As you drive down Lester Road in Denair, a shiny banner appears on top of the administration building at Denair High School.
“Denair High School: Home of the 2018 State Champs.”
The 2018 season was nothing short of a fairy tale for the Coyotes, beating Golden Sierra in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. VII title game and Santee in the CIF State Div. 7AA Championship. Both were firsts in school history.
What made it even more remarkable was it came a year after a 2-8 season.
“We know why it was a great experience but we still have to build on it,” senior running back/defensive back Dylan De Silva said. “There is nothing that can top it.”
Denair went from a team that was kind of an afterthought to a championship squad that saw the town give them a parade after winning a section title.
“We talked about it, about getting everyone’s best,” Denair coach Anthony Armas said. “ I think that was the challenge last year. People didn’t expect much from us because we were young from the year before. They didn’t enjoy being overlooked so we aren’t going to overlook teams this year.”
Now the Coyotes are in a position they have never been in and the fifth-year coach is a little worried about a hangover.
“None of us have dealt with it,” Armas said. “The thing that makes us feel a little bit better is we have a good group of seniors. They know what needs to be done. I think there are things that we can point to. We didn’t win our league and that is a big deal for us.”
The Coyotes will have to replace two 1,000-yard rushers (Hunter Musgrave and Steffin Winston) in their Wing-T system. Seniors Damien Peral, Jorge Yanez, and Angelo Retana are all expected to share the backfield behind senior quarterback, Elvis Silva.
Denair also returns four starting lineman (Chrstian Obando, Carlo Morales, Derek Starkey, Zach Cherry) along with starting tight end Will Knox.
“They are a really good unit and function really well together,” Armas said.
Silva said he plans on taking more of a leadership role while De Silva said the team’s goals remain large: League, section and state titles.
Day 1: Big Valley Christian
Day 2: Sonora
Record: 12-1, 6-1 in Southern League
Players to Watch: Senior quarterback Elvis Silva, Senior running back/defensive back Dylan De Silva, Senior center Christian Obando)
Biggest Game: September 27 at Ripon Christian
Something special about school: At halftime of games, fans come down and make a tunnel for players to run out of before second half
Playoff appearances last five years: 2018: Beat Golden Sierra in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. VII Championship, defeated Santee in CIF State Div. 7-AA Championship: 2017: None 2016: Lost to Amador in Div. VI First Round 2015: None 2014: None
|30||at Woodland Christian||7 p.m.|
|13||at Soquel||7:30 p.m.|
|20||Le Grand||7:15 p.m.|
|27||at Ripon Christian||7:15 p.m.|
|18||at Delhi||7:15 p.m.|
|25||Mariposa County||7:15 p.m.|
|1||at Waterford||7:15 p.m.|