Football teams at a glance

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ARAPAHOE

Coach - Mike Campbell

2012 highlights - 4-1 in Super 6 League, 10-2 overall, lost to Valor Christian 49-18 in quarterfinals of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Top players - Ethan Brunhofer, TE/SB, 6-2, 205, Sr.; Jose Cancanon, RB, 5-10, 190, Sr.; Gabe Peterson, QB, 6-2, 210, Sr.; Jaylen Mosqueira, LB, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Kyle Foss, DE, 6-1, 210, Sr.; Alex Schmidt, NG, 6-0, 230, Sr.

2013 outlook - The defending Super 6 champion Warriors are such a senior-heavy team that if they stay healthy they will be a tough opponent. Lack of depth could be a problem. Brunhofer, a two-time Super 6 first team selection, is a MaxPreps All-Colorado Pre-season All-State tight end who has caught 90 passes over the past two seasons. Cancanon, a two-year starter, rushed for over 1,400 yards in the 2012 All-League campaign while Peterson is adept at both throwing and running the football. Mosqueira, Schmidt and Foss, third-year starters, are the defensive ringleaders.

Say what? - “If we are healthy and can put our best 11 out there on D, I like our chances every week. We're ready, we want to play. We certainly recognize there are some great teams out there that have great talent, but we think we match up against most of them,” said Campbell.

CASTLE VIEW

Coach - Ryan Hollingshead

2012 highlights - 4-2 in Pioneer League, 4-6 overall, lost to Ralston Valley in opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Top players - Garrett Vidal, DE/TE, 6-4, 215, Sr.; Joe Hunsaker, OL, 5-10, 225, Sr.; Tyler Trehal, OL, 6-4, 220, Sr.; Elias Jackson, RB, 5-11, 185, Sr.; Trevor Smeeton, QB/WB, 5-10, 190, Sr.; Chris Linn,QB/ WB, 6-3, 185, Jr.; Erik Taylor, RB, 5-9, 165, Jr.; Hudsen Marker, SS, 6-1, 180, Jr.; Parker Strahler, WR/K, 6-0, 165, Jr.

2013 outlook - Sabercats have advanced to state playoff action the past four years (one in Class 5A) and appear to have the personnel to make another playoff push this season. Depth is a problem as many players play on both offense and defense. Smeeton and Linn combined to pass for 1,015 yards and 15 TDs in 2012. Vidal, who was in on 32 tackles and three sacks, spearheads the defense.

Say what? - “We have a goal to win our first league championship for our school after being second three of the last four years. Our kids need to reload and keep the tradition alive,” said Hollingshead.

CHERRY CREEK

Coach - Dave Logan

2012 highlights — 3-2 in Centennial League, 6-5 overall, lost 57-56 in overtime to ThunderRidge in the second round of Class 5A state playoffs

Top players — Jaeden Graham, S/WR, 6-3, 215, Sr.; Brett Hollenback, DL, 6-1, 245, Sr.; Matt Rindal, LB, 5-11,205, Sr.; Pete Nielsen, OL, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Mikey McCauley, TE, 6-2, 210, Sr.; Joe Parker, WR, 5-10, 175, Jr.

2013 outlook - McCauley and Parker each had 18 receptions. Rindal missed two games but was the Bruins' leading tackler with 50 last season. Graham was named a MaxPreps first team preseason All-State defensive selection. Creek lost four games last year when leading in the second half and coaches have been working to instill mental toughness in the players. Seniors will play key roles on a team that will rely on underclass talent. Bruins have three returning offensive starters and six on defense.

Say what? - “We're excited about this season. We have to find ways to close out games. We'll still be young this year. This will be a team with some key seniors at certain spots but we will play predominantly underclassmen,” said Logan, who starts his second season as Creek's head coach.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Coach - Jeff Ketron

2012 highlights — 2-3 in Continental League, 5-5 overall, lost to Fountain Fort Carson in first round of Class 5A state playoffs.

Top players — Trey Smith, RB, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Jamin Smith, OL, 6-3, 275, Sr.; Nick Viola, OL, 6-3, 265, Sr.; Tyler Ward, OL, 5-10, 255, Sr.; Adam Tate, OL, 5-11, 270, Sr.; Wyatt Bryan, K/WR, 6-0, 165, Sr,; Tyler Ketron, RB/WR, 5-10, 165, Sr,; Kyle Christy, DB, 6-1, 165, Sr.; Alex Heintzelman, DB, 6-1, 170, Sr.; Austin Newsome, DB, 5-9, 160, Sr.; Zach Barlow, LB, 6-0, 200, Sr.

