Posted On: 10/7/20 9:39 PM
The season is just days away from kicking off in Colorado. We continue to look at the teams ranked No. 1 in the CHSAANow.com preseason polls leading up to the start of the season.
Today’s team preview is the Pueblo South Colts in Class 3A. The Colts have been a regular staple in the state championship discussion over the years in both 3A and 4A, and once again they are one of the favorites to reach the championship game this fall.
The Colts had a strong 2019 campaign and finished with a 12-2 record. The only team to defeat them last season was Palmer Ridge, once in the regular season 24-19 and again in the state championship game 35-13. Despite coming up short in the final game, Pueblo South had a successful season despite playing a tough schedule. They won four of five games that were decided by nine points or fewer. While some key players will not be back, talent is still aplenty for the Colts heading into 2020.
Players to watch
An offense that averaged 34.3 points per game last season brings back a key cog that made it run. George LongoriaGeorgeLongoria5'10" | RBPueblo South | 2021StateCO was third in the entire state in 2019 in rushing yards with 1,896 and is the leading rusher that returns this fall. As we have mentioned before, Longoria is a three-down back and can handle a heavy workload. He had no fewer than 17 rush attempts in a game last season and carried the ball 30 or more times three times. Look for him to thrive in the open field with his speed, quickness and agility for the Colts. An intriguing player to watch will be the quarterback handing the ball to Longoria. Jace BellahJaceBellah5'10" | QBPueblo South | 2022StateCO is an athletic playmaker who will most likely play under center this fall. He has a highlight film that shows a strong arm to throw down field. When he decides to scramble, he runs like a true athlete with speed to make defenders miss but also a willingness to lower the shoulder and take contact. Bellah also split out as a wide receiver last season and his experience playing at the spot should help him understand route concepts and reading defenses. He’s also a key player defensively and recorded seven interceptions, making him one of the top players in the state in that statistical category. Two other players to keep an eye on are Luke Guarienti and Jordan Estrada. Guarienti is the leading returning receiver for the offense. Guarienti is athletic and has great range at 6-foot and 170 pounds. His speed allows him to create separation from defensive backs, but he brings power and a physicality with him when lining up at the safety spot on defense. Another versatile defender in the box for Pueblo South is Estrada from the linebacker spot. He does an excellent job filling gaps and blitzing to get in the backfield. When he reaches a ball carrier, he drives through and lays a vicious hit on them. Look for both to be leaders on the defensive side of the ball. 2020 schedule Oct. 9 @ Durango, 6 p.m. Oct. 15 vs. Pueblo County, 7 p.m. Oct. 22 @ Pueblo Centennial, 7 p.m. Oct. 30 vs. Pueblo East, 7 p.m. Nov. 6 @ Canon City, 7 p.m. Nov. 13 vs. Pueblo Central, 7 p.m.