Winters Warriors 2021 football season preview

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By Daniel Ward Special to the Express This is the first time that the Winters Warriors will get to play two football seasons in the same calendar year, and we can only hope the traditional fall season is as successful as the abbreviated one they played in the spring just a few short months ago. The Warriors finished the spring season with 4-1 record (3-0 in league) and won their first league championship since 2015 by being named Co-League Champs with section powerhouse Paradise High School. Although the Warriors lost a lot of senior leadership and experience they are returning most of their skill players to ago along with a very talented junior class. Most importantly, is the leader on the offensive side of the ball and team captain Matt Moore. Moore had a steller season last spring where he completed a school record 70 percent of his passes for over 750 yards and eight touchdowns in the shortened season. Moore may be the best natural passer the Warriors have had come through the program and will be the cornerstone of the new look Warriors as they plan to throw the ball early and often this year. To compliment Moore, the Warriors are also returning one of the best and deepest receiver corps that they have ever had. David Reyes is a three-year starter who already has over 600 receiving yards in his career and will return on the outside as one of the main targets. On the inside they have Memo Valadez who had a great junior season and is primed for a huge senior year both on the ground and in the air. Also returning are starters Ethan Judd, Evan Davis and Grayson Roberts who round out one of the most talented groups of receivers in the north state. At running back, Connor Ray will carry the torch and the ball frequently. He is a great all around running back who can block, beat you on the ground and through the air. To compliment him is junior Justice Madsen who will also see a lot of action as not only a runner but also a receiver. On the line the Warriors lost all five starting lineman but they do return a key contributor in Emmett Edman who has had a great offseason and has become the captain of the line. Also on the line, who have had a great fall camp, are Ethan Demment, Richard Padilla, Sanders Clark and sophomore Elijah Mays. Although they will lack some depth on the line, this group has done a great job protecting and opening holes for what should be one of the most explosive offenses in the Sacramento Valley League. On the Defensive side of the ball the Warriors return most of their defensive backs, but the front seven will be all new additions. Ray will be playing all over the field and will be calling the defense from one of the linebacker positions. Playing linebacker with Ray will be juniors Demment and Madsen. Demment is very strong and physical and Madsen is one of the quickest linebackers the Warriors have had in a couple years. Also returning are all league corners Reyes and Valadez. While Reyes will continue to man the same corner position that he has the last three years, Valadez, who led the team in interceptions last year, will make the move to strong safety where he will be an impact player versus the run and the pass. Javier Bermudez will also be a key contributor and is the jack of all trades and will see action at several different positions this year. With Davis and Roberts also playing corner, the defensive backfield will definitely be the strength of the Warrior Defense. On the defensive line, it will be a group effort for the Warriors led by two way lineman Edman, Clark and Mays. The 2021 football season is sure to be another exciting one as the Warriors try to defend their League Championship from the spring. The Warriors come into this season ranked second in the SVL behind Paradise and second in their division right behind Uprep out of Redding. Although they are excited about chasing that elusive section championship, they are even more excited to finally be back out on the field playing in front of their family, friends and the community of Winters.

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