PREP FOOTBALL: Defensive players to keep an eye on this season – California News

PREP FOOTBALL: Defensive players to keep an eye on this season – California News

As the old saying goes, “Offense may win games, but defenses wins championships.”

If the Nevada Union Miners and Bear River Bruins want to rise to championship levels, their defenses will need to be impressive in the 2017 season, as both teams have schedules littered with opponents boasting high-powered offenses. Luckily for the Miners and Bruins, they each have several talented defenders looking make a stand and help their team win. Here is a list of players on the defensive side of the ball to keep an eye on.

Justin Houlihan, Nevada Union, senior, middle linebacker

Houlihan is coming off an outstanding junior year in which he tallied 129 total tackles, four tackles for a loss, three sacks and an interception. For those efforts he was named to the All-Sierra Foothill League First Team at middle linebacker. In 2016, Houlihan tallied double digit tackles in seven of the 10 games with a season high 22 against Rocklin. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 230-pound backer will be Nevada Union’s defensive anchor once again this season.

“Justin is trying to take that next step in following the greats that have played before him,” Nevada Union head coach Dennis Houlihan said in July. “He’s going to be the anchor of our defense.”

Luke Baggett, Bear River, Senior, defensive back

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In addition to taking over Bear River’s starting quarterback position this season, Baggett will resume his role as one of Bear River’s better defenders. He was an All-Pioneer Valley League First Teamer a season ago, posting a team-high 95 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

“Hes a tough kid,” Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie said of Baggett. “He’s going to…

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