Eastmont appears to be the team to beat this year, with last year’s Class 3A CBBN Most Valuable Player Joel Villa back from a team that finished third in the Class 3A tournament. The Wildcats are moving up a level to Class 4A, however.
Around the league
DAVIS loses 2012 CBBN 4A Most Valuable Player Jhonny Mendoza to graduation, but looks to remain loaded on defense. Coach Armando Garcia returns senior defenders Daniel Guzman, Jorge Guerrero and Francisco Arroyo, who will be joined by junior Jetzael Marmolejo, who moved from forward. Doing the scoring for the Pirates will be seniors Williams Pineda, Pablo Gonzalez and Cesar Rodriguez. ... EISENHOWER will add a face that will be familiar to those who followed the Cadets’ exploits on the gridiron last fall. Midfielder Greyson Gilman, an 11th-grade transfer from Arizona, was the kicker for the football team, Returning for coach Tyler Suhm are senior forwards Romario Martinez and Christian Nyanfore-Strom, senior defenders Jesus Rivera and Pablo Suarez and senior midfielder Brett Butler, ... David Guevara takes over full time as coach in SUNNYSIDE. He’ll have a core of experienced midfielders to build on, including Jacob Meza, Enrique De La Cruz and Oswaldo Lopez. Strength in the back will come from senor defenders Bradley Lopez and Jose Mora. Newcomers for the Grizzlies include Noe Meza, Jesus Marquez and Nayid Dominguez.
Despite the loss of several all-CWAC honorees from last season, Toppenish is listed as most coaches’ team to beat. Grandview and Othello should be in the mix atop the league at the end of the season.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
EAST VALLEY returns senior defenders Manny Lopez (a CWAC first-team honoree last season), Gavin Osegueda (heading to Whitman College to play this fall) and Berkley Aguilar. Chad Morrow looks to be the playmaker at center midfield, while Cesar Pena will take aim at goal for the Red Devils and Gage Fereday moves up to varsity to take over as goalkeeper. ... ELLENSBURG looks to be strong defensively with senior team captain Cody Orendorff, and fellow 12th grader Jorge Barajas leading the back line, along with newcomer Isaias Villa, and former goalkeeper Korey Carleton. ... GRANDVIEW has a strong core back from last year’s team that went 6-3 in league and qualified for the district tournament. Elmer Campuzano returns in goal for the Greyhounds, while Victor Valencia, Cesar Ordonio and Samuel Cuevas will attack the goal. ... PROSSER will look to improve from last year’s 3-6 record, ... SELAH will need to overcome the loss of three all-CWAC honorees from a year ago. Although they have yet to win this season, the Vikings’ defense and goalkeeper Abel Bautista have kept them in every game, but Eliseo Montiel, the leading scorer in the Valley last season, has been held in check so far this year. ... TOPPENISH returns starting defenders Armando Robles and Edgar Cano, both of whom are team captains. Junior Oliver Sanchez returns in goal for the Wildcats. Jonathan Lopez, who scored 14 goals last season as a freshman looks to be the offensive spark plug. Coach Uriel Gonzalez says Eliseo Alcala, Fili Jiminez, Jorge Rocha, Isaac Lopez, Servndo Fuentes, Jossue Perez and Armando Mungia will move into starting roles this season. ... WAPATO loses its two all-CWAC honorees from 2012 and will look to improve on a 1-8 league record last season. Johnny Cervantes has been on the scoresheet early this season. ... WEST VALLEY, which moves down from the 3A ranks this season, returns some key pieces from last year’s squad that went 5-9 and qualified for a regional play-in game. Canyon Silliman will be the defensive anchor for coach Josh Koreski’s Rams. Goalkeeper Dakota Borchart is a four-year varsity starter. Tyler Cluff will hold things down as the defensive center midfielder, while scoring punch looks to come from winger David Ellis and forward Moises Navarro. Koreski will add Austin Stromme, a freshman defender, and Brady Bendall, a junior defensive center midfielder who transferred from Arizona.
This might be among the most competitive leagues in the state, featuring Highland, which was 14-0 and reached the state quarterfinals; Royal, which finished third in the state last year; and Wahluke, a consistent state contender. Each of these teams has a lot coming back from last year’s successful squads. Mabton could make the leap into this elite group this season.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
GRANGER has a solid core to build on with seniors Esau Cervantes and Rigo Muniz leading the attack. Hector Franco keys the defense and is a weapon on set pieces with his head. Miguel Muniz and Lorenzo Isiordia are a pair of sophomore midfielders who might be ready to start making big contributions to the team, Javier Chavez, Luis Perez and Esteban Hernandez are newcomers who will make a difference for coach Alejandro Ortiz’s squad. ... HIGHLAND will build its high-octane offense around returning SCAC MVP Jesus Gutierrez and all-SCAC first teamer Luis Nogales, both senior forwards. The Scotties will need to replace all-SCAC first-team goalkeeper Antonio Gonzlez, who graduated. ... MABTON returns all-SCAC first-team midfielder Crisantos Chavez and several other all-SCAC honorees. Josh Carrasco, Mauricio Palominos and Tony Espinoza will be among the other offensive weapons for Vikings coach Junior Garcia. ... William Barber is the new coach at NACHES VALLEY, who will look to improve on last year’s 2-12 record. The Rangers lost their only all-leaguer Porfi Navarro to graduation. Hector Medina has scored twice for the Rangers thus far this season.