JOSHUA BUCK
Frederick quarterback Jaron Balman is one of several key pieces returning off of the Warriors’ state semifinal squad from a year ago.


COACH: Thad Lear (15th year, 56-85).

LAST YEAR: 9-4, lost to Windsor in 3A state semifinals.

RETURNING STARTERS: K.C. Rivera (Sr., LB/RB, 6-1, 220), Ryan Miller (Sr., FB/LB, 6-2, 215), Jacob Sleeth (Sr., RB/DB, 5-10, 175), Jaron Balman (Sr., QB/OLB, 6-2, 210), Zach Gomez (Sr., RB/DB, 5-10, 170), Jakob Vargas (Sr., OL/OLB, 6-2, 220), Austin Salazar (Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 230), Joe Wise (Sr., SE/DB, 6-3, 180), Cody Miller (Sr., OL/DL, 5-10, 180), Jesse Butts (Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 230), Michael Broz (Jr., QB/DB, 6-1, 185), Austin King (Jr., OL/DL, 5-11, 230).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Dalton Spitale (Jr., TE/OLB, 6-3, 185), Xavier Lingburg (Jr., RB/LB, 5-8, 175), Sam Butts (Jr., RB/LB, 6-0, 190), Ryan Zuniga (Sr., SE/DB, 6-4, 185), Ryan Cawthra (Jr., OL/DL, 6-1, 195).

COLLEGE PROSPECTS: Rivera, Miller, Sleeth, Vargas, Gomez, Wise, Balman, Jesse Butts.

MUST-SEE GAME: Aug. 31 vs. Elizabeth.

STRENGTHS: The Warriors defense that allowed just 16.4 points per game last season returns nine players who started against Windsor in the state semifinals last year and expects to be as tough as ever.

WEAKNESSES: Frederick has had three talented punters and kickers over the past six years but is struggling to identify who will kick for them this season to make sure the Warriors special teams can match the play of their offense and defense.


SCHEDULE

Aug. 31 — ELIZABETH, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6 — at Pueblo East, Dutch Clark Stadium, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 — BERTHOUD, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 — at Roosevelt, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 — SILVER CREEK, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 — at Erie, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 — CENTAURUS, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 — HOLY FAMILY, 7 p.m.

Oct. 27 — at Denver North, All City Field, 4 p.m.

Nov. 3 — at Thomas Jefferson, All City Field, 3 p.m.

Note: Home games uppercase and at new Frederick High School stadium. Asterisk indicates 3A Northern League game.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi