Coach: Dave Gonzales, 11th season
Last year: 6-4 overall, 5-0 in 5A Aurora League (lost in first round of 5A state playoffs)
Players to watch: Darien Odegard, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, sr.; Josh Gibbs, 5-11, 170, WR/DB, sr.; Kietrich Griffin, 5-6, 135, RB, sr.; Brian Durham, 6-3, 225, OL/DL, sr.; Trent Manns, 6-0, 210, OL/DL, sr.; Arealous Hughes, 6-1, 185, WR/DB, jr.; Sione Vakafuhu, 6-1, 250, OL/DL, jr.; Dom Smith 6-0, 220, LB/FB, jr.; Larry Reed, 5-10, 170, DB, jr.; Jaelon Wright, 6-0, 190, DE, jr.; Oscar Lorandi, 5-11, 200, LB, sr.; Anasoni Kami, 6-0, 200, LB, sr.; Sean O’Keefe, 6-3, 200, TE, sr.; Sam Maes, 5-10, 175, LB, jr.; Max Gonzales, 6-0, 195, RB/LB, fr.; Lamar Smith, 5-11, 175, WR, sr.
2013 outlook: Coach Dave Gonzales and his staff have developed strong tradition over the years and this season’s Rangeview group has kept it going, showing great commitment in the offseason as it aims for a fourth consecutive league championship. The Raiders — who lost to Horizon in the first round of last season’s Class 5A state playoffs — are on the younger side this season, but numbers are strong and there is a decent amount of size in the program. Gonzales has back a big piece on offense, as senior quarterback Darien Odegard — the Aurora League Offensive Most Value Player last season — returns under center. The All-City second team selection piled up more than 1,500 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns last season and enters his senior season with double-digit varsity starts under his belt. Besides good scrambling ability and improving accuracy in the passing game, Odegard’s leadership is vital to what the Raiders will do. When Odegard throws, he can chose to throw to extremely athletic junior WR Arealous Hughes — a first team All-Aurora League selection and the team’s second leading receiver last season — along with senior WRs Josh Gibbs and Lamar Smith, while senior tight end Sean O’Keefe is a good-sized target at 6-3, 200. The running game features shifty Kietrich Griffin, who rushed for 387 yards and six touchdowns for Rangeview last season, plus a new face in Gonzales’ freshman son, Max, who stands 6-feet tall and weighs 195 pounds. The line on both sides of the football is keyed by seniors Brian Durham and Trent Manns, with Sione Vakafuhu providing some good size on the interior and will need to provide some push as Rangeview graduated the majority of its pass rush from last season. Junior Jaelon Wright will also help along the line defensively, while the linebacking corps includes seniors Oscar Lorandi and Anasoni Kami, juniors Dom Smith — who will also see some time at fullback — and Sam Maes and Gonzales are fast and physical in support. Hughes, Gibbs and junior Larry Reed, who averaged a team-best 5.4 tackles per game last season, key the defensive backfield.
Quoting the coach: “We know that the league championship goes through us, since we’ve won it three years in a row, so we take pride in defending that. Not saying it is a given that we do it again, but it’s definitely one of our goals. We want to make a better showing in the non-league than we did last year. Our first three games are going to be a challenge (against Regis Jesuit, Arapahoe and Fairview), but if we can weather the storm and maybe surprise a couple of them, the experience our guys are going to get will work for us down the road.”
2013 schedule: Home games all caps (played at Aurora Public Schools Stadium): Friday, Aug. 30 — at Regis Jesuit, 7 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Arapahoe at Littleton Public Schools Stadium, 7 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 12 — vs. Fairview at Recht Field, 7 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 20 — NORTHGLENN, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 26 — AURORA CENTRAL, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 3 – at Hinkley, 6 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 11 — vs. Gateway at APS Stadium, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 17 — ADAMS CITY, 4 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 24 — DENVER EAST, 6 p.m.