2013 outlook - Huskies have speed and an experienced squad, which will help them survive a tough schedule. Trey Smith, who has committed to play at CSU, rushed for 1,700 yards last season and finished No. 1 in the state in all-purpose. Trey Smith and Jamin Smith, who has verbally committed to New Mexico State, were All-Conference picks in 2012. Trey Smith, a MaxPreps first team preseason All-State selection as an athlete, rushed for 1,732 yards, caught 16 passes for 213 yards and finished his junior year with 2,141 all purpose yards.

Say what? - “On Sept. 20 we have a very unique event. We are calling it `Honor our Heroes.' We are admitting all the veterans into the game for free, we are donating the gate to the DC Veterans fund and Project Sanctuary,” said Ketron.

CHAPARRAL

Coach - John Vogt

2012 — 3-2 in Continental League, 8-3 overall, lost 14-13 to Eaglecrest in second round of Class 5A playoffs.

Top players - Brandon Malone, WR, 6-0, 195, Sr.; Brandon Reidemann, OL, 6-3, 270, Sr.; Brandon Leahy, OL, 6-2, 265, Jr.; Jacob Hunt, OL, 6-0, 235, Sr.; Mitch Ross, RB, 6-2, 190, Jr.; Austin Skinner, OL, 6-3, 285, Sr.; Dustin Dobbs, WR, 5-8, 170, Sr.; R.J. Martin, LB, 6-1, 250, Sr.; Keenan Fosche, LB, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Keiffer Morris, DE, 6-4, 220, Sr.; Evan Villanueva, LB, 6-1, 215, Sr.; Dallas Dobbs, DB, 5-8, 170, Sr.; Hayden Starr, DL, 5-11, 195, Sr.; Kyle Gallup, QB, 6-2, 200, Jr.; Cole Lehman, QB, 6-2, 185, Jr.; Anthony Morse, RB, 6-0, 185, Jr.; Geoffrey Fender, OL, 6-5, 215, Jr.; Nolan Ellis, WR, 5-11, 175, Sr.; Jake Tarr, DB, 5-10, 170, Sr.; JJ Rapp, DB, 6-0, 170, Jr.; Jordan Rapp, DE, 6-4, 225, Jr.; Javon Spencer, DB, 5-9, 160, Soph.

2013 outlook - Fourteen starters and 30 lettermen return from last season's team that was the state's No. 1 ranked Class 5A team early in the season. The Wolverines need to find a starting quarterback but have a big-time receiver returning in Malone, who averaged 15.1 yards per reception last season. Malone, a preseason MaxPreps All-State pick, and Fosche were first team All-Continental League picks. Martin was also a MaxPreps preseason All-Stater. Skinner, a transfer from Regis Jesuit, will be eligible for the fifth game of the season.

HERITAGE

Coach - Mike Griebel

2012 - 3-3 in Pioneer League, 4-6 overall.

Top players - Connor Cain,OL/DL, 6-4, 240, Sr.; Kris Median, OL, 6-1,255, Sr.; Steven Gray, LB, 5-10, 200, Sr.; Andrew Shaffer, DB, 6-0, 175, Sr.; Austin Atwell, OL, 6-0, 210, Sr.; Frank Umu, DL, 6-5, 275, Jr.; Weston Gardner, DL, 6-2, 200, Jr.; Jack McGough, RB, 6-1, 165, Jr.; Tyler Sodia, RB/DB, 5-9, 175, Jr.

2013 outlook - Eagles will have good experience up front on both sides of the ball. Skill players are exceptional but young as many sophomores are expected to be on the field this season. Griebel, who has been a head coach for 18 seasons, will need to be patient early in the season.

Say what — “We will be fun to watch as we will be maturing every week, being so young,” said Griebel. “We may have a slow start, but could become a factor late.”

HIGHLANDS RANCH

Coach - Darrel Gorham

2012 — 0-5 in Continental League, 2-8 overall.

Top players - Keaton Thames, QB, 6-1, 180, Sr.; Jalen Kittrell, RB, 5-9, 150, Sr.; Alek Keys, C, 6-2, 260, Jr.; Killian Moran, G, 5-9, 245, Jr.; Ross Heskett, TE, 6-2, 180, Sr.; Colton Hogy, DB, 5-10, 150, Sr.; Tammer Minch, ILB, 6-0, 190, Jr.; Michael Robinson, FB/LB, 5-10, 195, Sr.; Austin Davis, DL, 6-3, 225, Sr.

Team outlook - Falcons played a lot of younger players last season so they will be more experienced this year with seven returning starters on offense and defense. Highlands Ranch is facing the problems associated with dropping enrollment. Depth and the lack of big, physical players is a concern.

Say what - “We will be better from an experience level because we played a lot of young kids last year. We'll give it a go and see what happens,” said Gorham.

