Pleasant Valley of Chico and Sutter top the charts with five players each on this year’s squad. Pleasant Valley is coming off of one of its greatest seasons ever, but prolific pass-catch combo from Foothill of Palo Cedro could be even tougher to stop.
RELATED Preseason Teams: Sac-Joaquin Section| Central Section | San Diego Section| L.A. City Section
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By T.J. Holmes
Redding Record Searchlight
The CIF Northern Section earned its first state championship last season with East Nicolaus beating Coronado (San Diego) 16-6 in the Division V-AA bowl game.
East Nicolaus is expecting a pair of athletes to help the Spartans defend that title after section rushing record setter Donovan Switalski graduated.
The Northern Section, usually known for strong running games, also had its first 3,000-yard passer last year in Palo Cedro of Foothill’s Trent Banner, who gets back Redding Record Searchlight MVP receiver Patrick Blake, who had more than 1,300 of those yards to lead the section.
Pleasant Valley of Chico and Sutter, the defending top two division section champions, lead the way on the preseason all-Northern Section team with five players each.
Pleasant Valley would have had one more, RB/DB Jordan Cooley, but he tore his ACL a few weeks ago and is lost for the season. He’s also the son of Vikings’ head coach Mark Cooley. It’ll be a tough loss for the team.
Last year, Pleasant Valley beat Foothill 56-14 and didn’t lose until falling to St. Francis of Mountain View 29-7 in the CIF Division II-A NorCal playoff game.
A list of the complete first team follows:
QB Trent Banner (Foothill, Palo Cedro) 6-1, 205, Sr.
RB Austin Garber (Paradise) 5-11, 180, Sr.
RB Ryan Busby (Pleasant Valley, Chico) 5-7, 160, Sr.
WR Patrick Blake (Foothill-Palo Cedro) 5-10, 165, Sr.
WR Payton Williams (Pleasant Valley, Chico) 6-4, 185, Sr.
WR Ben Heuvelhorst (Sutter) 6-5, 190 Sr.
OL Kary Kutsch, (Shasta, Redding) 6-5, 275, Sr.
OL Ashton Morgan (Pleasant Valley, Chico) 6-5, 285, Sr.
OL Jarrett Kingston (Anderson) 6-5, 245, Jr.
OL Devante Hubbard (Sutter), 6-2, 280, Sr.
OL Oscar Martinez (Orland) 6-1, 290, Sr.
PK Jonathan Iniguez (Fall River, McArthur) 6-0, 170, Sr.
DL Syrus Tuitele (Pleasant Valley, Chico) 6-6, 295, Sr.
DL Steven Edwards (Gridley) 6-3, 250, Sr.
DL Salomon Navarro (Pleasant Valley, Chico) 6-4, 220, Sr.
LB Logan Hungrige (Sutter) 6-3, 225, Sr.
LB Graham Carnahan (West Valley, Cottonwood) 6-0 197, Sr.
LB Dylan Jones (Maxwell) 6-1 220, Sr.
LB Justin Cryer (Sutter) 5-8 220, Sr.
DB Rahtavian Matthews (Shasta, Redding) 6-3, 170, Sr.
DB Edgar Cuevas (Portola) 5-9, 175, Sr.
DB Manny Tovalin (Durham) 5-11, 185, Jr.
DB Brian Harper (Trinity, Weaverville) 6-3, 180, Jr.
P Wesley Clawson (Red Bluff) 6-1, 175, Sr.
QB/ATH S.J. Brown (East Nicolaus) 5-9, 165, Sr.
QB/ATH Tyler Reynolds (Sutter) 5-11, 180, Jr.
RB/LB Nolan Goyet (East Nicolaus) 6-0, 195, Sr.
RB/LB Joe Merkel (Enterprise, Redding) 6-0, 174, Sr.
ATH Kyale Muckel (Shasta, Redding) 5-9 165, Sr.
WR/DB Conner McKenzie (Red Bluff) 5-9, 160, Jr.
Note: These preseason all-section teams are done in the same 30-player format as the annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Teams. They are based on a combination of what the players did last season and college recruiting. Not every all-section team will have writeups of every player. Some will have an intro, then lists.
T.J. Holmes is one of the hardest-working and talented prep sports editors in the state. To see more of his work at the Redding Record-Searchlight, CLICK HERE. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports