ALAMOSA — The summer is coming to a close and as a sign of the times CHSAA continues to release the preseason rankings for the fall slate of sports.
The Preseason football rankings have dropped and there are a few San Luis Valley teams that made the top.
In 1A the Centauri Falcons are expected to keep plugging away. The Falcons are two years removed from their last bid for a state title, a 10-7 heart breaker to Strasburg in which a field goal decided it. It the only loss of the season for the Falcons. Last year the Falcons hosted a rematch with Strasburg in the State Championship semifinals. Centauri was unable to slip past the then-defending champions and Strasburg would go on to become the runners-up to Limon who took the title by a 13-7 score.
Centauri says goodbye to last year’s 9-3 season which also sent senior defensive stalwarts Tristan Crowther, Bennie Chacon and Deontay Martinez on to the next chapter of their journey. On offense, the Falcons will be looking to take the next step as they will see all three of their most productive players at the skill positions return.
At quarterback, senior Eric Maez will be manning the helm for the second year after a productive first season. Maez managed 1,092 yards on 118 attempts tossing 17 touchdowns. Maez also flashed a little mobility collecting 103 yards and three touchdowns on 33 rushes.
Behind Maez will be the dangerous combination of Taj Cornum and Mason Claunch, a senior and sophomore respectively the two boys combined for 1,059 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Claunch also showed promise in the passing game ripping off 21 yards per catch for a team leading 399 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns.
With the departure of so many defensive contributors it will likely fall to senior Adam Chacon to help make sure the Falcons defense stays as greedy as can be. Chacon was the Falcon’s leading tackler in 2018-19 with 109 total tackles. Centauri will open the season against Paonia for the third year in a row, Friday Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. The Falcons own the advantage in the series over that time frame with a 2-0 record.
In eight man, another post season regular was voted in. Sargent cracked the top ten at the number ten spot garnering 28 points.
Since having moved down to 8-Man in 2011 the Farmers have made an appearance at every championship playoff since. Last year a back and forth bout between Sargent and Holly would go to double overtime before the Wildcats came away with the 42-36 win.
Regarding the roster next season, there are a few spots where the ‘next-man-up’ policy applies for the Farmers. The number one spot of every major stat for Sargent was occupied by a senior last year. That said the Farmers are in good hands. Under Head Coach Trevan Pepper the Farmers have never missed the playoffs and in the eight years he’s led the black and gold the Farmers have produced a 60-26 record.
So with producers like Braxton Asbell anchoring the defense and Cole Seger likely to step into a larger role on the offense Pepper and the Farmers will look to stay competitive this season. Sargent will open their 2019-20 campaign on the road against last year’s season openers Fowler on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. Sargent was forced to forfeit a 46-28 victory to Fowler last year.
Other valley teams collecting votes were Alamosa in 2A who earned one point, Monte Vista in 1A with 21 points, Sanford and Sangre de Cristo in 8-Man who collected 8 and 1 point respectively and Mountain Valley- Moffat who earned 1 point in the 6 Man class. For the complete listing of preseason rankings through all classes be sure to check in at CHSAANow.com