California’s Top 50 high school football teams: Jake Ripp returns for No. 47 Los Gatos Wildcats

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in California ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Los Gatos Wildcats of the CIF Central Coast Section, the No. 47 team in our countdown.

MORE: PRESEASON ALL-STATE TEAM | TOP 50 COUNTDOWN

LOS GATOS TEAM PAGE | 2021 FALL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

LOS GATOS HEAD COACH

Mark Krail, 9th season at Los Gatos (64-26)

  • Overall coaching record of 155-67-2
  • Coached at Pioneer and Santa Clara before Los Gatos
  • 7-time league champion
  • 2-time Central Coast Section champion

2021 SPRING AT A GLANCE

  • 5-0
  • 5-0 in De Anza League (1st)

IMPACT DEPARTURES

  • Alex Grado (QB) (Graduated)
  • Adam Garwood (RB) (Graduated)
  • Carson Gardner (WR) (Graduated)
  • Kyle Pinkham (WR) (Graduated)
  • Aidan Schafer (OL) (Graduated)
  • Shane Doty (OL) (Graduated)
  • Sean Maguire (LB) (Graduated)
  • Ty Goldsbury (DB) Graduated)

2021 FALL SCHEDULE

  • Aug. 27 vs. Oak Grove – 7:00PM
  • Sept. 3 @ Liberty (Brentwood) – 7:00PM
  • Sept.. 10 @ Live Oak – 7:00PM
  • Sept. 17 vs. Half Moon Bay – 7:00PM
  • Sept. 24 vs. Wilcox – 7:00PM
  • Oct. 1 @ Santa Clara – 7:00PM
  • Oct. 8 vs. Homestead -7:00PM
  • Oct. 15 @ Palo Alto – 7:00PM
  • Oct. 28 vs. Mountain View – 7:00PM
  • Nov. 5 @ Milpitas – 7:00PM

RETURNING STARTERS

  • 6 on offense
  • 8 on defense

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Jake Ripp (Senior-TE/LB) (6-3, 210) (Boise State commit)

Coach Krail: “Jake is a great kid, a leader on the field. He’ll be one of our captains for sure.”

2021 spring stats: 69 tackles, seven for loss, forced one fumble and had one sack, made four catches on offense

Quinn Merritt (Senior-WR/DB) (5-10)

Coach Krail: “Quinn and Jake will be our only true two way guys this year, which is really exciting.”

2021 spring stats: 16 catches for 201 yards and two TDs, 8 tackles and one interception on defense

Luke White (Senior-LB/TE/ST) (5-11)

Coach Krail: “Luke is an all around great football player. He also plays a bunch of special teams for us. He’s very intelligent.”

2021 spring stats: 22 tackles, two for loss. Blocked a punt and recorded a safety

Jack Saul (Senior-LB)

Coach Krail: “Expect Jack to take some reps at fullback for us too.”

2021 spring stats: 26 tackles, recovered a fumble

Nathan Yore (Senior-C) 

Coach Krail: “Nathan is the leader of the offensive line. He does a great job. He’s very smart with line calls and recognizing fronts.”

Jake Boyd (Junior-QB) (5-11, 155)

Coach Krail: “There will be competition in camp, but it looks like Jake will be our starter at quarterback. This is my ninth year at Los Gatos and the first time I’ve had a junior QB, it’s usually a senior. Jake’s a really good football player.”

2021 spring stats (JV): Completed 37 of 50 passes for 601 yards, 10 TDs and one INT

WHAT’S THE QUARTERBACK SITUATION?

Boyd is the expected starter but seniors Jack Bond and Braden Vernale still have an outside shot at winning the job. Junior Landon Heard is also competing.

BEST-CASE SCENARIO FOR LOS GATOS

Los Gatos won a Division 2 Central Coast Section title in 2019 and there’s a chance the Wildcats can get back to the summit in 2021 if they are placed in Division 2 again at the end of the season. Los Gatos brings back just about everyone on defense and Coach Krail is high on new QB Jake Boyd. The Wildcats’ offensive line is also a strength. If Los Gatos develops a solid rushing attack, then watch out.

MOST REALISTIC SCENARIO

Liberty Brentwood in week two is a tough game and league rival Wilcox will also be a tough matchup. Realistically, the Wildcats can go 9-1 and make a run in the playoffs. If they’re in Division 1, a Section championship won’t happen, but it certainly could in Division 2.

COACH SAID

“Our expectations are high. We played five games last spring and we won all five and we have a good number of guys who played last year coming back. There’s a real good sense of what it takes to win. Our JV team was 5-0 as well. We have a good winning culture. Playing Oak Grove and then Liberty Brentwood in our first two games will be great tests for us. Our goal is to win a league championship. Everything after that is icing on the cake as they say.”

— Head Coach Mark Krail

MORE: PRESEASON ALL-STATE TEAM | TOP 50 COUNTDOWN

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