There is no way you can call Valor Christian, seven straight years in the state title game, winning six of seven, an underdog, but this year, the Eagles did have to mature and gel during the season, breaking in new players of both sides of the ball.
The glue to the team has been and will be junior All-State QB Dylan McCaffrey. McCaffrey has thrown for over 2,600 yards this season with 26 scores against only four interceptions. McCaffrey’s consistency is a given, but the Eagles have been able to win 10 straight as the offensive line has solidified throughout the season. Over the past four games Valor has averaged just under 40 points a game. Key to the line play for the Eagles is senior two way lineman Dillon Reinkensmeyer. The 6-6 270 pound Virginia commit, primarily lines up at right tackle, but during the season he has moved to both sides of the line as his Eagles needed yards. From last season to this, Reinkensmeyer has become a much more physical presence, punishing defenders in the run game. An athlete, Reinkensmeyer is much improved as a pass blocker and is great at pulling and getting to defenders at the second level. Talking about his play Reinkensmeyer cites, “my overall technique” as the reason for his great play this season.
Looking at his team and making it back to state Reinkensmeyer says, “We have just continued to play better throughout the season, everyone does their jobs and the attitude is always team first.” In early September Pomona and Valor squared off in a preview of today’s state title game, with the Panthers physically getting after the Eagles, scoring 21 2nd half points and winning 28-14. Well aware of this, Reinkensmeyer says, “We will have to bring our absolute best to state!”
Beyond his play on the offensive line, Reinkensmeyer gets reps on the defensive line. Working with 300 pounder Noah Ellis, Reinkensmeyer will potentially counter act the very big and talented Pomona offensive line anchored by Ohio State commit Jake Moretti.
Reinkensmeyer has a lot to think about in the next few weeks, the big lineman committed early to Virginia and Cavalier Head Coach Mike London. Earlier this week London resigned after a 4-6 season and the Cavaliers quickly and surprisingly hired BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall. This change is important, but right now Reinkensmeyer is fully focused on today’s state title game.