Breaking down the 2015 Renegades football season

Preseason rankings don’t really mean much to anyone, really…let alone at the community college level and to Bakersfield College head football coach Jeff Chudy.

For instance, take Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, TX) as an example. The Cardinals rounded up top three in the nation according to The Sporting News,, and the National Junior College Athletics Association’s preseason polls, but only to start the season 0-2 (one of those teams being unranked…yeah, so much for compiling preseason rankings).

“I don’t pay attention to that stuff…it doesn’t matter,” Chudy said.

Because these polls exist, however, here’s how BC stacks up against its preseason competitors:

 Bakersfield is sitting at 31 in the nation according to’s Aug. 31 preseason rankings.

JCGridiron base their rankings on “the performance on the field, the strength of the programs conference, team records, players in key positions and input from junior college football guru Brad Hoiseth and the staff at”

The statewide Junior College Athletic Bureau’s Preseason State Poll of California Community College Football Coaches has Bakersfield at 13 with 204 points (points are based on votes gathered by the JCAB). 

WEEK 1: BC will open up the season against JCGridiron’s ninth-ranked team in the nation and the JCAB Poll of CCCFC’s third-ranked team in the state, Riverside City College this Saturday (6 p.m., Memorial Stadium).

The Renegades traveled down to Riverside in the season-opener last year where they lost 51-3, but also lost propitious running back Curtis McGregor for the remainder of the season to a broken arm. With his highly anticipated return, this will be the perfect time for McGregor to get the ball rolling vs. the team he last played against.

“They’re a quality football team. They’re well coached and they have good players,” Chudy said.

WEEK 2: After the Renegades host Riverside, they will travel to the state’s preseason 12th-ranked Golden West on Sep. 12. Despite being one spot ahead of BC, the Renegades outlasted the Rustlers in Week 2 last year, 44-35.

The Rustlers will be returning tons of players on both offense and defense and are a tough team to beat at home (9-1 at home in the last two seasons).

WEEK 3: BC will continue testing its resiliency as they will stay on the road to face the state’s seventh-ranked team in the preseason poll, Long Beach City College.

In last year’s meeting, the Renegades kept it close through three quarters and even cut it to a one-touchdown deficit early in the fourth, but a late LBCC touchdown put the game away to give them a 31-19 victory.

“We play a tough schedule,” Chudy said. “If you take Mt. San Antonio College out of the equation, we’re playing the top three teams in the south. We get the schedule we get because we’ve been successful and everything is based on the previous year’s record.”

Chudy added: “I hope that because we have what appears to be some really good chemistry right now, that that helps us in these early games because we’re going to play some quality opponents.”

Notable conference opponents: Week 8 (Oct. 24) at Cerritos

Cerritos comes in ranked sixth in the preseason national via and 10th according to state preseason rankings. BC beat Cerritos in a shootout last year, 34-31.

Week 10 (Nov. 14) at Ventura

It may just come down to this meeting again for the Renegades to secure a postseason bid. Ventura sits behind BC in the preseason state rankings at 14 but they are the defending conference champions.


Breaking down the offense:

QB: After being one of five BC quarterbacks to throw for over 2,000 yards in the program’s history during his freshman campaign, the former Gatorade Wisconsin Football Player of the Year, Tarek Yaeggi, will likely be the starter come Saturday although the offseason showed some promising moments from Noah Holle after coming off a grayshirt season due to a torn ACL. Yaeggi threw 18 touchdowns but did account for 11 interceptions, but mental errors are meant to happen and will be limited due to his experience with the system. The quarterback will need to be “air-free” Chudy stated.

RB: The departure of Xavier Williams and Triton Douglas is huge but when you get to have Curtis McGregor stick around to solidify his sophomore season is extravagant. The 5-foot-9, 210-pound McGregor was a big part of the 2012 state championship team, and despite missing the last two seasons, his presence will be felt if he can remain healthy.

“Not only is his experience a common influence on guys, but he’s a guy that can help bring along some of these other freshmen and guys that kind of don’t have that experience,” Chudy stated.

Local high school standout Isaiah Sharp will be one of those freshmen that will be an asset to the running game and will compliment McGregor in the backfield.

Chudy mentioned how Sharp has a ton of upside and ability and that the staff goal is to get him better and give him the guidance that he needs to be the best he can be.

WR/TE: The three leading receivers from a year ago will not be around. All-American athlete Derrick Vickers will miss the season due to a wrist injury that required surgery. Wide receiver Marquise Johnson and tight end Khalin Smith have departed meaning the running game will have to be a big part of the offense for the passing game to work. Sophomore tight end Dillon Littles will be the security blanket for Yaeggi, but other receivers will need to step up to keep the flow of the offense going.

Chudy stated how it’s a work in progress with the receivers. The Renegades will have freshman starters at various positions and the wide receiver core will probably consist of a few.

OL: Because the passing game seems to be questionable for now, the protection up front will come in handy for Yaeggi to buy some time. This is a front line that will lock up with Riverside’s big, fast and physical defense Saturday night to see how prepared they are.

Breaking down the defense:

DL: Not much of an experienced front, but the guys standing behind them will allow them to be effective.

LB: Big, fast and experienced. Gabe Arteaga, Joseph Hurtado, Justin Nieto, and Cameron Pacheco will hold up the defense and make it extremely difficult for opposing offenses to find rhythm.

DB: With Darren Adjei, Khalil Ealy, and Patrick Marzett gone, this won’t take a huge hit. Returners Bryson Briggs and Dominic Frasch will continue to be a one-two punch and the addition of Solomon Ajayi and Anthony Roberts bring speed and depth to the secondary mix.

“We got a lot of guys who are competing everyday…it’s a good situation when you got a lot of competition going on,” Chudy said. “Those guys end up getting better with the competition.”

The Renegades started the season last year 1-4 and finished the remainder of the season on a six-game winning streak, but it’s the vigorous preseason schedule that prepares a team for conference.

Once again, it will be about how BC can hang with some of the best early on in September.

“We got what we got,” Chudy stated. “In some areas, physically, will be challenged but as the season progresses hopefully that won’t be such a glaring deal…the biggest thing is we got to play air-free and eliminate mental mistakes in order to be successful.”