Each week, we’ll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses. We'll highlight a blue-chipper (a first-team player), an OTP (other top player) and an under-the-radar pick (someone who didn't make the squad but is making a case to be on the team).
This week, a star back is losing scores to his younger brother, a quarterback is carrying his team and a defensive back has made the difference for a top-five program.
Blue Chip: Cameron McDondle, Columbine, RB
Last season, McDondle had 25 rushing touchdowns. After performances like he put together this past weekend, it's a good bet he surpasses that mark. The senior tailback rushed for 265 yards and four touchdowns in his team's contest against Chatfield, helping the Rebels earn a 34-7 victory. So far this season McDondle has 14 touchdowns on the ground. And the only reason he doesn't have more is that his younger brother, sophomore Bernard McDondle, has been getting a few carries himself in the Columbine backfield (and has four TDs on the season).
OTP: Austin Apodaca, Silver Creek, QB
When his team needed him most, Apodaca came up big for Silver Creek this past weekend. The senior signal-caller threw for 308 yards and managed five touchdowns — three through the air and two more on the ground. The big offensive display was exactly what Silver Creek needed as the team toppled Windsor, 41-21, winning its fourth straight contest and posting a 4-1 record. Thanks to Apodaca, Silver Creek is quickly rising up the state's Class 3A standings.
Under the Radar: Tanner Gentry, Grandview, DB
Grandview has played one of the most challenging schedules in Colorado this season, but the Wolves have emerged as one of the state's top teams in the process. One of the reasons has been a stellar defensive effort, and Gentry has played a big role in that. He's had interceptions in the team's last four games (five total) — all wins — and he's been about as close to a shutdown corner as anyone in the state. He's also contributed some offensively for the 4-1 Wolves.