High school football: Friday’s small-school game previews

McKinleyville at Fort Bragg

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Notable: The Timberwolves, last year’s NCL I champions, lost 17 players off that team to graduation … One of the returnees is Zach Smith, the All-Empire Small-School Offensive Player of the Year. He averaged nearly 9 yards per touch and scored 18 TDs … Also back is quarterback Tyler Ashby … McKinleyville is coming off a 4-7 season and returns 13 of 27 players on that team.

The pick: Fort Bragg 21, McKinleyville 14

 

St. Helena at Tomales

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Notable: Through the years, the running game has been the bread-and-butter for the Braves and 2013 will be no different. Anthony Feliciano, one of the most bruising runners in the Empire, is back for his senior season. The 220-pound son of coach Leon Feliciano scored 18 TDs last year and averaged nearly 8 yards per carry … Junior Jack Preston takes over at QB for St. Helena following Richard Hoppe’s graduation … The Saints were 11-2 last year while Tomales finished 6-5.

The pick: St. Helena 20, Tomales 15

 

Calistoga at Cloverdale

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Notable: The Wildcats are coming off their first winning season (6-5) in five years. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that only seven players return from that senior-laden team … The Eagles have won only one game in each of the past three years … Cloverdale coach Rick Berry is back for his 22nd season. He has an overall record of 105-110.

The pick: Calistoga 21, Cloverdale 14

 

Anderson Valley at Laytonville

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Notable: After the Warriors finished 7-1 in 2012, on paper this looks like a rebuilding year. All but seven players from that team graduated. The backfield was especially hard hit. The only non-senior to handle the ball was Johnathan Leonard. He carried it twice for 40 yards … Anderson Valley finished last season on a high note by winning its last two to finish 3-5.

The pick: Anderson Valley 27, Laytonville 13

 

Point Arena at Mendocino

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Notable: The Cardinals’ football program, which disbanded for several years less than a decade ago, reached perfection in 2012 with an 8-0 record … Nine of the 19 players on the roster were non-seniors, including Reed Carter (1,089 rushing yards in six games) and quarterback Preston Salmans … The Pirates are a young team with only three seniors. … Point Arena had a 3-6 record last year after going 8-1 in 2011.

The pick: Mendocino 54, Point Arena 13

— Howard Senzell,
for The Press Democrat

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