Sunday, August 14, 2016

2016 Prep Football Preseason Rankings: #5 Rancho Bernardo Broncos

#5 Rancho Bernardo Broncos

Location: San Diego, CA
School Colors: Royal Blue, Black, & White
Division: I
League: Palomar
Championships: 1 (State), 3 (Section), 5 (League)
Head Coach: Tristan McCoy (6th Season)

2015 Recap: 13-2 (3-1 Palomar, 1st)

CIF San Diego Division II Champions
CIF Division III-A State Champions

This program has come a long way since posting two straight one-win seasons in 2012 and 2013.

After a huge turn-around in 2014 ended with a heart-breaking loss to El Capitan in the Division II Finals, McCoy and the Broncos made sure 2015 was a season to remember.

Following losses to La Costa Canyon and Westview, Rancho Bernardo went on a four-game tear going into the Division II playoffs. They found themselves back in the section finals, where they defeated Mt. Carmel 41-23.

In a trilling state playoff contest, the Broncos edged Oak Hill (Hesperia, CA) 31-30 to clinch a berth in the state championship, then went on to top Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton, CA) 35-14 to earn the first state title in program history.

2016 Outlook

Rancho Bernardo makes the jump to Division I, but they'll have 11 key contributors from last season's state title run along for the journey.

All-CIF running back Milan Grice is primed for a Silver Pigskin worthy senior campaign after putting up monster numbers last year. The Broncos also return senior quarterback Mark Salazar, who is coming off a solid season as a first-year varsity starter.

Seniors Duncan Smith, JR Ortiz, James Lee, and center Chase Layne will power the offensive line, but they'll need to replace two impact linemen in Devin Lecakes-Jones and Duncan Smith.

While the passing game should take a slight hit without leading receiver Devaughn Vele, Salazar will have a new number one target in Leo Wagner, who finished second on the team in receiving yards, catches, and touchdowns last season.

If defense wins championships, Rancho Bernardo might a little help if they plan on repeating. 

After graduating their top three leaders in interceptions, sacks, and tackles, the Broncos are left with just two defensive starters from last year, nose tackle Jordan Kowitz and linebacker Matthew Roehrig.

On special teams, All-American kicker Matt Araiza is back and will look to top his record-breaking sophomore season.

* League Opponent
(R) Revenge Game
(#) Rivalry Game

Impact Losses

DB Anthony Barnum
LB Devin Dunn
OL Devin Lecakes-Jones
DE Mitchell Lindgren
DB Jeffrey Molino
WR Devaughn Vele

Impact Returners

Senior QB Mark Salazar
Passed for 2,248 yards & 21 TDs in 2015

Senior RB Milan Grice
Rushed for 1,872 yards & 23 TDs in 2015

Senior WR Leo Wagner
29 RECs for 432 yards & 3 TDs in 2015

Junior kicker Matt Araiza
18 made field goals in 2015 (San Diego Section Record)


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