2014-15 Flag Football Capsule Previews


Head coach: John Gunderson, third season

2013-14 record: 19-1 (14-0 Northwest, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Twelve (10)

Top players: Shakira Conley (Jr.), WR Haley Nibarger (Sr.), QB Taylor Howie (Jr.), RB/LB Francesca D’Arienzo (Sr.)

Outlook: The Aggies rattled off 19 straight wins last season before falling in the second round of the playoffs.

With 12 starters back, they’re primed for another big season.

“We have to replace a couple of key positions, but look forward to the challenge,” Gunderson said. “We are focused on improving each and every season.-

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Head coach: Bruce Eubank, third season

2013-14 record: 7-11 (5-11 Southwest, sixth)

Returning letter winners: Seven

Top players: Bree Hernandez, Ty Baskerville, A.J. Manuma, Jessica Williams, Cia Abeyta

Outlook: The Bengals return seven letter winners from a team that finished sixth in the Southwest League last year.

“We still have a good core to build with,” Eubank said. “The girls work hard and love playing.”

Hernandez threw for more than 1,500 yards and rushed for more than 800 yards last season.

“I’m expecting big things from her this season,” Eubank said.

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Head coach: Chris Morelli, third season

2013-14 record: 20-1 (16-0 Southeast, first)

Returning letter winners: Nine

Top players: LB/RB Paige Buettner (Jr.), QB/C Jeanne Carmell (Jr.), WR/S Kinsey Smyth (Sr.), WR/C Jane Nevarez (Sr.), LB Logan Kanaley (Sr.), C/LB Mackenzie Pluta (Sr.)

Outlook: The Eagles rattled off 20 straight wins before falling to Green Valley in the Sunrise Region final last year.

“We are looking to keep playing at a competitive level, returning nine letter winners,” Morelli said. “This is a dedicated group of athletes that love this sport.”

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Head coach: Jonathan Hillmer, third season

2013-14 record: 7-11 (4-10 Northeast, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Ten (10)

Top players: QB Tea Rivera (Sr.), WR Amaya Youngblood (So.), RB Essence Hubrins (Sr.), DB D’Naya Brown (Sr.)

Outlook: The Pioneers lost only three seniors to graduation, and many return players in key spots.

Rivera threw for 1,000 yards last year. Hubrins gained 300 yards rushing, and Youngblood added 400 receiving yards.

Brown helped lead the defense, grabbing six interceptions.

“We have many experienced players returning this year and intend to improve our vertical game and maintain a balanced attack on the ground and in the air,” Hillmer said.

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Head coach: Mark Bailey, second season

2013-14 record: 19-3 (13-3 Southwest, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Twelve (11)

Top players: QB Jaymee Luke (Sr.), WR DeShan Cambrit (Jr.), WR/CB Tiana Callejo (Sr.), TE Logan DeLong (So.)

Outlook: Eleven starters return from last year’s Clark County School District championship winning team.

“After a successful season last year, we look forward to another run at making the playoffs,” Bailey said. “We’re excited to face the competition and put our system to the test.”

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Head coach: Ken Gibson, third season

2013-14 record: 16-6 (12-4 Southwest, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Ten (five)

Top players: OL/S Ariel Blockovich (Sr.), OL/S Alex Blockovich (Sr.), LB Savannah Rush (Jr.), QB Kylee Bauer (Jr.), WR Sydni Aldan (Sr.), WR/CB Briana Viloria (Jr.), TE Shonda Badayos (Sr.)

Outlook: Bauer threw 56 touchdown passes last year, and has three of her main weapons back in Aldan (1,189 receiving yards, 17 TDs), Viloria (770 yards, 5 TDs) and Badayos (656 yards, 6 TDs).

Defensively, Rush (126 tackles, 5 interceptions), Alex Blockovich (85 tackles, 11 INTs) and Ariel Blockovich (57 tackles, 9 INTs) are expected to be among the leaders.

“We have some experience returning along with some new, younger players,” Gibson said. “I expect us to compete in every game, and I really like our group of girls.

“Our team speed is down a little from last year, but I hope we can make up for that with smart play and working as a team. It should be an exciting year for the Diamondbacks.”

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Head coach: David Hill, second season

2013-14 record: 7-11 (3-11 Northeast, seventh)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (five)

Top players: RB Mariyah Espinoza (Sr.), Dulce Suarez (Sr.), Paola Espino (Sr.)

