Getting to Know the 2015 Valley Tigers

Last year, Dominique Dafney (24) was Rocky Lombardi’s go-to receiver. Who will become Valley’s top receiver in 2015? (Andrea Melendez/Des Moines Register)

By Romelle Slaughter

Last season, there were many questions about the Valley Tigers.  As the season went on, Coach Gary Swenson started receiving the answers to his questions. It’s safe to say that after the Tigers 10-2 campaign in 2014, Swenson has no questions to ponder about.

Behind an offensive line anchored by Division I prospect OL John Rairdon, OL Sam Rodgers and TE John Gliniecki, junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi is more than ready to lead the Tigers into the 2015 season. Lombardi emerged as one of the top signal callers in 4A as a sophomore. Lombardi completed nearly 58% of his passes (122-211, 2097 yds, 21 TD’s 7 INT’s).

Jevon Mason will be the featured running back for the Tigers, replacing Drew Gray. The sophomore Mason rushed 404 yards and 4 touchdowns as a freshman last season. TE John Gliniecki is the Tigers’ returning receiver and the most seasoned. He pulled down 10 catches for 271 yards in 2014. Gliniecki will be asked to step in to replace Dominique Dafney, Austin Hronich, and Blake Salsbury, who have graduated. 

Linebackers Nick Yencer and Ben Campos will lead a stingy defense with ball-hawking DBs Turner Scott and Noah Barr who combined for 5 interceptions.

Valley Stats

2014 record: 10-2 overall, 5-0 conference

Head Coach: Gary Swenson, 21st season, 196-43 

Returning Offensive Starters

John Raridon OL

Rocky Lombardi QB

John Gliniecki TE

Sam Rogers OL

Returning Defensive Starters

Nick Yencer LB,  

Ben Campos LB,  

Turner Scott DB  

Zach Deeming DL

Noah Barr DB

Total Returning Letterwinners: 18

Offensive scheme: Pro style offense

Defensive scheme: Under front defense, version of a 5-2

Coaching staff: Dave Cochran, Ryan Cooley, Randy Ripperger, Travis Young

Facts and info: Valley’s two losses were to Waukee. The Tigers lost to Waukee in Week 1 and in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 playoffs. 

2015 Schedule

Aug. 28 Waukee (CISN)

Sept. 04 @ Iowa City West

Sept. 11 Southeast Polk (CISN)

Sept. 18 @ Dowling Catholic (Drake Stadium) (CISN)

Sept. 25 Des Moines, Hoover (CISN)

Oct. 2 Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (CISN)

Oct. 9 @ Sioux City, West

Oct. 16 Ankeny Centennial (CISN)

Oct. 23 @ Des Moines Lincoln