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December 21, 2014

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high school football:

Green Valley relying on several talented but unproven players

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Green Valley football players Sam McAloon, Keti Salakielu and Robert Carter Thursday, July 26, 2012.

Green Valley Coach Brian Castro

Green Valley coach Brian Castro speaks about the Gators upcoming season

Northeast League

Canyon Springs football players Stephone Revels, Fabian Leos and A.J. Cooper Thursday, July 26, 2012. Launch slideshow »
Prep Sports Now

Are Centennial, Canyon Springs in the elite?

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There are topics aplenty on this week's episode after an eventful slate of games. Centennial and Canyon Springs, most notably, presented arguments for being included with the best teams in town. Are Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer buying the Bulldogs and Pioneers? Listen in on the debate, a discussion on touchdown celebrations and a breakdown of this week's games.

The Green Valley High football team’s losing streak to end last season will serve as a valuable lesson this year.

The Gators had a 5-1 record last fall before dropping its final four games — including a loss in the Sunset Regional quarterfinals — to finish at .500.

“The biggest thing we learned is the kids have to play a whole season,” Green Valley coach Brian Castro said. “We got a little complacent with the success with had, not with our preparation, but with demanding certain things from the kids. It’s not how you start the season, it’s how you end it.”

Green Valley will be relatively young at several positions this fall, including at quarterback, where two first-time varsity performers are expected to play Friday at Arbor View when the Gators open the season. Castro said junior Kyler Chavez will start and be followed by sophomore Christian Chavez.

Senior Gino Jonassanit will start at running back, replacing the Gators’ top threat from last year in the graduated Aaron Love. How fast the inexperienced players develop could determine how the Green Valley season unfolds. That’s especially true for the linemen, Castro said.

“We have to have consistent play up front,” Castro said. “For to be successful, it will start with those guys on the offensive and defensive line.”

The offensive line is led by junior Tyrell Crosby (6-foot-6, 290-pounds), who is part of the Sun’s Preseason All-City Team, and senior Robert Carter (5-foot-11, 284-pounds). Other linemen expected to have strong seasons include: junior Preston Quirt, sophomore Carter Nielson and senior Greg Rodriquez.

Defensively, Sam McAloon and Keti Salakielu will led the way on the line, along with linebackers Tyler Topham and Shai Gomez-Simmons.

Returning to the playoffs is still a realistic goal for the Gators. Well, only if the younger plays develop like Castro thinks they can.

“We’re unproven. We have to prove it on the field,” Castro said.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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