Friday Night Lights: Who In The Valley Is Making Noise?


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After a long tumultuous year, many people find comfort in the little things in their lives. For some people, it’s that drink that they are able to buy from their favorite coffee shop or a favorite meal, but for some people, their vice is the sport of football. With the month of November right around the corner, high school football is coming to an end and playoffs are coming! With many students having family members on football teams or being involved on coaching staffs for their respective schools, I felt some schools and their efforts this season should be talked about. These are definitely schools that you should look for in playoff brackets once they are posted by the CIF!

Now, I decided to focus mostly on Tulare and Kings County as that is where both locations for the COS campuses are, and therefore that is likely where most students call home. There will be the occasional Fresno county team, but I will stray away from listing typical powerhouses such as Buchanan, Central or Clovis programs as they always tend to have great programs! Of course, if you would like to check out more information on ranking and such feel free to check out the Maxpreps Central Section rankings for the Central Valley!

The Central Section Playoffs will begin on November 4, and if you would like to check if your team made the playoffs the brackets will be posted sometime near them. If you would like to keep posted on all central section high school sports, another great source is PAG Meter, which goes into depth on teams and will be able to supply you with more details once the time comes near!

D1=Division 1
D2=Division 2
D3=Division 3
D4=Division 4

D2: Central Valley Christians (9-0)
This team is absolutely stacked to the brim, and for good reason. Coach Mason Hughes has been running arguably one of the best powerhouses in the valley with his time with the Cavaliers, and with help from players like Utility Jaeden Moore and many other playmakers all over both sides of the ball the CVC Cavaliers are the best team in Visalia and arguably the best team in the two counties mentioned. This team is battle tested from last year with many returners and now with in town addition of El Diamante Miners Runningback Bryson Donnelson, the Cavaliers are definitely hard to keep up with on offense for sure.

D2: Kingsburg (8-1)
Former CSL members CVC and Kingsburg have been going head to head for best “small town” football team this year in the central section and although Kingsburg lost the matchup in a close matchup by a score of 27-26, the Vikings are insanely good. With two talented quarterbacks in Max Warkentin and Ethan Winslow, that is just the tip of the iceberg of depth that this Kingsburg team has. Another great player for this team is Runningback/Linebacker Trace Jackson, which adds to the tradition of the great ground-and-pound game that Kingsburg has always had as he is like a bull in a china shop off the snap.

D2: Lemoore (7-2)
Lemoore is always a hit-or-miss team but this year they have been on fire, with huge wins like a headline-breaking score of 78-6 against the Selma Bears this offense can definitely fly right past you. With one of the top Quarterbacks in the central section in Ty Chambers as well as guys that can play on both sides of the ball consistently such as Demel Turner and Kobe Green, this team is definitely a Tigers team that may draw some reminiscent memories for many fans of the team over their past glory football years with the talent they have this year.

D3: Porterville (8-1)
Porterville has been a school that has played with guts and passion the past five years or so and with Head Coach Keith Thompson at the helm this year. Although in past years they have been known for their Mahomes-esque QB playcalling with Hector Nava, Thompson has been quoted as saying he is going to be approaching this year with a more heavy run approach. With great running backs Jaret Garcia and Sammy Alcantar, there is no better time than now for the Panthers to become just as deadly on the ground and this will definitely help come playoff time in the division three bracket.

D2: Hanford (7-2)
What is there to say about this program that has not already been said in the past? With state and championship wins in the past and great talent consistently coming from the Bullpups, it should be no surprise they made this list. Quarterback Cayden Muir and wide receiver Jayden Sudds are both players who, if not some of the best in the central section, are some of the best in the state at their respective positions. This roster is sprinkled with talent all over and will most definitely make the division two playoff bracket an interesting one once it comes times for matchups.

D1: Redwood (Visalia) (7-2)
Kevin Scharton is one of the most infamous head coaches in the central valley, helping to build another competitor on this list from the ground up before returning to his alma mater Redwood in the 2020 season. His team is probably one of the deepest in the valley with a GINORMOUS roster of 70+ players, which helps to keep guys fresh later in the season. Redwood has a great QB that Scharton can work with in Francisco Alvarez and with playmakers on the defensive side of the ball such as LB Evan Gonzalez and DB Ambrose Bueno, who are both returners, this team is poised to make a playoff push if they come out swinging.

D2: Sanger (5-4)
Sanger’s famous Wing T offense and loud stadium, the Apaches always come with a big demeanor when they come on the field and this year is no different. With Fresno States Jalen Cropper-Morenos’s little brother Marquis Cropper and Sanger QB Devin Salcedo helping to lead the team, it is no surprise they have been able to pull off wins against powerhouse programs such as Bullard and Edison. If they are able to keep this momentum rolling into the playoffs, the Apaches with new head coach and former alumni Matt Logue could definitely be a huge contributor.

D2 Dinuba (4-5)
Always a contender in the playoffs for football, Dinuba has had their bright moments as a team. With former COS and Delta State Footballs CJ Lester at the head coaching helm, the possibilities are endless on both sides of the ball but the consistency in closing out games this year has been the main issue for the Emperors. The Emperors have had close games all year and a big win over Hanford, Dinuba looks to make a push in the playoffs. With quick receivers like Dominic Nunez and young linebacker Kristian Bobenrieth, the Emperors definitely have the heart and talent to play upset to undermine opponents.