By Mike Wilson
Over the next few weeks, SBLive Oregon will break down every 6A, 5A and 4A football team in the state in anticipation of a six-week season in March and April. Even if the season is postponed or canceled, we will continue to highlight more than a hundred teams and more than a thousand players in Oregon. Here’s our look at the Ridgeview Ravens of the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference East Division.
Patrick Pileggi, third season (6-13)
2019 AT A GLANCE
Overall record: 2-7
League record: 1-4, fifth in Midwestern League North
Playoffs: Did not qualify
ALL-LEAGUE PLAYERS DEPARTED
DB/WR Kevin Edmondson, second team on defense and honorable mention on offense
RB Cody Woods, honorable mention
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Senior RB/DB Josh Biever
After being voted second-team all-Midwestern League North Division last season at running back, Biever will play there and at wide receiver this year. “He’s one of the best athletes on the team,” Pileggi said. “He has a natural ability to be patient and see things develop.” Biever (5-foot-9, 150 pounds) amassed more than 1,100 yards rushing and scored 10 touchdowns on the ground as a junior. He is 100 percent after having knee surgery. Had high school football been played in the fall, Pileggi said, Biever would have missed the season.
Senior RB/LB Gannon Jeter
Jeter led the team in tackles as a junior even though he missed three games, and he was a regular contributor to the Ravens’ running game. Pileggi projects Jeter to start on both sides of the ball this season. “He’s a physical and smart player,” Pileggi said. “He could be a standout running back this season as well.”
Senior OT/DE Chuck Sheldon
Sheldon started at tight end the past two seasons and received honorable mention on the all-Midwestern League North team as a junior. This season, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Sheldon will move to tackle on offense. “Chuck is a physical athlete who has a great work ethic,” Pileggi said.
Junior RB/DB Zach Gault
Ridgeview is hoping for good things from Gault, who missed all but three games as a freshman and his entire sophomore season on account of two successive knee injuries. “He has amazing resiliency and leadership, an amazing work ethic,” Pileggi said. “He is physical and athletic for having a big frame.”
Senior OL/LB Tony Lochner
Lochner was honorable mention all-Midwestern League North at center last season and will start there again. “He’s physical and has an outstanding work ethic and toughness,” Pileggi said, also labeling Lochner a team leader. “He’s undersized but dominant,” Pileggi said. “He plays bigger than he is.”
Sophomore RB/LB Carl Bailey
Pileggi calls Bailey a physical specimen with a work ethic and a motor to match. “He has a chance at being special,” Pileggi said.
Sophomore WR/DB Jeremiah Schwartz
Pileggi calls Schwartz the best athlete in the program, someone who has a very high ceiling. “He’s a freak athlete who will be hard for teams to match up with,” Pileggi said.
Ridgeview went from second in the Midwestern League North Division in 2018 to second-to-last in 2019. Three of the losses were by more than 50 points, and none were by fewer than 12 points.
But Pileggi said the 2-7 record didn’t reflect the Ravens’ talent level.
“Our record could easily have been 5-4 or 6-3 last season had we taken care of business,” he said.
Moreover, of Ridgeview players to receive all-Midwestern League North Division recognition last season, only two were seniors.
Among the all-league honorees returning are senior Logan Shenk (second-team guard and honorable mention defensive lineman) and junior wide receiver/defensive back Nathen Benz, who tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches and whom Pileggi called one of the team’s best players.
In addition to the unknowns brought about by the pandemic, the Ravens of Redmond are in a new district: the Northwest Oregon Conference East Division, whose members include fellow east-of-the Cascades schools Pendleton, Hood River Valley and The Dalles.
Bryce Demars, Ridgeview’s quarterback the past two seasons, transferred out of state. Three sophomores were competing for the No. 1 spot early in the year:
- Ryder Parazoo: Pileggi said he is a physical athlete who can be a threat to run successfully if things break down.
- Colten Chastain: He did not play as a freshman, but Pileggi said he has all of the tools to be successful. Also a standout baseball player, Chastain is 6-foot-3 and has a strong arm.
- Aidan Brenneman: The starting freshman quarterback had an amazing offseason, Pileggi said. “He’s smart and understands the game and has all the intangibles you want as a quarterback,” Pileggi said.
“All three are showing huge strides this offseason and have the potential to be solid quarterbacks moving forward,” Pileggi said.
Whoever wins the quarterback competition should be well-protected. The Ravens return five offensive linemen and some key skill-position components.
“Moving to a new league, it will be a learning curve,” Pileggi said, “but I don’t see why we shouldn’t be one of the teams to beat.”
“If we can stay healthy and our younger players can develop under the leadership of our seniors, especially in the trenches, we should be well on our way to getting the program where we want it to be.” — Patrick Pileggi
More from SBLive Oregon:
Could the Oregon high school football season switch to a 7-on-7 format? ‘If this is our only option for a season, then we will play our hearts out’
What might OSAA’s ‘culminating events’ look like in Oregon high school sports? Football coaches intrigued by possibility of ‘bowl week’
Could an Open Division playoff work in Oregon high school football?
Oregon all-state football 2020-21: The state’s top returning high school football players