League overview: Four southeast Denver area 5A teams will welcome Pine Creek and Fountain-Fort Carson into the 5A ranks. The two Colorado Springs area make the leap after growing into two of the dominant 4A programs in that region of the state. Legend is coming off a solid year in which it advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals. Chaparral, Regis Jesuit and Douglas County also made the 5A postseason making every team in this league a playoff team from a year ago.



Head coach: Jeff Ketron

2021 Record: 5-6 (2-3 5A/4A South)

Returning All-State Players: Brayden Munroe (Honorable Mention)

A strong start to the season got wiped away after the Wolverines suffered losses to Ponderosa and Lakewood. They went 3-2 down the final stretch of the regular season before losing to Fort Collins in the first round of the playoffs. Camden Vogt will probably take on a bigger role in the run game after going for 393 yards and a touchdown last year. All-state receiver Brayden Munroe is back after totaling 1,048 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 2021, but a question mark at quarterback will help determine his productivity this fall. The Wolverines will see some tough non-league opponents, including Ponderosa, Mountain Vista and ThunderRidge. They open the season on the road against Rocky Mountian.


Douglas County

Head coach: Eric Rice

2021 Record: 6-5 (1-4 5A/4A South)

Returning All-State Players: None

The Huskies won six straight games to start the regular season, including their league opener against Doherty. That start put them in a solid position to make the playoffs, but they closed the regular season with four straight losses then got eliminated from the postseason by Mullen. They lost a lot with graduation but there is potential in what junior running back Jake Stonebraker will do after running for 183 yards and five scores last fall. They’re in better shape defensively as the top two tacklers from last year, Frankie Garcia and Avery Humphrey are both back. Chase Nelson is also back and he led the team with three interceptions in 2021.


Fountain-Fort Carson

Head coach: Jake Novotny

2021 Record: 10-2 (5-0 4A Southern 2)

Returning All-State Players: Tai Faavae (First Team)

The Trojans head into the season without an established running back, but that shouldn’t be a concern for too long. Quarterback Tavian Tuli threw for 1,029 yards and 12 touchdowns and will be even better as a senior. FFC does have one of the best overall defenders in the state on the roster in linebacker Tai Faavae. The Washington State commit totaled 126 tackles last year, grabbed one interception and recovered a fumble. There is little doubt that the Trojans defense will be their strength this season and Faavae is a big reason why. His ballhawk mentality will help in the “development of young secondary on defense,” according to Novotny. Non-league games for the Trojans include Pomona and the annual Shield Game against Doherty.



Head coach: Monte Thelan

2021 Record: 11-2 (5-0 5A/4A South)

Returning All-State Players: None

The Titans are going to look drastically different from a year ago. They return just two starters from last year’s semifinal team. “We will have competition for virtually all positions,” Thelan said. “Emerging players include Cam Morrison, PJ Staab, John Brookhart, Max Wurdamen and Sam Axelrod (along with several others).” Brookhart takes over at quarterback for Colton Warner who graduated last spring. Legend opens the season on the road against Vista Ridge, but the team knows that the reality of having to play sound football as soon as possible will hit them at the opening kickoff. “We have to mature into a consistently sound varsity football team quickly,” Thelan said. “Our schedule is very demanding starting Week 1.”


Pine Creek

Head coach: Todd Miller

2021 Record: 10-3 (3-2 5A/4A South)

Returning All-State Players: None

Pine Creek is a team that has a tendency to reload even after taking heavy senior losses. The Eagles hope that tradition continues as they make the jump to 5A. Mason Miller will be crucial in keeping the offense productive after rushing for 651 yards and five touchdowns last year. Justis Nicholson also flashed some potential last year as he totaled 254 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Brett Alvey brings a lot of stability to the defensive side of the ball after leading the team with 102 tackles last season. Pine Creek will show no fear in moving to the top classification as it takes on Valor Christian in Week 2.


Regis Jesuit

Head coach: Danny Filleman

2021 Record: 8-4 (4-1 5A/4A South)

Returning All-State Players: None

The only three teams that the Raiders lost to last year advanced to the 5A semifinals. They’re hoping that they can maintain that level of success and even better it a bit. Quarterback Exander Carroll should have a standout year after throwing for 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns and adding 666 rushing yards and eight touchdown on top. Hayden Moore is back after being one of two players on the team to record over 100 tackles. The Raiders open their season at Valor Christian in an early-season slugfest. They’ll also see Cherry Creek and Ralston Valley in non-league play.