Campolindo QB Grant Harper returns for his senior season
Ethan Khakmahd

2019 NCS Quarterbacks to Watch

July 20, 2019

With the 2019-20 school year approaching, Prep2Prep takes a look at some of the top quarterbacks for each coverage area, along with a few others to keep an eye on. This feature focuses on some of the top signal-callers within the North Coast Section. This is not a comprehensive list, and all athletes are listed in alphabetical order.

Jay Butterfield, Liberty

A verbal commit to Oregon, Butterfield led the Lions to their first league title in over three decades last season, not to mention a CIF 1-A state title. He threw for 3,294 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior, and already holds single-season and career marks for school records in virtually every passing category. He is also a standout on the hardwood for the defending BVAL champs. Rising seniors Jordyn Turner and Cody Muth should be top targets, along with tight end Peyton Borrelli.

Jake Byrne, Freedom

Byrne had limited playing time behind starter Joey Aguilar last season, but led the Falcons to a win over Turlock in the season opener and ended up throwing for nine touchdowns with no interceptions during his opportunities, which included a 207-yard, three-score performance against Pittsburg. The top four receivers did graduate, but running back Roy Lee returns to provide a formidable starting backfield.

Jullian Clavelle, Fort Bragg

Clavelle carried a heavy load for the Timberwolves in 2018, and with the graduation of running back William Robertson, he is the focal point of both aspects heading into 2019. As a junior, Clavelle passed for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns while adding another 508 yards and eight scores on the ground. He also had four interceptions from his defensive back spot. The passing game should benefit from the return of seniors Wyatt Curti and John Rexrode.

Bowen Dickstein, Moreau Catholic

Dickstein was one of the top break-through players of the 2018 season, completing 64 percent of his passes for 1,841 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior. Defenses still have to worry about returning senior back Fresh Ison, plus Nicolas Ledesma and Nikko Reed both return as top targets in the passing game, so the table seems set for another strong run from Dickstein and the Mariners.

Miles Gonzalez, California School for the Deaf

As a junior, Gonzalez completed 60 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,545 yards and 18 touchdowns, and plenty of weapons return in 2019 for a team that won eight games last year. That includes feature back Calel Aramboles, plus top receivers Robert Gregor, Jaden Reader and Leo Vergara.

Dorian Hale, De La Salle

Hale orchestrated the Spartans’ offense like a veteran last year, even though he was only a sophomore. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,215 yards and 12 touchdowns, with just two interceptions, while adding another six scores on the ground in the veer attack. The backfield should be explosive in 2019, with Hale again teaming up with Shamar Garrett, James Cody and Mekhi Norfleet, while top receivers Grant Daley and Lu-Magia Hearns also both return in the passing game.

Grant Harper, Campolindo

Committed to UC Davis, Harper completed 61 percent of his passes last season, throwing for 2,932 yards and 32 touchdowns, with just six interceptions. He threw for a career-high 415 yards in a loss to Clayton Valley last season. Senior Rex Curtiss is Harper’s leading returner at the receiver position.

Yonaton Isack, Piner

The Prospectors revolved around the 6-foot-1 athletic Isack offensively last season, and it should be more of the same in his senior year. As a junior, he completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,471 yards and 11 touchdowns, while adding 497 yards and seven scores on the ground. Top receiver Sumail Berhe also returns.

Nick Kresnak, Acalanes

A top recruit in baseball, where is committed to the University of Washington, Kresnak is also the trigger-man for the Dons’ offense, having thrown for 2,542 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior. The return of senior receivers Lucas Eppinger and Jake Delaney should make Acalanes even more explosive in 2019.

Kameron Lane, Benicia

A dual-threat behind center for the Panthers, Lane recently committed to Eastern Washington University. As a junior, he threw for 1,617 yards and 20 touchdowns with just six interceptions, and also ran for 486 yards and eight scores. Maurian Burrell and Kendall Lane also return in what should be a loaded Benicia backfield, as the Panthers aim for a DAL-Valley title after coming one game short in 2018.

