EC Preps

BRAVES LOOK TO MOVE TO NEW HEIGHTS

2017 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW

By Adam Paul

Staff Writer

 

The El Cajon Valley Braves last season got off to a hot start as they started 5-0 which was one of the best starts in school history with wins over Clairemont, Orange Glen, Kearny, Montgomery and Crawford. However once they got into league they stumbled but were still able to make the playoffs in Division IV where they ended up losing a heartbreaker to Serra High 24-22 and finished the season 5-6.

This years team returns 9 starters off last seasons squad and will actually get a chance to rectify the playoff loss as they open the season against the Serra Conquistadors.

A big loss for the Braves is Tyson Smith who graduated and was their quarterback and also leading rusher as he rushed for over 1,500 yards. However ready to fill the shoes at the running back position is senior Maquel Garner who rushed for 595 yards including 6 scores last season.

On the defensive side of the ball the Braves have a new coordinator who has some new schemes up their sleeve. One of the big benefactors from those schemes will be senior outside linebacker Daniel Wilson. He had 44 tackles to go with his four sacks.

Other big contributors to the defense include senior outside linebacker and fullback Paulo Michel who tallied 42 tackles and 2 sacks, senior Michael Malone who will play middle linebacker and tight end who registered a sack to go with his 21 tackles, senior defensive tackle Mose Kaleuati will be on both sides of the ball. Also returning for the Braves on the defensive side are senior defensive end Jose Gonzalez who registered 15 tackles and senior middle linebacker Jonathan Islas and junior outside linebacker Kevin Ty.

With a new field general this year under center for El Cajon Valley, junior center Andre Robles will have to gel and learn new tendencies. The Braves have a couple quarterbacks listed on the roster but have narrowed it down to a couple. Those names include junior Deandre Kelmon who last year as a running back rushed for about 100 yards and a score, the other choice is Chalang Ahmed.

The receiving core for the Braves this year will be new as the top returner junior Brandon Robinson only caught 4 balls for 97 yards last season.

If the Braves are to be successful they will have to have protection and that will include big 6-foot-6, 315lbs junior Mason Tileia who also will be on the defensive side as well. Helping him will be senior Danar Ali who has experience from last season.

El Cajon Valley if they play their cards right can be a serious force to be reckoned with in the San Diego CIF Division IV playoffs. The first game against Serra will start their ship on the right journey with a victory.

Their non-league schedule is pretty much the same as last season with games against Crawford, Kearny and their home opener against Clairemont on September 8th. The only difference in the non-league schedule is the game against Sweetwater who replaces Montgomery and also will be a home game.

After their non-league schedule concludes they will go into the Grossmont Valley League portion where they might have a little trouble.

 

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