3. BISHOP GORMAN
Location: Las Vegas
2015 record: 15-0
2015 Final Super 25 rank: 1
The Gaels have won the past two Super 25 titles and have won 39 games in a row, tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak entering the 2016 season.
As usual, they will be tested early. They open with a game at Cedar Hill (Texas) and play two defending state champions in Kahuku (Hawaii) on Sept. 17 and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) on Sept. 30.
“You’re playing a great team right away and you have no time to get your bearings,” coach Kenny Sanchez said of the highly anticipated season opener in Texas. “You make one mistake and it can cost. They’re going to be 10,000-15,000 people rooting against you. You have to start fast and be ready to roll right away.”
Bishop Gorman returns eight starters on defense and has seven starters back from an offense that averaged more than 50 points a game. Key offensive starters include: quarterback Tate Martell (2,608 yards and 32 TDs passing and 604 yards and nine TDs rushing), an Ohio State commit; RB Biaggio Ali-Walsh (2,451 yards and 33 TDs rushing); TE Brevin Jordan; OL Amir Johnson; OL Adrian Dupuis; and WR Austin Arnold. Martell and Ali-Walsh have been the last two state Gatorade Players of the Year in Nevada.
Key defensive starters returning include: DT Haskell Garrett (53 tackles, six sacks), an Ohio State commit and All-State player; junior LB Palaie Gaoteote (92 tackles); All-State LB and UNLV commit Farrell Hester (97 tackles); S Greg Francis; All-State safety Bubba Bolden (55 tackles, three interceptions); All-State CB Alex Perry (three interceptions); and CB Malik Hausman, an Arizona commit.
The Gaels have to shore up their offensive line but did add junior Jacob Isaia, a 6-4, 240-pound transfer from Iolani (Honolulu).
“I like where our line is,” Sanchez said. “We’re not humongous, but we’re pretty athletic. We’re not going to see where we’re completely at until Week One.”
8/27 at Cedar Hill (Texas)
9/2 vs. Cocoa (Fla.)
9/9 at St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
9/17 vs. Kahuku (Hawaii)
9/23 vs. Bonanza (Las Vegas, Nev.)
9/30 vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
10/7 at Spring Valley (Las Vegas, Nev.)
10/14 vs. Clark (Las Vegas, Nev.)
10/21 at Desert Oasis (Las Vegas, Nev.)
10/27 vs. Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.)
11/4 at Sierra Vista (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Note: The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association approved a one-time request for Gorman to play 11 regular season games and exceed the state limit. The situation was a result of league realignment that led Bishop Gorman to be placed in a league with seven teams last month after playing in a five-team league last season.