Team Preview: Butte

Every year the Butte Roadrunners are a team to keep an eye on and this year is no different. Even though they are young at a couple of key positions, head coach Jeff Jordan's squad is still loaded on both sides of the ball and should contend for the Nor Cal Conference title this fall...

At quarterback, the Roadrunners have to replace their starter Collin Ramirez from last season, but whoever ends up under center will have some interesting options available to him that will keep defenses honest.

"Cameron Mikell and Derick Seward will be our running backs and we love what both of them bring to our program," Butte offensive coordinator Robbie Snelling told recently. "Mikell is a smaller guy, but he's super-quick and very special with the ball in his hands.

"Seward is a little bigger, but he's sort of the same type of back. He had a huge bowl game for us last season -- 127 yards -- so we expect both things out of him and Cameron this season."

Leading the way for both of them will be FB Tyler McIntyre who also doubles as a long-snapper.

"Tyler is a great blocker and he can do some things for us in the passing game too," Snelling noted. "We ask him to do a lot of things for us and he's always a guy we feel we can count on."

At wideout, Butte returns one contributor -- Bernell Barmore -- but they also have another interesting player returning from an injury.

"Bernell is an incredible athlete," Snelling noted. "He finished fifth in the state in the 110 meter hurdles and he's very fast. We used him as a returner last year and we expect him to have a much bigger role this fall.

"Devin Desjarlais is someone we think can do some big things, but he's coming back from an injury, so we just need to see what he can do. He's got the chance to be a really good player though."

At tight end, Geoff Swaim has already committed to Texas and he's added some size to his already ideal frame.

Swaim didn't put up big numbers last fall due to the presence of Middle Tennessee-bound Jacob Corbaley. This fall he will be the starter and he should put up big numbers.

"Swaim is a beast and we are going to count on him a lot things year," Snelling said. "He can do it all and we will use him in a lot of different ways. He has added about 10 pounds so he's about 260 now and we'll use him as a blocker, an H-Back, a receiver, everywhere."

Along the offensive line, Butte lost three starters to FBS programs, but they have some solid players to plug in including Avery Poates a bounceback from Nevada, Jim Katuscha who walked-on at Ohio as well as returners Kevin McIntyre and Keegan Schneider.

Defensively, Butte is loaded up front with the likes of All-State selection DE Damien Borel, DE Lamonthe Johnson and DL Cortreal Scott.

"Borel was an All-State guy for us last year," Snelling said. "He played a lot outside for us, but also moved inside when we played spread teams because it was all pass-rush anyway.

"He had 42 tackles, 17.5 tackles-for-loss and nine sacks and he's an incredible athlete.

"Lamonthe started for Redwoods in 2010 and then redshirted this past season. He's a lot like Borel in that he's a great athlete who we can use in a lot of different ways.

"Cortreal Scott is a guy who did a great job for us last year and he'll be battling for a spot this fall for sure."

The linebackers are led by the likes of John Batinich who finished second on the team with 56 tackles while also totaling 4.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks.

Jason Stewart, a transfer from UCLA, is a 6'1", 230-pounder who also has a chance to get some serious playing time this year as well.

The secondary is where the Roadrunners return a plethora of experience with one playmaker to keep an eye on.

"We have three very good corners in Willie Creear and Tevin Ivy who played for us last year and Solomon Means who transferred in from Weber State," Snelling said. "At safety, we have Jesse Warawa, Donzale Ashley and Robbie Kendall.

"Warawa had a really good season for us as an outside safety. He played over the slot, like a nickel corner and he made some plays for us.

"Kendall was a real big surprise for us last year. He played special teams mainly for a while and then all of the sudden he just started making plays and we couldn't keep him off the field.

"He just developed into a big-play guy. He had a couple of really big interceptions for us. He finished with four of them and I think they were all big. He'll be one to keep an eye on this fall."

At punter Lenny Holderhead, a native Austrailian, returns to the fold after splitting reps with Pat Carney who signed with New Mexico Highlands recently.

Butte begins the season on September 1st with a road game against Feather River and the follows that up the next week with a road game against College of the Siskiyous before returning home for their first home game of the season on September 15th against Shasta College.

They finish the season by running the gauntlet with games against College of San Mateo, Foothill and San Francisco in three consecutive weeks.

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