Lowry Buckaroos Season Preview
The high school football season begins in less than two weeks, with that being said we are previewing over twenty teams from our local area. Today's team: Lowry.
2022 record: 4-4 overall, 0-4 league
Head coach: Taua Cabatbat, eighth season as head coach at Lowry (27-37 overall, 16-34 league in seven season at Lowry)
Overview: The odd team out in the playoff race in last year's Black-and-Blue division that was the Northern 3A East League was the Lowry Buckaroos. After beginning the season 4-0 including a Non-League win against Fernley, the Bucks dealt with a myriad of injuries and never recovered finishing their season with four straight losses.
Coach Cabatbat has been at Lowry for 18 season total and he said that his program is "still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it knocked participation down and caused a little slump, but the programs numbers are back up over seventy plus." Cabatbat continued on saying that his team "had a good time at camp up at Eastern Oregon University" and that they "are excited for the season."
The keys to success for the Buckaroos will be that "they stay healthy, because [we] were pretty good last year when we were healthy - started the season 4-0." Cabatbat was excited for realignment as well saying he was excited to get back to the old 3A and that the 3A is "gonna be a good time - it's gonna be a crazy season, so many good teams in our league."
You can expect Lowry to continue to employ their modern "Spread" offense as they break in a new offensive coordinator this season. They will return four starters offensively including OL David Walker and RB Jesse Jeronimo. Cabatbat will continue to be the defensive play caller for Lowry as they employ a "4-4" even front to "manipulate it so they (we) can stop opposing offenses." The Buckaroos defense returns four starters including MLB's Luke Fentress and Jhett Harber.
Bucks Offensive Returners:
OL Roan Hornbarger, Senior: A mountain of a man (6-foot-4, 275 pounds), Hornbarger plays both ways as a guard on offense and a nose guard defensively. He has the highest ceiling of any player on the Buckaroos roster. He is responsible for 20 tackles, includng seven tackles for loss over the last two seasons. We'll see if he can dominate and free up his linebackers to make plays, if he can the Bucks should be pretty successful this season.
RB Jesse Jeronimo, Senior: In most of my conversations with opposing 3A coaches one name consistently came us as a player to watch. That name was Jeronimo, Coach Cabatbat described him as a "Load - if he's healthy he'll be close to unstoppable. He is starting the season in great shape." In limted games over the last two seasons Jeronimo is responsible for 947 rushing yards on less than 100 carries, this includes ten rushing touchdowns to his name. He can also get loose out of the backfield, checking in with 52 receiving yards and a TD to his credit.
OL David Walker, Senior: An all-league honoree last season, Walker is "[a] big key to our success this season," said Cabatbat. If he performs like he's capable of he'll surely help the Bucks offense put up big numbers this year after having averaged 24 points per game and 304 yards per game.
Bucks Offensive Gem:
QB Erick Valencia, Sophomore: Valencia is expected to step in at quarterback for Lowry this season and word on the street is he's really athletic and smart with the ball in his hands. As a freshman last season he caught three passes for seventeen yards and a touchdown on varsity, while also making three tackles late in the season.
Bucks Defensive Returners:
If Lowry is going to keep opposing offenses at bay it'll be a product of LB's Luke Fentress, and Jhett Harbor taking care of business in the middle of the defense. Fentress, a senior has racked up 52 tackles in 13 games including seven tackles for loss. Harber was pointed out by Cabatbat as a "difference maker this season." He got some good playing time last season as a sophomore when he was credited with 40 tackles in seven games including four tackles for loss during last season.
Aug. 18 at Columbia (Nampa, Idaho)
Aug. 25 at Hug
Sep. 8 vs. Sparks
Sep. 15 at Spring Creek
Sep. 22 at Elko
Sep. 29 at Truckee (Calif.)
Oct. 6 at Fernley
Oct. 13 vs. South Tahoe (Lake Tahoe, Calif.)
Oct. 20 at Churchill County (Fallon, Nev.)
J. Ray Dockter has been covering high school sports since 2022. If you have a story worth telling let him know via Twitter @J_RayDoc.