On Saturday, High School Football America will release its Preseason Top 25. Between now and then, we’ll take a look at some of the top teams that are vying for spots in our national rankings.
Today we head to Nevada to check on the Bishop Gorman Gaels.
The slogan “What Goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas” isn’t true when it comes to the Bishop Gorman football program. With weak in-state competition, the Gaels have gone outside of the state to find suitable competition for a program that has produced a ton of Division I college football talent in Tony Sanchez‘s six years as the head coach.
Sanchez is now the head coach at UNLV, but his brother Kenny slides into the top spot and the Gaels shouldn’t miss a beat, including scheduling some of the top teams from around the country.
The Sanchez brothers took a program that was on the upswing when they arrived in 2009, but they turned it into a juggernaut while going 85-5 with six state titles in six years. To put everything in perspective about the recent success, prior to the school’s 2007 state football title, Gorman hadn’t won a state title since 1983.
Last season, USA Today named Gorman its national champ. The Gaels finished #6 in the High School Football America Top 25, which uses a propriety algorithm for our national rankings.
Kenny Sanchez, who served as his brother’s defensive coordinator, will face another ambitious out-of-state schedule in his first year, but he has lots of talent back to take-on top teams from Arizona (Chandler HS), California (Long Beach Poly and Servite HS), New Jersey (Don Bosco Prep), Utah (Bingham HS) and Washington (Bellevue HS). Chandler and Bingham won their respective state championships last year.
The Bingham-Gorman game will be very interesting, since it was the Miners that took the Gaels into overtime on their home field before losing 23-20. This year’s Bingham match-up will be in Utah, which will be followed-up the following week with a trip to Belleuve, Washington. Last year, Bellevue had its own streak of six straight Class 3A titles snapped when it lost to Eastside Catholic in the state championship game.
With junior quarterback Tate Martell back under center, the Gaels offense will be in good hands. Last year, Martell, who was the MaxPreps’ Sophomore Player of the Year, threw for 2,537 yards and 40 touchdowns. He also rushed for 433 yards and eight TDs.
Martell holds nearly 20 college scholarship offers with Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas A&M and Oregon said to be at the top of his list.
Fellow junior, Tyjon Lindsey is back at wide receiver after 34 catches and 15 TDs last year. In all, the Gaels bring back seven starters on offense.
In the backfield, the Gaels have senior Jonathan Shumaker, along with sophomore Biaggio Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali. Shumaker rushed for 625 yards and 13 TDs last year. Walsh averaged over 12 yards per carry while picking-up 595 yards and scoring ten touchdowns.
Defensively, Sanchez also welcomes back seven starters from last year. Up-front junior Haskell Garrett is back after leading the team in sacks. Also back is defensive lineman senior Michael Gereghty, who missed last year with a torn labrum after 19 sacks as a sophomore.