LEGEND

Coach - Robert Doyle

2012 - 3-3 in Pioneer League, 5-5 overall

Top players - Elijan Cherrington, WR/S, Sr.; Peyton Remy, QB, Jr.; Jostin Barron, LB/DE, Sr.; Alex Ausmus, S/WR. Jr.; Cody Dengal, WR, Sr.; Anthony Hudak, OL, Sr.; Zach Griswold, DL; Josh Miskol, RB/LB, Sr.; Justus Thompson, S, Sr.

2013 outlook — Titans return most of their offense from last season and have speed to burn. The overall size of the players in the program has improved but only four starters return on defense. Remy passed for 1,200 yards and 12 TDs a year ago and Barron is back after making 44 tackles in 2012.

Say what - “We are looking to be competitive in every game this year. We are excited about the progress of this team through the summer,” said Doyle.

LITTLETON

Coach - Kurt Krantz

2012 highlights — 1-4 in Class 4A Plains League, 2-8 overall.

Top players - Nick McNamee, OB/S, 6-0, 175, Sr.; Sean Malloy, OL/DL, 6-3, 260, Sr.; Austin Sonju, RB/LB, 5-8, 185, Sr.; Austin Biecher, WR/LB, 6-4, 185, Sr.; Wyatt Keasling, OL/LB, 6-0, 185, Sr.; Dante Tucker, RB/LB, 5-9, 235, Sr.

2013 Outook - Lions have a new coaching staff as Krantz, a Cherry Creek graduate and former head coach at Rangeview, takes over the helm of a program that has gone 5-25 over the past three years. Krantz was forced to speed up the introductory phase of his coaching philosophy because Littleton opened the season Aug. 23 with a Zero Week game against Standley Lake.

Say what? - “Our kids had a great spring and worked hard this summer,” said Krantz.

LUTHERAN

Coach - Daryl Moe

2012 highlights - 5-1 in Class 3A Metro-West league, 7-3 overall.

Top players - James Willis, QB/DB, 6-1, 205, Jr.; Josh Clausen, WR/DB, 6-4, 210, Jr.; Alex Nemmers, WR/DB, 6-2, 180, Jr.; Darian Perez, WR/DB, 5-8, 155, Sr.; Henry Waite, RB/LB, 5-11, 200, Sr.; Josh Murphy, WR/S, 6-3, 190, Sr.; Chance Morelock, OL/DL, 6-6, 250, Sr.; Alex McClure, OL/DL, 6-5, 250, Sr.; Brendan Edgerley, TE/LB/P, 6-5, 195, Jr.

2013 outlook - The Lions, a Class 2A team in most sports, made the move in football from Class 1A to 3A last season and enjoyed success by finishing second in the Class 3A Metro-West League. Team has speed and athleticism but lacks depth. Eight starters are back on offense and nine on defense. Lutheran was five points shy of being 9-1 last season. Willis threw for 1,414 yards and 19 touchdowns during his sophomore season while Clausen averaged 20.23 yards per catch. He had 47 receptions.

Say what? - “The goals are set higher this fall and the talent is there to continue making strides in the right direction,” said Moe.

MOUNTAIN VISTA

Coach - Rick Cash

2012 highlights - 3-2 in Continental League, 4-6 overall, lost to Pomona in first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Top players - Tanner Smith, RB, 5-11, 200, Sr.; Rocco Palumbo, WR, 6-3, 180, Sr.; Tyler Spond, LB, 6-0, 200, Sr.

2013 outlook - Smith, who averaged 127.3 yards rushing per game a year ago, and Palumbo, who caught 43 passes, will provide weapons for the new Golden Eagles quarterback who will replace Ryan Rubley.

PONDEROSA

Coach - Jamie Woodruff

2012 highlights - 7-0 in Pikes Peak League, 11-1 overall, lost to Mesa Ridge on a late fumble in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Top players - Dylan Spradling, RB/WR/DB, 6-0, 170, Sr.; Cody Wilson, C, 6-4, 260, Sr.; Zach Smith, OT, 6-4, 220, Sr.; James Maxie, RB/S, 6-1, 185, Jr.; Adam Lange, LB, 5-10 190, Sr.; Mitchell Taylor, LB, 6-0, 190, Sr.; OJ Thompson, DT, 6-2, 220, Sr.; Kelton Good, LB, 5-8, 160, Sr.; Cole Smith, DE, 6-3, 190, Sr.; Colton Carr, K, 5-10, 155, Sr.

2013 outlook — Mustangs have a lot of seniors who are still stinging from last season's playoff loss. Ponderosa outscored the opposition by 275 points last season and has the experience and confidence to defend its league title. However, a starting quarterback needs to step up to spark the offense. Spradling averaged 6.49 yards per rush and scored nine TDs. He has six receiving scores and on touchdown on a kickoff return. Spradling also had three interceptions. Good was in on 52 total tackles, including six for losses. Carr, a standout on the Ponderosa soccer team, returns after accounting for 33 points on field goals and extra points.

