Riverside High head coach Patrick Wagner has a good team returning and he believes they learned from a disappointing end to last season's playoff run.
"We are senior heavy with a lot of experience," he said. We have a strong offense and solid defense coming back. We need to shore up our special teams and improve our mental toughness when playoff time comes. Our problem last year was that we blew out our last six opponents, so when the playoffs came we were not as mentally tough as I would have liked. We will be changing practice to deal with that problem."
His seniors aren't just back with experience, but talented.
Tight end Justin Montanez, featured earlier in the morning, already holds a Central Michigan offer, and there are plenty more reasons for schools to stop and see Wagner.
"I have 4 other kids who are Division 1 talent.
Jalen Gillie just won the 100 and 200 yard dash at the state track and field meet. He has a lot of interest from schools but due to his grades he will end up at a JUCO. He is our starting half back. He runs a 4.3 40 and a 10.5 100.
Bakari Triggs is a defensive back. He worked out at the ESPN camp at Ohio State a few weeks ago. He is an all-state defensive back. He is 5'10 but runs a 40 time of 4.4. A few MAC schools said they will offer when he shows up on their campus for camp.
Eric Murry is a wide reciever/running back/defensive back. He is a first team all-conference wide receiver. He is 6'0" and runs a 40 time of 4.5. He is the best football player I have and has the same MAC schools showing interest but also two Big Ten schools, and Army (west point) has shown a lot of interest. A few Div 1-AA have said they will offer by next week, but I will wait.
Brandon Richmond, he is a 6'2" tight end with excellent grades. He is getting a lot of interest from Ivy League and other institutions with similar academics. A couple of schools have said they want to see how he does at Northwestern's one day camp on the 24th of June.
I also have a handful of seniors who are key guys and will probably play at the Division 3 level. They are: Jerome West is a very good D-Tackle. Shamari Triggs is our quarterback who is also our basketball team's point guard, his dream is to play college basketball, however he is an excellent leader and a very good quarterback. Nick Mike is a defensive back who has played free safety for a couple of years and has 14 interceptions the last two years. I have a few kids who are really good, they just have to have a good senior year and we will see where they end up. But I'm projecting about eight college football players in this senior class. The junior class coming up has three to five college players."