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2017 Sierra Vista Football Capsule

SIERRA VISTA

League: Class 4A Southwest

Head coach: John Foss, fifth season (20-20)

2016 record: 8-2 (5-1 Southwest League, second)

Returning lettermen: 22

Returning starters: Five offense, three defense

Base offensive set: Multiple

Base defensive set: 4-3

Top offensive players: RB Bryan LaGrange (Sr.); WB/RB Jaxson Zibert (Sr.); WR Kevin McCray (Sr.); WB/RB Tristen Jimenez (Jr.)

Top defensive players: DT Keki Faatiliga (Sr.); DT Isaiah Palelei (Sr.); LB Austin Schmits (Jr.)

Top newcomers: LB/WB Jahsiaah Maiava (Jr.); LB/RB Tarlase Gaoteote (Jr.)

Key losses: QB Oscar Aliaga; LB/RB Lopaka Kolone; LB Shane Alcantra

Outlook: The Mountain Lions made big strides last season, going from three wins in 2015 to an 8-1 regular-season mark and a home playoff game.

Foss is hopeful that the team can again make the playoffs and improve on last season’s performance.

The Mountain Lions gave up 193 points last season, but 109 of those came in the final two games — losses to Bishop Gorman and Legacy.

The defense should be able build around massive defensive tackles Faatiliga (6-2, 315) and Palelei (6-0, 295). Palelei was a first-team All-Southwest League pick, and Faatiliga made the second team.

Kolone and Alcantra were the team’s leading tacklers, but their loss should be softened by the additions of Maiava and Gaoteote.

LaGrange is back to lead the offense after rushing for 793 yards and 11 TDs as a junior. Zibert was the team’s top receiver with 282 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

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