Lets journey down Highway 4 to Antioch today.
Ben’s question: Two years ago, Deer Valley went 10-0, upset Pittsburg in the regular season and seemed to be on top of the high school football world. Of course, the Wolverines got upended in the playoffs by that same Pittsburg squad, bringing their season to a screeching halt. In 2007, Deer Valley managed to rebound well, finishing with a 7-3 record but narrowly missing a spot in the playoffs.
So, which Deer Valley will show up this season? The 10-0 world beaters or the fringe playoff squad of a year ago?
Chace’s answer: My guess would lean toward a blend of the two. I don’t necessarily see the Wolverines reeling off a 10-0 regular season, but I do see them making a return to the postseason in 2008.
I base this theory on the fact that coach Rich Woods should have a number of returning playmakers on offense. Everything starts with their backfield, which features the returning running back combo of senior Traysean Alexander and junior Sean Combs. Combs carried the ball 54 times last season and averaged 7.7 yards per carry. Alexander handled the ball 32 times and averaged 5.3 yards per rush.
Quarterback Cruz Castillo could also return to the fold. Though he didn’t have a great statistical season in 2007, anytime you can put experience under center, it’s a good thing.
The questions surrounding Deer Valley are most likely to center around defense. The Wolverines will certainly have some holes to fill after losing defensive standouts Michael Nash, Kevin Hom, Daniel Morton and Eddie Holmes.
Woods has done a solid job in stabilizing this program, and he should have no shortage of athletes. Their nonleague schedule isn’t quite as intense as it’s been the past two seasons, so I’d look for seven to eight wins and a trip to the NCS Division I playoff field.