Last season: 5-5
Returning starters: 4 offense, 5 defense
Key players: Ray White, sr. (6-3, 350, C); Brandon Bray, sr. (5-10, 175, QB); Isaiah Cordova, sr. (5-10, 190, RB); Charles Countee, sr. (5-8, 180, slot/ATH/S); Jonathan Potter, jr. (6-4, 230, DE/TE); Cameron McMahan, sr. (6-0, 165, OLB); Tanner Huber, sr. (6-0, 190, OLB); Stephon Woods, jr. (6-1, 185, CB/S); Jesse Wylie, sr. (5-10, 165, S); Dominic Konstan, jr. (6-3, 160, WR).
Outlook: With stability at QB, a potential 1,000-yard rusher in Cordova, and some game-breaking talent on the perimeter, like Countee and Konstan, the Manzano offense hopes to be far more productive than it was during a sluggish 2013. The defense figures to be OK, so long as some young players along the front come along. Manzano finished last in its district last year, and that didn’t sit well with the Monarchs.
(x-denotes District 2-6A game)
Aug. 30 Cleveland (C), 6 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Volcano Vista (C), 7 p.m.
Sept. 11 at Rio Grande (M), 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 West Mesa (W), 7 p.m.
Sept. 25 Cibola (W), 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Mayfield, 1 p.m.
x-Oct. 10 at Sandia (W), 7 p.m.
x-Oct. 16 Highland (W), 7 p.m.
x-Oct. 30 at Eldorado (W), 7 p.m.
x-Nov. 7 La Cueva (W), 7 p.m.
(W) – Wilson Stadium; (M) – Milne Stadium; (C) – Community Stadium
Circle the date: The district opener with Sandia looms large, if for no other reason than the Monarchs desperately want to avoid getting tangled up in a tiebreaking mess like they did last year with La Cueva and Eldorado. Not only that, but the Matadors are the defending district champion.