The Renegade Football team got their first taste of the 2018 season on Aug. 22 when they scrimmaged Antelope Valley at Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage format only saw first-string players on the field for two series at most, but key players made the most of their first time lining up against an opponent.
Sophomore running back, Elisha Ortiz, had impressive carries for gains and showed signs of picking up where he left off after last year’s breakout season. Freshman, Shane Jones, proved he is fully healed from a torn ACL that prevented him from playing his senior year at Bakersfield High.
Several positions are still being solidified as the last week of practice before the season opener rolls on, but no competition is more intriguing than the quarterback one. Braden Wingle and Josh Medina shared reps behind center against Antelope Valley, but head coach Jeff Chudy isn’t interested in playing games when it comes to the final decision.
“This competition is just like any other position on the team, and the upcoming week of practice will tell who’s ready,” said Chudy.
The Renegades were ranked #14 nationally by the 2018 College Football America JuCo Preseason Top 30. To some programs, it may seem like a lot of pressure to live up to the hype, but Coach Chudy is confident his team has handled the recognition gracefully.
“It’s nice to get the media attention and to have our players experience being recognized like that. But when it comes time to play, there is no correlation,” said Chudy.
Chudy stressed the importance of values like toughness, unselfishness, and humility.
“I believe our guys understand the hard work it takes to be successful but a ranking like that won’t win games for us.”
Key sophomore names like nationally ranked punter Carson Olivas and First Team All-Conference member Cameron Roberson also are poised to have repeat productive seasons. Coach Chudy had high praise for his returners, saying they took it upon themselves to convey high standards that the program expects.
“Real-time game experience is invaluable, and our returners have stressed that we have high expectations from every player.”
Coach Chudy believes strongly in the community aspect of his program and stressed the importance to recruit local players.
“It’s easy for a city to get behind players who are from the area. It’s called a community college for a reason.”
The Renegades open their season on the road against Mt. San Antonio on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.