Bryce Lombardi, Foothill

Team success eluded Foothill in the 2018 season, but the emergence of Lombardi at quarterback was one big positive. He completed 55 percent of his passes for 1,697 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first full season as the varsity starter and could benefit in his senior year from the return of shifty playmaker Max Masajlo in the slot and Pete Montini at tight end.

Tuakoi Mahe, Mt. Eden

The Monarchs were young in 2018, but Mahe showed the potential for 2019 by throwing for 1,412 yards and 12 touchdowns, with just five interceptions, while rushing for 373 yards and two more scores. All key offensive pieces return for Mt. Eden in 2019, giving Mahe a full cupboard of playmakers around him.

Matt Meredith, Miramonte

Meredith did not start last season behind center, but was then inserted when AJ Fraser went down for the year. Fraser is now at a private school in St. Louis, which means Meredith should get a full season. Last year, he completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,293 yards and 14 touchdowns and can add another dimension with his legs. Getting Reed Callister back at receiver is a big boost, while Tanner Zwahlen could also be poised for a big year.

Ryan Murphy, Concord

The Minutemen took a step forward in 2018, with Murphy leading the way behind center. He completed 56 percent of his passes as a junior, for 1,556 yards and 13 touchdowns. Improving upon that as a senior will require breaking in some new playmakers, however, as Concord graduated its leading rusher and top five receivers from last year.

Will Omey, St. Bernard’s

Omey holds the keys to the Crusaders’ spread attack, and drove it wonderfully last season as a junior, accounting for 3,684 yards and 50 touchdowns from scrimmage. He also pulls double-duty on defense, where he had 69 tackles and three interceptions. The offense should be explosive again in 2019, with the return of Talimaivao Fonoti at running back and the duo of Justin Hagler and Lane Thrap at receiver.

Jackson Pavitt, Cardinal Newman

It was a shame that Pavitt was unable to display his talents on the state-wide stage as a junior, but those are certainly the expectations for his senior season. As a junior, he completed a whopping 77 percent of his passes for 2,494 yards and 30 touchdowns, with just three interceptions, and also ran for 552 yards and 11 scores. With the return of junior Shane Moran at running back, defenses have to remain balanced, and the return of Giancarlo Woods at receiver gives Pavitt a go-to guy.

Ronald Robertson, Salesian

Robertson set the Pride's single-season record for touchdown passes in a season with 40 as a junior, leading them to the NCS title game in the process. He will be the driving force behind another quest for the title in 2019, and will be protected again by massive tackle Princeton Toki.

David Romero-Reinholz, Encinal

In his first season playing for coach Keith Minor, Romero-Reinholz completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,626 yards and 16 touchdowns. With Teddy Oliver and Keirr Stewart both back on the receiving end, the Jets could be prolific through the air.

Matt Sargent, San Marin

Sargent led the Mustangs to four straight wins down the stretch last season, including a come-from-behind shootout victory over St. Bernard's and then kept San Marin in the game against Moreau Catholic with his play-making ability. A MCAL title is a realistic goal after sharing the crown last season, especially with senior receiver Josh Franks also back in the mix.

Jack Stewardson, Monte Vista

Stewardson lived up the potential shown as a sophomore, with a banner junior season in 2018. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,391 yards and 21 touchdowns, with just five interceptions. The Mustangs have high expectations in 2019, not just because of Stewardson, but also the return of Tyler Perry and Gavin Cribb in the backfield and the play-making ability of Nate Rutchena and Jacob Oliphant in the passing game.

