few things about re-loading. Beaumont coach Jeff Steinberg declares “I’m nowhere close to retiring,” and has the Cougars set up for long-term success. Yucaipa continues to prove its mettle, every season, while Redlands East Valley and Redlands High are proof that its tough everywhere to hold up more than one strong football program per district.

SAN BERNARDINO CAJON (5-0 CBL) worked for its unbeaten record in the Spring, and the Cowboys aren’t afraid of the work to stay atop the CBL for a fifth consecutive season. Senior RB Freddy Fletcher will get the bulk of the headlines, but senior WR Ethan Powell can be explosive and senior LB Jacob Pam is a tackling machine.

BEAUMONT (3-2) will put the ball in the hands of someone other than senior Matthew Burnett, who has been converted to a TE. Junior RB Armando Cuellar saw a whole bunch of touches during the spring season and will likely be packing a little more on to his 5-foot-4 frame by kickoff.

YUCAIPA (3-2) ended the spring season with back-to-back wins over REV and Redlands, and returns a number of key pieces on offense including senior RB Emmanuel Barajas, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry last season.

REDLANDS CITRUS VALLEY (2-3) will have to wait for a QB to emerge, and so the Blackhawks will rely on junior RB Jeremiah Claiborne to run the ball and a defense led by senior DT Osman Bolanos.

REDLANDS EAST VALLEY (1-4) was a program loaded with seniors in the spring, and from the look of its 125-man roster it seems like new coach Gavin Pachot has plenty with which to work.

REDLANDS (0-5) has just four wins in 2.5 seasons under Mike McFarland, no stats for the spring season and no roster posted.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Cajon
Citrus Valley
Beaumont
Yucaipa
Redlands East Valley
Redlands

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
RB Emmanuel Barajas, Sr., Yucaipa
UT Wyatt Blackmon, Sr., Yucaipa
DT Osman Bolanos, Sr., Citrus Valley
RB Jeremiah Claiborne, Jr., Citrus Valley
RB Armando Cuellar, Jr., Beaumont
RB Freddy Fletcher, Sr., Cajon
DB Jelani McLaughlin, Jr., Citrus Hill
DT Kevin Palacios, Sr., Beaumont
LB Jacob Pan, Sr., Cajon
WR Laviel Pickett, Sr., REV
WR Ethan Powell, Sr., Cajon

PROMINENT GAMES:
Aug. 27 – Rancho Verde at Citrus Valley
Sept. 24 – Rancho Cucamonga at Cajon
Oct. 1 – Citrus Valley at Cajon
Oct. 1 – Yucaipa at Redlands
Oct. 8 – Citrus Valley at REV
Oct. 28 – Beaumont at Citrus Valley

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