Arapahoe returns key pieces of a squad that went 10-2 last season on the way to the quarterfinals of 5A state. Offensively, RB Jose Cancannon is back to improve on his 1,400 plus yards. Receiver Ethan Brunhofer is also back after 43 catches as is Griffen Hansen. Brunhofer and Hansen, both 6-2 will create numerous opportunities for quarterback Gabe Peterson.
Defensively defensive end Kyle Foss and tackle Alex Schmidt return while Jaylen Mosqueira and Taden Jones guide the secondary.
For years the play of the Columbine offensive line has fueled multiple state championships. The year the line needs time to gel, but the good news is they only have to create a glimmer of daylight to create opportunities for Bernard McDondle. Last year McDondle averaged over nine yards a carry, adding to his rep as Colorado's top big play performer. Further, multiple other players such as Jeremy Aparicio and Larry Munson carried the mail for the run first offense. Leading the offensive line is senior Joey Bustam. On both sides of the
ball Jacen White is a player that will need to contribute.
Last season, during a 5-5 campaign Lakewood received major contributions from numerous sophomores. With a year of experience this group could put the Tigers in contention. Running back Sean Pinson-Boogs rushed for nearly a 1,000 last season averaging over six yards a carry. Pinson-Boogs is also a threat as a receiver and returner. Fellow junior Jacob Romero is a dual threat quarterback and very good defensive back. Tight end Dan Collins will make a nice safety valve for Romero. Defensively junior linebacker Chase Braun and defensive lineman Chris Bergman should have strong seasons. Forget about their senior year, this group of underclassmen are scary talented.
Best of the Rest
Chatfield's offense highlighted by junior quarterback Kyle Winkler and senior 1,000 yard rusher Brendan Murphy will have to put up points early in the season as senior linebacker Shawn Berry and junior defensive end Zach Hoffschneider foster an inexperienced defense.
Last season a young Bear Creek squad under first year coach Zach Morris suffered through a difficult 2-8 campaign. The crucible may serve this year's numerous returnees as the Bears attempt to regain 5A prominence. Offensively quarterback Nick Madrid returns as does running back PJ Russell. On defense seniors Danny Flanagan at defensive back and linebackers Irwin Sanchez and Drew Shotts hope to improve on the 30 points a game surrendered in 2012.
The Mustangs with Tom Thennell in his second year are in the strange position of returning limited starters and breaking in multiple skill players. The experience of All-State offensive lineman Reid Stables will help this potentially rocky transition. Alabama bound super punter and kicker J.K. Scott will make long fields for opposing offenses and also put up points if the Mullen offense can reach the 35 yard line. 6-3 receiver Ryan Manning should have a big season in Coach Thennell's offense.
Offensive Player of the Year: Bernard McDondle RB Columbine
Defensive Player of the Year: Shawn Berry LB Chatfield