Jared Stocker, Rancho Cotate

Stocker could only watch from the sideline when his Cougars were unable to reach the end zone in a playoff loss to Marin Catholic, and his absence due to injury was the turning point. Prior to that, in the first 12 games of the season, Stocker completed 65 percent of his passes, for 2,522 yards and 25 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. Expectations for 2019 are high, especially with the return of Rasheed Rankin and Sumari Jones in the backfield, to go with an emerging set of receivers led by Jack Reese and Brandon Proschold.

Camron Young, Kennedy-Richmond

The dual-threat Young is the engine which drives the Eagles, after rushing for over 1,000 yards as a junior and throwing for nearly as many, while accounting for 22 touchdowns from scrimmage. The return of junior tight end Jermaine Terry and the influx of transfer running back Trey Baker are both big boosts for the 2019 season.

10 more to keep an eye on . . .

Jacob Aaron, Vintage

Aaron spent a lot of time handing the ball off as a sophomore, but also ran for 371 yards and three touchdowns to go with his 689 yards and nine scores through the air, on just 81 attempts. The offense won’t change, but with the graduation of Viliami Schaumkel and Aaron’s development into a veteran at the varsity level, expect those numbers to go up.

Trevor Anderson, Santa Rosa

Anderson has interest from multiple Ivy League schools, who like the 6-foot-2 rising senior who threw for 11 touchdowns as a junior and also returns top receiver Randy Clay for the potential of a top pass-and-catch duo in the North Bay.

Trevor Bell, Eureka

Bell is poised to take over for the highly efficient Cruz Montana, who led the Loggers into the CIF regional bowl series last year. Bell completed 14-of-20 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns during his limited time as a junior, also averaging nearly nine yards per carry and scoring twice on the ground.

Shamoun V Duncan-Niusulu, James Logan

Duncan-Niusulu got his baptism under fire while leading a very young Colts team last season, but still led the team in passing and rushing as a sophomore. The return of Chase Sims at running back and Jeremiah Johnson at receiver are just a couple of reasons why this offense should be much improved in 2019.

Michael Ingrassia, Marin Catholic

Ingrassia got limited playing time as a freshman on the Wildcats’ varsity, and threw for 427 yards and seven touchdowns in the process. Dual-threat Gaven Cooke does also return for his senior year, but if Ingrassia takes more snaps behind center, that would then allow Marin Catholic to utilize Cooke’s multiple talents across the field.

Jesse Madden, Bishop O’Dowd

The 6-foot-1 grandson of John Madden got action in one playoff game last season, but likely takes the reins as a junior this year. He figures to have a plethora of top targets in the passing game, with the return of Sterling Stokes, Ethan Ford, Nehemiah Kaufman and Malachi Ward.

Daniel Martinez, St. Helena

The Saints may have a run-first approach, but Martinez’s learning curve as a sophomore last year should pay dividends for a team which showed great improvement down the stretch and returns many key pieces in 2019. He is already a talented runner, and his growth in the pass game will only add to the three-headed backfield of Martinez, Ivan Robledo and Cody DiTomaso.

Trevor Moorman, Heritage

Much like Duncan-Niusulu mentioned above, Moorman took over a very young Patriots’ offense last season and learned under fire. This year he should benefit from the return of Hanai Muhammad and Tony Zalec in the backfield and a more experienced offensive line.

Jack Quigley, San Ramon Valley

Quigley was a playoff call-up last year as a freshman so he has yet to take a regular season varsity snap, and senior Joe Giagiari was successful during limited time as a junior, completing 6-of-7 passes with three touchdowns. But Quigley is a name to watch going into this year and beyond. He threw for 28 scores as a freshman on the junior varsity, but it is the mechanics, poise and football intelligence which really stand out right away for the six-foot signal-caller.

Jack Sweeney, Dublin

Sweeney got his feet wet last season when starter Grant Manning went down with injury, and finished the year with 478 yards and five touchdowns through the air, while running for two more. He will learn a new system under new head coach Brandon Black, but the return of top receiver Elijah Alonso will be a big factor, along with the return of multi-purpose threat Nick Costello.

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