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April 17, 2014

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high school football:

Basic looks to build off last season’s playoff victory

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Basic football players Anthony Owens, Mike Roberts and Ian Bates Thursday, July 26, 2012.

Basic Coach Jeff Cahill

Basic coach Jeff Cahill talks about the upcoming 2012 high school football campaign

Southeast League

Basic football players Anthony Owens, Mike Roberts and Ian Bates 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.

Most lower-seeded teams in the Southern Nevada high school football playoffs don’t win this easy.

Then again, the No. 4 seed from the competitive Southeast League, as proven last fall by the Basic High team, isn’t a borderline playoff qualifier.

Basic had no troubles last year in disposing of top-seeded Canyon Springs in the Sunrise Regional quarterfinals, making quick work of the Northeast Division champions in an upset that some — especially coaches in the Southeast — don’t classify as an upset.

“We didn’t necessarily consider ourself a four-seed,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said.

Cahill said games in the Southeast league, which includes two-time defending region champ Liberty and respected schools Foothill and Del Sol, helps prepare teams for the rigors of the postseason. And for his Wolves, he hopes the returning players will use those experiences as a springboard to excel this fall.

Basic, which is ranked No. 6 in the Sun’s top-10 poll, is led by two of the top players in the state in senior wide receiver Devonte Boyd and junior athlete Antraye Johnson. Both are part of the Sun’s Preseason All-City team.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Boyd is a top recruiting target for UNLV and has been Basic’s No. 1 option in the passing game since his sophomore year. Last year, he caught 65 passes for 1,118 yards and eight touchdowns in leading Basic to the Sunrise Regional semifinals.

Johnson already has a scholarship offer from Utah State and will never come off the field — he’ll line up at running back, wide receiver and quarterback; handle kick returns; and be the punter and place-kicker.

“The big thing for us is having them both. There won’t be one guy everyone can focus on (defending) because the other one will hurt you,” Cahill said.

The offensive line is led by Ian Bates, but Cahill says the unit is still developing and lacks depth.

Defensively, Basic’s 4-4 formation will be led by a pair of seniors in defensive back Anthony Owens and defensive end Mike Roberts.

“We are pretty optimistic,” Cahill said. “We have a lot of guys coming back (who contributed to the run last year). If the offensive line jells together, we can be pretty tough.”

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

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