Season Preview: Mojave River League

PREP FOOTBALL 2021
MOJAVE RIVER LEAGUE PREVIEW

(Spring 2021 records in parenthesis)

A rising tide lifts all boats, but this may be the first time that wave is coming from the desert. Apple Valley is the yacht in the High Desert water this season as the Sun Devils boast a potential superstar at quarterback. Phelan Serrano is weather-tested and now has some real strength on its lines. Hesperia Oak Hills had a tough time holding on to the ball in the spring so that’ll be Question No. 1 this fall. Hesperia can’t seem to do more than keep its head above water. Hesperia Sultana is trying not to drown. Ridgecrest Burroughs didn’t play in the spring and haven’t fielded a team since 2019, so swim lessons are in order.

APPLE VALLEY (5-0 overall, 4-0 Mojave River) has a lot to worry about with senior QB Jayden Max Denegal’s commitment to University of Michigan, so the Sun Devils roster will need to step like never before against a schedule unlike anything the program has seen before.

PHELAN SERRANO (4-1, 3-1) is as steady as ever and ready to step up should Apple Valley make a misstep or two. Casey Maholchic is ready to take his team in to big games, which is good because the Diamondbacks are playoff-bound with all their two-way talent.

HESPERIA OAK HILLS (2-3, 2-2) has a tons of options for senior QB Andrew Garcia but better decision-making on offense will be needed if the Bulldogs are to do more than sniff Apple Valley and Serrano from behind.

HESPERIA (1-3, 2-3) are right where it finished the spring season – in fourth place and looking like nearly all the sting has been taken out of this once stealthy and intelligent opponent.

HESPERIA SULTANA (0-4, 0-4) only scored two touchdowns during the spring season, so there’s a lot of work to be done for the Sultans.

RIDGECREST BURROUGHS (0-0, 0-0) has even more work to do after Kern County did not allow the school the field a team in 2020.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Apple Valley
Phelan Serrano
Hesperia Oak Hills
Hesperia
Hesperia Sultana
Ridgecrest Burroughs

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
LB/TE Aaron Bautista, Sr., Serrano
DB/WR Tanner Chaffee, Sr., Serrano
QB Jayden Max Denegal, Sr., Apple Valley
RB Dvant Finch, Sr., Oak Hills
QB Tyler Henden, Soph., Burroughs
TE/DE Josh Lowe, Sr., Hesperia
RB Kaleb Most, Sr., Apple Valley
ILB/TE Gavin Hambrick, Sr., Apple Valley
DE/LB Andre Ruiz, Sultana
OL/DL Daniel Sonora, Sr., Serrano
RB/DB Prince Thomas, Sr., Oak Hills

PROMINENT GAMES:
Aug. 26 – Adelanto at Serrano
Aug. 27 – Rancho Cucamonga at Apple Valley
Sept. 3 – Apple Valley at Murrieta Valley
Sept. 10 – Oak Hills at Citrus Valley
Sept. 30 – Serrano at Apple Valley

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