|Photo courtesy of the Santa Maria Times|
Among these list of schools are programs I'm very familiar with, six of them to be exact from my home region.
This is also a region that has long been overlooked in the Golden State. But looking at these rankings finally got me thinking...this could be the year where the Central Coast finally becomes the gold mine that gets uncovered.
From CIF Division-I to Division-IV, there's an 805 school getting worthy of mention. Time to sort through each one and also find out who, on which team, could make someone very happy at the next level.
Time to reveal the best the 805 has offered so far this year:
OAKS CHRISTIAN-WESTLAKE VILLAGE (4-0)
Current ranking: No. 3
Best win: 40-0 over Del Oro-Loomis on Aug. 24.
PROSPECT WATCH: Quarterback Brandon Dawkins is already drawing heavy interest after a monster sophomore season (over 3,000 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes, plus 300 rushing yards). The 6-foot-4, 215 athletic signal-caller has a streak of three straight games with three touchdown passes for the undefeated Lions and a 68.6 completion percentage. Sophomore Darick Holmes (5-foot-9, 170-pounds) is off and running with an average of over eight yards a carry. The John Muir transfer is versatile and explosive, plus he has a UCLA offer on the table. Stanford commit Francis Owusu has three-straight 100-yard games and averages 18 yards a catch. Junior Chris Davis (5-foot-8, 165-pounds) is a valuable second option with 24 catches for 276 yards and two scores. Another emerging sophomore is linebacker Andre Chevalier, who is averaging 10.3 tackles per game at 5-foot-10, 205-pounds.
ST. BONAVENTURE-VENTURA (4-0)
Current ranking: No. 8
Best win: 40-35 over Centennial-Corona on Aug. 31.
PROSPECT WATCH: Arizona commit Zachary Green is continuing the Seraph's lineage of productive running backs. The same school that once produced former Florida State and NFL running back Lorenzo Booker has Green running circles on defenses. The 5-foot-10, 207-pound Green rolled through Atascadero with three total touchdowns rushing and receiving in the 56-22 romp last Friday. Sophomore Marcus Chambers is also one to watch. He's sort of like a closer for the Seraphs as he usually takes what's left of the defense after Green runs wild on them. Chambers is a runner and receiver threat who's quick enough to slip through defenders, but then hit a second gear and leave a trail of dust.
Current ranking: No. 2
Best win: 21-14 over Frontier-Bakersfield on Aug. 31.
PROSPECT WATCH: That late August win over the Titans was led by Washington commit Lavon Coleman (photo), who ran through a physical Frontier team for 233 yards on 26 carries. Senior Rafeal Arrellano is worthy of mentioning here as well. He's been a versatile, do-everything type for the undefeated Braves where he runs the ball (4.7 yard average, two touchdowns), catches the ball (seven catches for 82 yards, one touchdown), and can lead a pass rush (two sacks in victory over Frontier). Willie Iribarren is a tackling machine with great size at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds and instincts. Defensive lineman Ainuu Taua is also growing into his role. He has a deadly motor on both defense and as a blocking tight end.
Current ranking: No. 9
Best win: 28-3 over San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno on Aug. 24
PROSPECT WATCH: Junior quarterback Tanner Workman is carving out a name for himself. The 6-foot, 175-pound signal-caller has a 67.2 completion percentage, a quarterback rating of 123 and 11 touchdowns in just four games for the Rangers. Fellow junior Taylor Livingston is also another potential star in the making, who ran wild on Central Section powerhouse San Joaquin Memorial with 19 carries, 110 yards and two touchdowns. He has three games of over 100-yards rushing and has reached the end zone nine times.
BISHOP DIEGO-SANTA BARBARA (4-0)
Current ranking: No. 2
Best win: 55-13 over Valley Christian-Cerritos on Sept. 8
PROSPECT WATCH: The Cardinals have always liked being run-heavy and they got two quality running backs in Abel Gonzalez (team-high 430 yards) and Jack Gregson (392 yards). Both men have six touchdowns and average over nine yards per carry. Fullback Aiden Williams is a hard-nosed run blocker who paves the way for the Cardinal duo. Senior Troy Skinner is a ball-hawk at safety with four interceptions.
MISSION PREP-SAN LUIS OBISPO (4-0)
Current ranking: No. 3
Best win: 47-14 over Rio Hondo Prep-Arcadia on Aug. 31.
PROSPECT WATCH: The Royals have a very underrated senior quarterback in Tyler Baty. Though he's undersized at just 6-feet and 175-pounds, Baty is one of the more dangerous pocket passers in the 805. He's thrown 15 touchdown passes and he's yet to be intercepted. Wide receiver Joey Hall (5-foot-9, 170-pounds) has a nose for the end zone with eight touchdowns and can be a potential Wes Welker for someone. Senior Matt Souchek is a tall safety with three interceptions. He's shown excellent eyes and angle pursuits on defense. The Royals have unleashed a viscous assault on the Los Angeles and Orange County area in their four victories, with the closest margin of victory being 33-points against Rio Hondo Prep.