Cajon High School has 32 seniors coming back from a team that went through the San Andreas League undefeated for the second time in three years en route to a berth in the Central Division semifinals. But there isn’t much satisfaction among the Cowboys, who still remember the painful 42-41 overtime loss to Colton in the semifinals.
“We hope that having 32 seniors that have played in some big games and have been to the semifinals will pay off for us,” Cajon coach Kim Battin said. “We look at what we have this year position-by-position compared to last year and we feel pretty good about how we stack up.”
Leading the way for the Cowboys is defensive back/wide receiver Damontae Kazee. Kazee (6-0, 175) was an all-CIF performer on defense and the leading receiver for the Cowboys offensively. He verbally committed to the University of Washington over the summer but is still receiving interest from all over the Pac-12, namely Arizona State and UCLA.
Kazee will combine with senior tight end Taylor Moore (6-2, 215) to give new quarterback Edwin Martinez (6-1, 215) some elite targets. Martinez has huge shoes to fill, as the former linebacker replaces All-Sun Player of the Year Thomas Carter.
“Thomas was a great player for us and it’s hard to lose a kid like that, but I have a lot of confidence in Edwin,” Battin said. “I think with some of the receivers and running backs that we have coming back he won’t have to do as much as Thomas had to do. We are going to try to help him out a bit, especially in the running game.”
Cajon expects more production from its running backs, as senior Jordan Howard (6-1, 190) transferred from Redlands, where he ran for 330 yards as a junior. Deontrae Kazee (5-8, 170) will also get some time at running back. Both running back will be running behind a sizable offensive line led by junior tackle D.J. Burroughs (6-5, 305).
A lot of Cajon’s players will be playing both ways, as Howard and Deontrae Kazee will be among the starters at linebacker while Damontae Kazee will lead the secondary. Cajon will undergo some philosophy changes on that side of the ball, stressing more blitzing and aggression.
Cajon schedule (Home games in CAPS, * indicates league game)
Sept. 2: at Temecula Chaparral
Sept. 9: at Eisenhower
Sept. 16: KAISER
Sept. 30: at San Bernardino*
Oct. 7: SAN GORGONIO*
Oct. 14: at Pacific*
Oct. 21: at Rialto*
Oct. 28: COLTON*
Nov. 4: ARROYO VALLEY*
Nov. 10: at Carter*