Trailblazers ready for next step
The Sierra Canyon football team is ready to take the next step.
The Trailblazers have moved up the ladder year after year. Sierra Canyon has six Southern Section championships and two state championships under veteran coach Jon Ellinghouse.
Sierra Canyon has dominated Division 2 in recent years, most notably a 2022 title and 2021 semifinal appearance.
A Division 1 playoff berth is the goal. Short of that, disappointment. Because of how talented this 2023 roster is thought to be.
“We want to compete in the highest division,” Ellinghouse said. “We really believe it’s our time and we have the personnel to do it the right way.
Ellinghouse is absolutely right about the roster.
He will look to reigning Mission League MVP Dane Dunn, who gained nearly 2,000 yards and scored 24 touchdowns as a workhorse running back last year as a sophomore.
Dunn won’t have to shoulder all the load with Notre Dame transfer Wyatt Becker at quarterback and two outstanding receivers in the fold.
Chaminade transfer Kwazi Gilmer and Cathedral transfer Xavier Jordan will be nice targets, along with Cameron Mirchell-Jones and Cole Crawford.
Terrell “Choppa” Cooks is another super-fast running back to help Dunn. Cooks is a big-time playmaker. Two emerging bacjfield threats are Jesse Lepore and “Downhill” Dallas Jones, only a sophomore.
Jae’on Young, a junior athlete, is receiving college interest, Jaylen’dai Sumlin is committed to Stanford and we haven’t even talked about the defense or lineman.
Ruben Gamboa is back to lead a defense that should keep opponents out of the end zone.
Carmel Crunk is a talented linebacker, Carnell Ferguson can disrupt things and Chaminade transfer Marquis Gallegos recently committed to USC.
The line will be anchored by Oklahoma-commit Eugen Brooks and 6-foot-8, 310 pound junior man-child Ashdon Wnetrazk.
There are even two freshmen that could make an impact right away. Watch out for Havon Finney, already gaining serious Division 1 interest and Richie Wesley. Other key freshmen include Jaxsen Stokes, Kasi Currie and Braydenn Mercer.
The schedule is one of the best in school history.
The Trailblazers play Trinity League teams JSerra and Orange Lutheran, a road game against Oaks Christian and two out of state opponents in Green Valley of Nevada and Saguaro of Arizona.
Then, Mission League rivals, with Notre Dame, Serra, Bishop Amat, Alemany and Chaminade.
There are no easy games at all.