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Prep Football Preview

Lompoc Still Has Plenty of Talent to Field Another Strong Team in 2018

Ready for Channel League debut, Braves return several players who earned all-league honors last season

Lompoc football 2018 Click to view larger
The 2018 Lompoc Braves will be led by all-league returnees, from left, Leondre Coleman, Cullin Ranney, Juan DeLuna, Jacob Nunez and Ryan Morgan. (Frank Cowan / Noozhawk photo)

Lompoc High School lost several big-time football players who helped win a lot of games and made deep runs in the CIF playoffs during their prep careers.

But don’t expect the Braves to experience too much of a drop-off as they enter the Channel League after dominating the Los Padres League.

Here are some reasons why: They return Jacob Nunez, a 6-4, 270-pound junior tackle who was the Los Padres League offensive lineman of the year, and there are eight more players who received first- or second-team all-league honors and played on a team that went 11-1, losing only to El Toro in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinals.

Head coach Andrew Jones also picked up two quality assistants in T.J. Jordan and Dustin Davis from St. Joseph High in Santa Maria. Davis was the head coach and Jordan the quarterback coach for the Knights.

The addition of Jordan and Davis should help bring an inexperienced group of skill-position players up to speed in a short time.

The Braves won’t have dominant players like Toa Taua and Shemar Savage roaming the field and creating havoc this season. But the program has a rich tradition of producing solid football players and teams — year after year.

“We have to replace 90 percent of our production on each side of the ball,” Jones told Noozhawk.

In addition to Nunez, who is attracting several college recruiters, the Braves also return LPL first-team offensive lineman Gerardo “Heda” Fernandez (6-0, 270), second-team selection Jakob Beachey (6-1, 240) and Romeo Barcelona (6-3, 223).

The entire defensive line returns, led by All-LPL first-team noseguard Juan DeLuna (5-11, 250) and second-team picks Jesus Corrales (5-7, 225) and Jovanny Lucaterro (5-9, 230).

Leondre Coleman, a first-team linebacker last year, figures to be the offensive sparkplug, while multisport athlete Ryan Morgan is expected to get the ball in his hands on a lot of plays.

There is a battle for the starting quarterback spot between Cameron Iribarren and Dechlan Sparrow.

Lompoc Braves

Coach: Andrew Jones

League: Channel

CIF Playoff Division: 3

Strength: Entire defensive line returns

Last Season’s Overall Record: 11-1, CIF Division 3 quarterfinalist

Last Season’s League Record: 4-0 in Los Padres League

Top Returning Players or Athletes

Ryan Morgan — Junior, Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, 6-2, 180: Second-team All-Los Padres League as a sophomore

Leondre Coleman — Junior, Linebacker/Running Back, 6-1, 173: First team All-LPL as a sophomore; had 79 total tackles, including 10 for a loss

Jesus Corrales — Senior, Defensive Line, 5-7, 225: Second team All-LPL as a junior

Cullin Ranney — Junior, Linebacker/Fullback 6-1, 210: First team All-LPL as a fullback

Jacob Nunez — Junior, Offensive Line, 6-4, 270: Named LPL’s top offensive lineman as a sophomore

Juan DeLuna — Senior, Defensive Line, 5-11, 250: First team all league as a junior

Gerardo Fernandez — Senior, Offensive Line, 6-0, 270: Second team all league as a junior

Jacob Beachey — Senior, Offensive Line, 6-1, 240: Second team all league as a junior

Jovanny Lucatero — Senior, Defensive Line, 5-9, 230: Second team all league as a junior

Romeo Barcelona — Senior, Offensive Line, 6-3, 223: Brings experienced to both sides of the ball

Newcomers Who Could Make an Immediate Impact

Oscar Tenorio. Junior, Running Back

Nick Dominguez, Junior, Running Back

Joe Schumer, Junior, Cornerback

Players Receiving Recruiting Interest

Jacob Nunez (San José State)

Cullin Ranney

Ryan Morgan

Leondre Coleman

Outstanding Scholar-Athletes

Ryan Morgan

Cullin Ranney

Cameron Iribarren

Luke Gardner

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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