There's a future Cal Poly wrestler (Bronson Harmon), a soon-to-be Fresno State defensive lineman (Matt Kjeldgaard), strongmen coveted by college coaches across the country (Nico Sarale and Justin Kakala), and a wildly athletic quarterback with D-I dreams (Gino Campiotti).
The stars will be out for Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship at Lincoln High's Spanos Stadium, where the second-seeded Manteca Buffaloes (11-2) look to unseat the defending champion Oakdale Mustangs (12-1), the top-ranked team in the bracket and the Stanislaus District.
On a field brimming with loud, next-level talent, Manteca coach Eric Reis worries most about the quiet one, the aspiring doctor and Honor Roll student -- Oakdale quarterback Marc Dickson.
As a starter, Dickson is 26-2 with two VOL titles, a section crown, and a CIF Division III-A State Bowl win.
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At a school renowned for its Wing-T offense, the quarterback is often overshadowed by the running backs. Dickson has played in the shadows of some great ones, too.
Last fall, Will Semone set a Stanislaus District single-season rushing record with 2,851 yards and was named The Bee's All-District Player of the Year.
This season, Cameron Cherry and Josh Jacobson sit atop the district rushing chart. Cherry has amassed a district-best 2,123 yards and 27 touchdowns, while Jacobson set a school record in a 63-27 victory over Patterson in the D-III semifinal.
Jacobson rushed for 359 yards and five touchdowns, surpassing the single-game mark set by Semone, now a freshman at Cal Poly.
Reis is no stranger to the Oakdale way. He's spent a career devising different ways to slow down the up-tempo Wing-T.
Like many of the coaches on the Mustangs' calendar, he's still working on that formula. Oakdale has won nine of the last 14 meetings with the Buffaloes, including a 36-15 decision on Oct. 6.
"No. 1, it begins with the offensive line and how well they block and get off the football," Reis said. "We're dealing with some extremely talented kids. Nico is one of the premier linemen in the area. When you pair him with the other guys they've got ... they don't make mistakes and they know how to execute. They don't fumble and they don't jump offsides. When you don't beat yourself and you execute the way they do, it makes them tough to beat.
"They know that system; they're trained extremely well in that system. It's total trench warfare, so how good can you be up front?"
Manteca was up to the task the first time around.
The Buffaloes sold out against the run, holding Cherry and Jacobson below their season averages, but they were exposed in the secondary. Dickson had his most prolific game of the season, posting season-best totals for completions (10), attempts (21) and yards (191). He threw two touchdown passes, both to Hunter Falconi.
"That's a lot for us," Oakdale coach Trent Merzon in an interview after the game. "... But we were in our comfort zone. I thought coming in, we wanted to throw it 12 to 14 (times). They've got great athletes with big bodies up front, so I thought we had some match-ups we liked. I thought Marc was solid, not awesome, but solid."
Dickson punctuated the win with a 1-yard scoring run and a 47-yard touchdown pass to Falconi in the second half.
"The guy that gets lost in all of this talk about Gino is their guy. Dickson is a good quarterback; he does some really good things for them," Reis said. "The last time we played them, he hurt us with his arm. His ability to pass, particularly to Hunter Falconi (18 catches, 452 yards, eight TDs), gave us trouble. He's a guy that has our full attention."
In a side-by-side comparison, Manteca's Campiotti cast a long shadow.
Campiotti has rushed for 10 touchdowns in the last two games, and threw another five in a runaway victory over Rio Americano in the first round. Campiotti has thrown for 2,210 yards and 28 touchdowns against just four interceptions, according to statistics on MaxPreps.
Don't sleep on Dickson and the Mustangs' passing attack. Just because they don't throw often, Reis warns, doesn't mean they lack the ability.
In the seven games since the victory over the Buffaloes, Falconi has completed just 12 passes. Seven of those passes, though, have gone for touchdowns.
Reis said his defense will be on high alert.
"With that offense, it gets on you so fast," he said. "When you're a DB, the run game is so dynamic that your eyes are in the backfield. The next you think you, they're running by you. Trent is a good coach. If we overplay at the line of scrimmage, he'll take his shot. That's the chess match that takes place."
With his wit and command, Dickson might be the scariest piece on the board.