PREVIEWS: Grossmont and Coffeyville

The following begins a series of short early looks at some of the premier candidates for the preseason JC Grid-Wire Top 25 teams. We will try to examine a team from California and one from the NJCAA ranks with each analysis. (PHOTO: Jacob Tauanu'u, Grossmont)

COFFEYVILLE
2006 Record: 7-4
Lost in Valley of Sun Bowl to Snow, 26-21.

Jeff Leiker’s Red Ravens probably don’t have enough veteran experience to be a title prospect (just 4 starters are back), but if Leiker can uncover a usable QB, the offense should be high octane. The reason the Ravens seem capable of eating up yards and putting points on the board is simple...Nate Guillory, the 5-10, 190 running back from Houston, who burned the opposition for 695 yards on 99 carries (7.0) yards with 11 TDs in 2006.

“He’s a TD threat on every carry,” says Leiker.

Dustin Lindsay, a 6-1, 220 placement by Tennessee, and freshman Tommy Henry, a 5-11, 205-pounder from Maiden HS in North Carolina, where he gained 8,900 yards, should add to the rushing firepower.

Freshman help for the offensive line comes in the form of OTs Alex Deters, 6-5, 300 (Topeka West HS) and Jarve Dean,6-2, 315 (Houston Kashmere).

On the defensive side of the ball...

Defensive tackle Troy Epps, 6-1, 285, who brought leading tackler credentials from Union HS in South Carolina last year, and a pair of quality DBs in corner Kevin Funches, 6-0, 190, and Melvin Williams, 6-1, 200, who both run 4.5 or better.

It’s been many moons since Coffeyville had a losing season and together with Leiker's 84-30 JC coaching record and the Raven’s 51-19 tab over the past six campaigns, it is quite easy to forcast another final top-25 ranking.

 

GROSSMONT
2006 Record: 10-2
Lost the first and last games of the season.

The Jordan Dynasty figures to continue for the Griffins of Grossmont. Before Mike Jordan took over as head coach in 2006, his father, Dave, had reeled off  a 5-year stretch that showed 55 wins against just 7 losses and included the J.C. Grid-Wire national title in 2005.

So Mike comes along and his first team chalks up a 10-2 tab despite a major overhaul of the coaching staff.

Six starters on offense and another half-dozen on the “D” should go a long way toward keeping the Griffs in prominence. Defensive tackle Magnum Mauga, 6-0, 280, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, is expected back to terrify the opposition. On the opposite side is Matt Moss, 6-4, 275, who earned All-Conference credentials last year and has a motor that won’t quit. He already tripped and committed to Texas A&M, where he'll enroll next January. Then, in the middle, is NG Tano Paleafei, 6-2 1/2, 245, who had a tremendous freshman season. ILB Jacob Tauanu'u, 6-1, 240 (PHOTO ABOVE), runs a 4.74 and plays sideline to sideline. He did 22 reps of 225 at the JCFootball.com combine in May. The Griffins' defensive secondary might be their weak link.

Garren Demery, a 5-10, 185-pound bounceback from Arizona, looks like the top RB in what is almost always a blistering offense. Blake Sutton, who sat out last year, is back and may handle the QB chores. He is a lanky 6-4, 180-pounder with experience from the title team. OT C.J. Millenbah, 6-4, 305, was heavily recruited and recently committed to play at the upcoming JC season. A sleeper could be WR Maurice Patterson, 6-3, 190, who has great speed and body control for his size.

“Our coaching staff is settled and we should be improved in almost every aspect,” said Jordan,  “Plus, I think we had maybe the best freshman recruiting class ever.”

It adds up to another possible Top-10 run for the Grossmont Griffins.

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