Outlook: Espinoza ran for 1,663 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and returns to lead the offense.

“We should be strong this season with great senior play and more experience,” Hill said.

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Head coach: David Ostler, first season

2013-14 record: 10-9 (9-7 Southeast, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (six)

Top players: WR Sophia Johnson (Sr.), RB Shelby Johnson (Sr.), LB Mariah Vela (Sr.), CB Christina Gewerth (Sr.)

Outlook: Ostler takes over for Robert Cutts, who is coaching at Shadow Ridge.

The Sundevils return six letter winners, but lost a lot of starters.

“We hope to compete and make the playoffs,” Ostler said. “Sophia and Shelby Johnson are both speedsters who will anchor the offense. The defense returns great toughness and leadership in seniors Mariah Vela, Christina Gewerth and Sylvia Johnson.”

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Head coach: Cynthia Guzman, third season

2013-14 record: 17-5 (14-2 Southeast, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (seven)

Top players: C Emily Russell (Jr.), CB Sayonna Thunstrom (Jr.), RB Taeondra Johnson (Jr.), S/WR Renee Ritchie (Sr.), RB/CB Marissa Brackett (Sr.), S Jenessa Montoya (Jr.), QB/S Jadyn McArthur (Jr.)

Outlook: Seven starters return for the Falcons, who placed second in the Southeast League last season.

“After losing some top-notch seniors last year, it was challenging to fill the holes, but with the addition of new, young, fast and dedicated players, I have no doubt we will be just as successful,” Guzman said.

“Foothill takes pride in its ability to execute plays and to defensively read plays before the snap. The Falcons hope to reach another postseason slot.”

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Head coach: David Torrez, first season

2013-14 record: 17-5 (11-3 Northeast, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: LB/WR Adelia Sigala (Sr.), LB Carli Perkins (Jr.), LB/WR Jinger Meuir (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators return only four starters from a team that advanced to the Clark County School District championship game.

Sigala had 71 tackles, four interceptions, six sacks on defense and caught 32 passes for 525 yards and nine touchdowns as a wide receiver last year. Perkins also was a leader on defense, collecting 61 tackles and nine sacks.

“Our girls have been working hard and are excited for the upcoming season,” Torrez said. “With our young, unproven talent, we will have to rely on fundamentals and teamwork in order to make the playoffs.

“Every season, the coaches and players get better in our growing sport, which means nothing is guaranteed and hard work is a must. When the dust settles, we always aspire to be atop the league and region, but realize this season will have more hurdles than ever before.”

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Head coach: Robert Nelson, third season

2013-14 record: 15-7 (13-3 Southwest, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Ten (five)

Top players: Aujaneh Jackson (Sr.), Avi’Ana Shelton (Sr.), Tavia Wells (Sr.), Nicole White (Jr.)

Outlook: The Longhorns bring back 10 letter winners from a team that advanced to the second round of the Clark County School District playoffs.

“With only five starters back, we are going to need some younger talent to step up to the plate this year to be successful,” Nelson said. “We have been placed in a new division this year, and we are excited to experience different schools.

“We are ready for the challenge.”

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Head coach: John Diamandis, second season

2013-14 record: 8-10 (7-9 Southeast, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Twelve (11)

Top players: S Shelcy Sales (Sr.), RB Makenzi Malkiewicz (Sr.), WR Lauren Surick (Sr.), QB Jaira Kalama (Jr.), DB Devon Jones (Sr.), DB Alyssa Stevens (Sr.), DB Gabriella Ortega (Sr.), WR Kalei Kaanaana (Jr.), WR Pualani Tuika (So.), C Hannah Sams (Sr.), WR Sierra Gilliland (Sr.), DB Ashley Lagance (Sr.)

Outlook: The Patriots bring back the bulk of their team after finishing in a tie for fifth in the Southeast League last year.

“We should be competitive on both sides of the ball,” Diamandis said. “We lost our starting quarterback when she moved to California. She was a two-year starter, and losing her really hurt us offensively.

“We have a lot of team speed, and we are good at the skill positions. We expect to make the playoffs this year if we play to our potential.”

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Head coach: Andrew Kofod, third season

2013-14 record: 2-16 (1-15 Southwest, ninth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (five)

Top players: QB/WR/LB Raven Miller (Sr.), QB/RB/DB Raven Williams (Jr.), OT/WR/LB Brianna Guillen (Sr.), OT/LB Tassanee Harris (Sr.)

