Returning head coach Steve Denman gives a post-practice pep talk to members of the 2014 Warriors
during spring drills.  Photo by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News.

Football Springs Into Action
THS Preps For New Season With Spring Drills

Posted June 3, 2014 by The Tehachapi News

Football season is almost here again.

Nearly 70 players were out for the varsity squad this past month during spring practice, with a strong mix of returning starters mixed in with talented underclassmen preparing for next year’s football season.

“Right now it is a learning process. We are just getting started and the kids are working well together,” said head coach Steve Denman. “We expect our guys to be fully committed to what is expected of them, both on and off the field.”

Leading the offense will be returning quarterback Chris Llamas, who will be entering his third season under center for Mountain Football.

“We look like we are a lot quicker,” said Llamas. “We seem to be where we need to be this time of year but we need to get a lot more work in before the season starts.”

Also back are second team All-SEYL running back Willy Urciel and offensive lineman Rocky Radcliff, along with honorable mention All-SEYL offensive lineman Trey Abarquez. Chris Rhodes also returns to the Warriors after finishing last season with the most reception yardage on the team along with nearly a seven yards per carry average at running back.

Standouts Thomas Blewett (66 tackles and eight sacks) and Angel Garcia (57 tackles and four sacks) return to lead the defense.

“We are building a chemistry right now, talking to each other and making ourselves better,” said Garcia. “We have been training and waiting for the season to start and it’s almost here. I’m pumped and I’m excited.”

Returning Warriors from last season include Trey Abarquez (OL, DL), Ethan Averett (TE, LB), Oscar Bejar (OL, DL), Connor Bethany (WR, DB), Thomas Blewett (RB, LB), Juan Cabrera (WR, DB), Jerry Castaneda (RB, DL), Nathan Collier (WR, LB), Anthony Curiel (RB, DB), Gabe Dodge (OL, LB), Ben Farinas (OL, DL), Angel Garcia (RB, LB), Jacob Gonzales (OL, DL), Sam Hanley (OL, DL), Tanner Herman (RB, LB), Abraham Katona (K, DB), Chris Llamas (QB, DB), Mikal Moore (WR, DB), Trevor Newton (WR, DB), Troy Noda (WR, DB), Lars Olofson (QB, DB), Connor O'Neal (TE, DL), Luke Potter (OL, DL), Rocky Radcliff (OL, DL), Chris Rhodes (RB, LB), Billy Schuster (OL, DL), Keyron Scott (RB, DB), PJ Simunovich (TE, LB), Nick Steele (RB, LB), Wyatt Smith (OL, DL), Willy Urciel (RB, DB), Jake Walters (WR, DB), Noah Whitlach (RB, DB) and Daniel Wight (OL, DL).

The Warriors will also look to fill the void of departed seniors with talented players from last year's jayvee/frosh team and new upperclassmen. Looking to contribute to the Warriors this season include Phil Baquerizo, Michael Bailey, Garrett Billings, Zach Birch, David Bonia, Brandon Boyd, Kris Breedlove, Matthew Crane, Colten Eaton, Martin Gonzales, Ryan Hanzel, Jordan Haubruge, Caleb Huebner, Jonathan Hurtado, Chris Kirk, Octavio Llamas, Nic Ledesma, Andrew Lindsey, Xavier Moore, Jacob Onufrak, Ryan Poulson, Jordan Romeri, Braden Ryan, Kyle Sasser, Evan Sheehan, Erik Smith, Paul Stephens, Joe Stephens, Casey Thacker, Antwon Thomas and Daniel Viselli.

Tehachapi will be holding practices and camps throughout the summer. There will also be fundraising opportunities for the community to help the team offset equipment and uniform expenses.

Returning Warrior quarterback Chris Llamas (with ball) runs through spring drills during a
recent practice at Tehachapi High.  Photo by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News.

Upcoming Events For Mountain Football

Weight Training - Tehachapi will be holding workouts in the gym weight room for the varsity (6:15 a.m.) and junior varsity/freshmen (5 p.m.) starting on Monday, June 9 and going through Thursday, July 24. Weight training will be Monday through Thursday each week.

TYF Youth Football Camp – The Warriors will host a Tehachapi Youth Football Tomahawks Camp Monday through Wednesday, June 23-25 (5 p.m.) at the Benz-Visco Youth Cultural Park. Warriors will coordinate drills and lessons with Tomahawk Football players.

Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser – Mayor Ed Grimes will be graciously volunteering his time and efforts to help the Warriors, Braves and Indian teams fundraise for equipment needs with a Fourth-of-July Pancake Breakfast held annually at the City Park. Tickets are $5 and will be sold every Thursday (June 5, 12, 19 and 26) at the Farmer's Market – Railroad Park by football players and Mayor Grimes. Please purchase a pancake breakfast ticket and support Mountain Football.

Bakersfield Blaze Fundraiser – Jayvee and Freshmen football players will also be selling Bakersfield Blaze baseball tickets every Thursday (July 10, 17, 24; Aug 1) at the Farmer’s Market – Railroad Park to help offset uniform and equipment expenses.

Summer Practice - Summer Practice officially starts on Monday, July 28. Varsity will start practice in the morning (6 a.m.) while the jayvee and freshmen teams will practice in the evening (5 p.m.). Spirit Packs are currently available at M&M Sports for football players. Please contact a THS coach for an order form or go into M&M Sports to place an order. Spirit packs must be purchased prior to the start of practice. Players will also need to have physical and paperwork on file prior to the first day of practice.

2014 Regular Season Schedule (Click On Individual Opponent For Series History)
Aug 29Foothill (Bakersfield)  00 00 HThe Warriors lead the series, 9-1.
Sep 5Burroughs (Ridgecrest) 00 00AThe Warriors lead the series, 14-8.
Sep 12Centennial (Bakersfield) 00 00A The Golden Hawks lead the series, 2-0.
Sep 19Arvin  00 00HThe Warriors lead the series, 19-4.
Sep 26Bye
Oct 3North High (Bakersfield) 00 00H The Warriors lead the series, 6-1.
Oct 10Independence (Bakersfield) * 00 00 HThe two schools have never met.
Oct 17East High (Bakersfield) * 00 00 HThe Warriors lead the series, 11-3.
Oct 24Golden Valley (Bakersfield) * 00 00 AThe Warriors lead the series, 2-1.
Oct 31Ridgeview (Bakersfield) * 00 00 AThe Warriors lead the series, 4-0.
Nov 7West High (Bakersfield) * 00  00HThe Warriors lead the series, 3-1.

* Denotes South Yosemite League Game

Warrior linebacker Thomas Blewett gives a “hang loose” sign while wide receiver Jake Walters promotes “peace”
between plays during spring ball drills recently held at Tehachapi High School.  Photo by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News.

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