For those looking for a peek inside the 2013 Desert Valley League football season, free up this Thursday, June 27.
Cathedral City High School is hosting a passing league event involving Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and Xavier Prep at 6 p.m. While the gathering will not resemble an actual game, it will provide an early look at some of the top offensive skill position players in the valley this season.
Among the players to watch will be James Rodriquez, a wide receiver for Cathedral City. He’s expected to again be one of the top offensive weapons in the DVL, after scoring in every possible way last year. He’ll be complimented by a number of other playmakers head coach Richard Lee recently raved about.
That group includes Josh Kohler and Issaha Nsubuga, who’ll run the football for the Lions, and Justin Dorsey and Orlando Wallace, who’ll line up next to Rodriquez on the outside. Tight end Sergio Hernandez is also expected to play a major role in the offense this year.
Perhaps most exciting will be the opportunity to see how returning quarterback Davin Lile has developed. Lee said he’s made a huge leap since last year and should have a good year now has more weapons to work with.
Seeing what Palm Springs has done over the offseason should be intriguing as well. Head coach Dan Murphy recently said Will Olvera will likely be the starter again at quarterback, and former Palm Springs linebacker Michael Greer even made the no-so-impartial comparison of Olvera to Johnny Manziel.
Olvera will have the benefit of Taylor Hawkins and Ryan Koehler returning to catch the ball, as well as a number of newcomers that have created some buzz this spring. Will they be enough to help Palm Springs to another DVL title?
Izak Ocon, the Coachella Valley running back/receiver who racked up more than 250 yards rushing and receiving and three touchdowns in a comeback win over Cathedral City at the end of last season, will also be in attendance. How has he improved and has he gotten any bigger (5-foot-7 and 145 pounds) since last fall?
Xavier Prep, easily the most difficult team to gauge, will also be on display. A new coach steps into the job July 1, so things could change after this event. Still, we know very little about the Saints at this point in the summer and Thursday will provide a lot of answers.
For those who will not be in attendance, we’ll be live-tweeting updates throughout.