Outlook: The Rattlers bring back five starters and are hoping for significant improvement this year.

“On offense, Raven Miller and Raven Williams will anchor the Rattler team,” Kofod said. “On defense, seniors Brianna Guillen and Tassanee Harris look to have a major impact on shutting down the opponent’s offense.”

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Head coach: Robert Cutts, first season

2013-14 record: 10-9 (9-5 Northwest, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Top players: RB Nikita Ronello (Sr.), LB/WR K’tyra Burns (Jr.), WR Taylor Thrower (So.), LB Brooke Fousek (Sr.), WR/DB Andrea Koutouridis (Sr.), WR/DB Maelle Vilon (Sr.)

Outlook: Cutts moves over from Eldorado after guiding the Sundevils into the playoffs last year. He inherits a team that returns only two starters.

“Expect a new team with a new scheme this season,” Cutts said. “Defensively, we should be strong all around. We have made a few new additions to our defense this year. On offense, we hope to score a lot and often.”

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Head coach: Jason Grunwald, second season

2013-14 record: 13-6 (10-4 Northwest, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (three)

Top players: QB Neomi Vazquez (Jr.), WR/DB Vladana Lasic (Sr.), DL Timia Greenlee (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions return just three letter winners from a team that finished second in the Northwest League.

“We graduated some very good seniors last year who will be tough to replace,” Grunwald said. “However, with the mix of new girls to the sport and the girls who are returning, we look to be young but very athletic.

“Several girls from our junior varsity squad are back and loaded with confidence and experience. We are looking forward to another successful season this year.”

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Head coach: Marcus Teal, third season

2013-14 record: 7-11 (6-8 Northwest, fifth)

Returning starters: Eleven

Top players: RB/LB Jozee DeCunzo (So.), WR/DB Desiree Diez (Jr.), QB/DB Michaela Hood (Jr.), TE/LB Raven Bierlein (Jr.), WR/DB Madison Macove (Jr.), WR/DB Doris Gutierrez-Hoyos (Jr.), C/LB Raven Strid (Sr.), WR/DB Danielle Lopez (Sr.), TE/LB Nicole Feno (Sr.), QB/DB Amberlynn Twigg (Sr.)

Outlook: The Grizzlies return 11 starters and should be in good position to compete for a top spot in the Southwest League.

“With quarterback Amberlynn Twigg, wide receiver Michaela Hood and running back Jozee DeCunzo, the Grizzlies will work to improve on their win total and get to the postseason,” Teal said.

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Head coach: Jeff Hobbs, first season

2013-14 record: 0-18 (0-14 Northeast, eighth)

Returning letter winners: Four

Top players: Xitlaly Manzo-Guerrero (Sr.), Brittany Sousa (Sr.), Venus Burnaugh (Sr.), Shyloh Lucero (Sr.)

Outlook: Hobbs, who previously coached at Western, takes over a team still in search of its first varsity victory.

“With a strong junior varsity returning, a new veteran coaching staff and a new philosophy, we expect to do well this year,” Hobbs said. “We will surprise a few teams.

“We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. That can be a dangerous combination.”

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Head coach: Bill Stuber, third season

2013-14 record: 4-14 (3-13 Southeast, eighth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (three)

Top players: RB/DB Aaliyah Fears (So.), WR/DB Katy Orellano (So.), WR/LB Avery Rayos (So.), QB/WR Vanessa Villalobos (Jr.), RB/DB Rebeca Rivera (Jr.), WR/DB Brittany Armas (Sr.), LB Esmerelda Cuevas (Jr.)

Outlook: Only three letter winners return for the Roadrunners, who are hoping for a more successful season.

The team is very young with only three returning players,” Stuber said. “Vanessa Villalobos will run the team at quarterback.

“Returners Rebeca Rivera and Aaliyah Fears will handle the carries at running back and head a speedy defense that includes Jacky Bernal, Esmerelda Cuevas and newcomers Katy Orellano, Avery Rayos and Brittany Armas.”

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Head coach: Nick Adams, first season

2013-14 record: 5-13 (4-12 Southwest, seventh)

Returning starters: Three

Outlook: Adams takes over for John Isola and inherits a team with only three returning starters.

“We look to continue growing as a program and finding ways to succeed through preparation and adaptation,” Adams said. “The Warriors are young but capable of building a special season.”