West Valley’s surge the second half of the season set up an unblemished Northern Athletic League title. The Eagles will have to do it this year without their leading passer, rusher and receiver, but they return running back Bailey Sulzer, who enters his third year as a varsity starter. If anyone in Shasta County is built to take on that load this year, it’s Sulzer and all 5-foot-11, 210-pounds of him.
Here’s a look at some figures for the West Valley Eagles heading into the 2018 season:
Grandell has racked up 172 wins in his 25 years at the helm at West Valley, which ranks one win shy of the most among active coaches in the Northern Section. The coach with the most is Northern Athletic League counterpart Tom St. Jacques. Grandell has the second-most all-time wins at a Shasta County program behind the section all-time leader in wins, Bob Reid of Anderson, who won 219 games across 30 years.
West Valley has steamrolled opponents in league play, going 55-14 for a .797 winning percentage since 2004. That winning percentage is tops among current NAL teams: Lassen, Corning, Yreka, Central Valley and Anderson.
West Valley senior running back Bailey Sulzer has scored 25 rushing touchdowns in the past two seasons, more than any other player in the NAL in that span. He’s racked up 268 carries and 1,683 yards and the past two years, which ranks second and third among NAL players during that time.
West Valley is tough at home. The Eagles’ 61 home victories since 2004 tops NAL teams and ranks second in Shasta County to only Fall River’s 63 home wins in that span.
The magic number for rushing yards in a game for the Eagles is 200. West Valley has won 28 of their past 29 contests when they rush for at least 200 team yards in a game, according to games reported on MaxPreps. The Eagles won all six of those games last season.
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