PREP FOOTBALL: Miners, Bruins to keep an eye on this season | TheUnion.com

PREP FOOTBALL: Miners, Bruins to keep an eye on this season

Friday night football is nearly upon us.

There is just one week left before the local teams kickoff their 2018 campaigns, and both the Nevada Union Miners and Bear River Bruins have high hopes going into the season. The Miners and Bruins both boast talented returners who are coming off strong seasons a year ago, and both teams have several players poised for breakout seasons.

Here's a look at some of the Miners and Bruins to keep an eye on.

DAWSON FAY, Nevada Union, senior

Fay is back for his third and final year on the Miners varsity team. The skilled senior has a special blend of speed and toughness with the ball in his hands and will be key to Nevada Union's offensive success this season. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 185-pound Fay is coming off a strong junior season in which he led the Sierra Foothill League in rushing (1,173 yards). He's also a threat to score at any time, possessing the ability to break off long scoring runs as well as blast through the middle in goal-to-go situations. Since joining the varsity squad as a sophomore, Fay has tallied 24 touchdowns (20 rushing, two kickoff returns, two passing) in 20 games played.

CALDER KUNDE, Bear River, senior

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Kunde is an impressive athlete, combining speed and agility few others have. Kunde did a little bit of everything for Bear River last season. He was Bear River's No. 1 receiving threat, catching 30 balls for 484 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball 29 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns. He played a couple games at quarterback, going 14-for-20 for 130 yards and two touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball he played cornerback, making 37 tackles and nabbing four interceptions. And, he also returned kicks and punts. The 6-foot, 2-inch senior will play quarterback, receiver and cornerback this season and will be integral to Bear River's success.

"Calder Kunde is doing some unbelievably athletic things out there," Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie said in July. "Beyond that, I've been impressed with the way he's embraced his leadership role."

HAYDEN LEE, Nevada Union, senior

Lee is a hard hitting, grind-it-out type of players who will wear several hats for the Miners this season. The 5-foot, 9-inch gridder packs a punch and will be a valued asset on defense where he will play nose tackle and linebacker. He will also be featured in NU's backfield. Nevada Union head coach Brad Sparks said he expects good things from Lee on both sides of the ball.

TRE MARONIC, Bear River, junior

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 180-pound Maronic is a hard working and incredibly athletic junior who will be a key contributor for the Bruins on both sides of the ball. As a sophomore, Maronic rushed for 416 yards, hauled in 24 passes for 418 yards and scored seven total touchdowns. Maronic, who was the starting quarterback for the junior varsity team as a freshman, will play running back and quarterback on offense, and is also a talent from his cornerback position on defense.

CAMERON DALLAGO, Nevada Union, senior

With a year of varsity experience under his belt, Dallago is poised to have a breakout season for the Miners. The 6-foot, 2-inch, 190 pound senior tallied three sacks from his defensive end position last season, but this year he will take his size and speed to the secondary where he will play safety. Dallago showed flashes of his offensive potential last season, catching three balls for 73 yards, including a 55 yard touchdown against Del Oro.

DYLAN BERGEZ-SCOTT, Bear River, senior

As a junior, Bergez-Scott made 17 catches for 168 yards and a touchdown. He will have a much bigger workload this season as he steps into a more prominent pass catching role. The 6-foot, 2-inch senior will also play safety in Bear River's stacked secondary.

PARKER HEILAMAN, Nevada Union, senior

The 6-foot, 1-inch, 175-pound Heilaman saw limited action as a junior last season, but never attempted a pass. He steps into the starting position this season, and will be called upon to run head coach Brad Sparks' version of the Wing-T offense. Heilaman has impressed coaches with his progress this off season, and has been productive in 7-on-7s and scrimmages.

BRUINS OFFENSIVE LINE, Bear River, seniors

The Bruins have experience and talent in the trenches. Bear River returns starting offensive lineman in center Trae Nix, guard Sam Davis, guard Jared Baze, tackle Jonny Carrillo and tackle Zane Beaton this season. This group was instrumental in the Bruins section championship run last season and are back for more in 2018.

JAXON HORNE, Nevada Union, sophomore

Horne played most of last season on Nevada Union's freshman team, racking up 1,103 rushing yards and 457 receiving yards in nine games before being moved up to the varsity team. In his lone game at the varsity level, he rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Horne will be a good second or third option for the Miners and make defenders think twice about keying on Fay. The 6-foot, 185-pound Horne will also play safety for the Miners.

A.J. MEYER, Nevada Union, junior

If it's a 50-50 ball, expect NU's junior receiver and cornerback A.J. Meyer to come down with it. As a sophomore, Meyer saw time on special teams and at receiver late in blowout games, but looks to be an impact player this season. The 6-foot, 160-pound Meyer has been impressive on both sides of the ball during 7-on-7s and scrimmages.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.