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October 1, 2014

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high school football:

Valley’s younger players gives coach reason to be optimistic

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Valley football players Juan Batiste, Rogelio Lopez and Kennedy Williams Thursday, July 26, 2012.

Valley Coach Marcus Sherman

Valley coach Marcus Sherman talks about the upcoming 2012 football 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.

Valley High football coach Marcus Sherman doesn’t have to search far when looking for the team to model his program after.

Canyon Springs High's rise to one of the city’s elite teams caught the eye of Sherman because the Pioneers have enjoyed success by using primarily underclassmen. As those players have developed, Canyon Springs became the champions of the Northeast Division. It’s the same league Valley is part of.

Valley, which will play all of the program’s sophomores this fall on the varsity team because it won’t field a junior varsity squad, also has several younger players Sherman feels could become standouts.

But, just like Canyon Springs, he knows it’s going to take time.

“Canyon is the team we are all shooting for,” Sherman said. “Hopefully we can emulate them, and at this time next year, it’s us we are talking about (as one of the city’s best).”

Valley returns 31 letter winners from last year’s team that finished fourth in Northeast Division and lost in the Sunrise Regional quarterfinals to eventual region champ Liberty. The experience of playing in the postseason, even in defeat, gave the Vikings something to build on.

“When we got to that Liberty game, the kids realized this was a whole new deal,” Sherman said. “Playing a team like Liberty, you see what you need to do to get better. You know what? Some of the kids left the game feeling they could do it.”

Valley returns eight starters on defense and six on offense, including senior athlete Kennedy Williams. Williams will play all over the field on offense and handle kick return duties.

The rest of the offense will rely on the performance of younger players such as sophomore running back Dillard Davis and junior tight end Eric Burrell. Sherman expects several of the younger players to get stronger each week.

“It’s just a matter of getting them confidence,” he said.

Defensively, two of Valley’s top players are senior linebacker Rogelio Lopez and senior safety Juan Batiste.

Sherman feels the seniors such as Willams, Lopez and Batiste will help carry the way as his younger players develop. The goal is eventually compete for a Northeast title — a crown they’d have to beat Canyon Springs for.

“We want to see if we belong with the big boys. We want to see if we belong at this level,” Sherman said.

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

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