Say what? - “I am very excited about this team. They are very hungry after an early exit from the playoffs. We have something to prove,” said Woodruff.

ROCK CANYON

Coach - Brian Lamb

2012 highlights - 4-2 in Pioneer League, 6-4 overall, lost to Chaparral in first round of Class 5A state playoffs.

Top players - Ryan Hommel, WB, 6-1, 180, Jr.; John Riley, RB/LB, 5-10, 210, Sr.; Jimmy Wanless, OL, 6-7, 275, Sr.; Alex Korn, LB/RB, 5-10, 200, Sr.; Austin Korturn, DB/TE, 5-11, 185, Sr.; DJ Webb, DB/RB, 5-10, 175 Jr.; Quinn O'Neill, DB/WR, 5-8, 160, Jr.; Justin Hunter, DL/OL, 6-4, 210,. Jr.

2013 outlook - Lamb is the new Jaguars coach and at least he won't have to deal with finding a quarterback since Hommel, who threw for 1,462 yards as a sophomore, will be back calling signals. Hommel will need to trim the interceptions but the year of experience should help. Lamb was an assistant football coach at Mountain Vista and ThunderRidge and was head girls basketball coach for five seasons at Mountain Vista.

Say what? - “I look forward to this year because I will see a ton of growth in these players. Many of them will be asked to step up and perform at a high level. I am encouraged by their dedication and effort so far,” said Lamb.

THUNDERRIDGE

Coach - Joe Johnson

2012 - 5-0 in Continental League, 11-2 overall, lost to Valor Christian in Class 5A semifinals.

Top players - Sam Jones, OT, 6-2, 285; Brody Westmoreland, QB, 6-2, 185; Mark Hopper, WR, 6-4, 190; Steve Ray, TB, 5-9, 195; Blake Jacobs, OG, 6-2, 260; Collin Hank, CB; Cody Johnson, DT, 6-3, 235; Michael Stanley, DEE, 6-2, 220; Matt Stanley, FB/HB, 6-1, 215; Josh Brown, Fl, 5-10, 155.

2013 outlook — Grizzlies know how to win. ThunderRidge has been in the state playoffs 13 consecutive years in various classes and has three state titles. Jones, Westmoreland, Hopper and Ray return to head up what could be another potent offense. The biggest question is who will play in the defensive backfield. Jones in a highly recruited MaxPreps preseason All-Stater and he'll be playing in front of Westmoreland who is coming off a season where he threw for 1,702 yards and rushed for 735 yards.

Say what - “We have many returners and possibly more talent than last year. We need to develop some leadership and improve behavior if we are to achieve what we are capable of,” said Johnson.

VALOR CHRISTIAN

Coach - Rod Sherman

2012 highlights - 12-2, won Class 5A state championship with 9-0 win over Cherokee Trail.

Top players - Christian McCaffrey, RB/DB, 6-0, 195, Sr.; Joe Bear Ortiz, WR, 6-01, 170, Jr.; Isaiah Holland, OL, 6-5, 3109, Sr.; Alec Ruth, OL, 6-6, 300, Sr.; Marcus Wilson, S, 6-0, 185 Sr.; Clarke Cooper, DE, 6-3, 250, Sr.; Brian Dawkins, CB, 5-10, 170, Jr.; Justin Falls, FB/LB, 5-11, 200, Sr.; Ryan Cummings, OL, 6-5, 295, Sr.; Cody Bratten, OL, 6-3, 280, Sr.; Sam Kozan, OL, 6-2 265, Sr.

2013 outlook - Sherman, the former offensive coordinator, takes over as head coach of a program that has captured four consecutive state championships (one in Class 3A, two in Class 4A and one in Class 5A). Valor has gone 51-5 over the past four seasons and has a team top-heavy with talented players this year. McCaffrey, the Stanford-bound 2012 Player of the Year, is a MaxPreps preseason All-State choice after averaging 177.9 all-purpose yards a game last season. Wilson was also a preseason All-Colorado selection and Falls returns following a campaign when he averaged 7.1 tackles a game. Valor's all-senior starting offensive line averages 290 pounds and having such an experienced line will help quarterback A.J. Ceal who completed two of three passes last season as Luke DeRio's backup. Valor played a Zero Week game Aug. 24 against Central of Fresno, Calif.

Say what? - “Looking back at last year, we learned a lot from our two early season losses and that really helped us for the rest of the year. We've never been afraid to play really quality opponents and our first two games this year are against out-of-state teams that are tremendous. We've got some opportunities to learn and grow this year,” said Sherman.