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Tulare CounTy FooTball Preview 13 El Diamante Miners 2016 review Injuries cost a senior-laden team a chance to compete for another league title and possibly a Valley title. But despite a dozen play- ers struggling with lingering injuries and a few completely lost for the season, coach Mark Rogers was able to get them to gel by the end of the year, sneak into the playoffs and make a run at a Valley title before losing in the Division II semifinals to Ridgeview. Key loSSeS El Diamante graduated leadership and productivity at nearly every position. On offense, the Miners will miss more than half of its starting line, a powerful tailback in Tyler Youngblood, and wideout Mason Garispe. On defense, the Miners lost both safeties, the starting middle linebacker and its best defensive lineman in Gerry Hernandez. 2017 Preview This year's team has as many sophomores as it does seniors, an interesting mix for Coach Rogers' 17th season. But injuries to key upperclassmen created some unique opportunities for juniors, like quarterback Parker Boswell, to get some experience. That experience will be needed as most of the Miners' opponents are improved from last season. After opening up against both Tulare schools, El Diamante will play Monache before heading to an improved Dinuba team. Mt. Whitney and Hanford should be better this year, and Redwood and Golden West will be vying for the league title. PrediCTion The Miners may not have lost a step, but everyone else in the WYL has taken at least a half step forward. The team lacks leadership in key places and is asking a team of mostly juniors to play like seniors while helping out the sophomores. Another fourth place finish seems inevitable for this team unless the young players can gel quickly. But even if they don't, it seems like Coach Rogers always finds a way to get into the postseason even when he's working with second string talent. 4 Andrew Valdez running baCK 2016 TEAM REVIEW Division II: West Yosemite League 3-3 3-3 third place p o s t s e A s o n : QUaliFied 2 016 2 015 2 014 6-6 5-6 4-6 el diamanTe minerS game TyPe oPPonenT reSulT SCore Non-League Tulare Western Loss 28-7 Non-League at Tulare Union Loss 42-7 Non-League Monache Win 21-6 Non-League at Dinuba Win 25-24 League Mt. Whitney Loss 32-29 League at Hanford Loss 21-0 League Hanford West Win 32-7 League Redwood Win 19-9 League Lemoore Win 21-11 League at Golden West Loss 22-14 Playoffs at Garces Win 29-28 Playoffs at El Diamante Loss 46-14 2016 reSeT kEN WEIsENBERGER

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