Players to Watch: Stagg-Lincoln

Stagg High wide receiver Lester Williams (left) is a player to watch this Friday. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD)

Our opening Game of the Week might not just be the best in Stockton.

It’s one of the biggest matchups in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Lincoln, ranked No. 14 in MaxPreps’ Top 25 SJSCIF Preseason rankings, hosts Stagg at 7:30 p.m. That’s the same Stagg team which went a perfect 5-0 to win the Tri-City Athletic League (TCAL) a year ago, and earned the No. 2 seed in the SJSCIF D-I playoff bracket.

Stagg only reached the quarterfinals, losing to Elk Grove-Pleasant Grove, but it was a mighty accomplishment.

Now, the Trojans look to return to prominence and the Delta Kings look to keep building their program under a massive spotlight at 7:30 p.m. Friday. I’ll have updates on Twitter, and check out our game-night coverage and live chat on

For now, here are players to watch for both squads:


Taylor, a 6-7, 310-pound beast, was named an OL to watch by Cal-Hi Sports, and already has offers from Idaho and Eastern Washington. I’m guessing he’s going to get some true D-I offers, too.

And he’s pivotal for the Delta Kings, who will be in offensive transition with dual-threat quarterback Lavante Bushnell leading the way in Stagg’s spread offense.

He must protect the run game, and oppose Jordan McMiller.

WR – MARK RUSSELL (Lincoln, Sr.)

Russell is rumored to be a WR to watch in the section and the area this year, and he could do his damage out of the slot for the Trojans.

He’s got a heck of a counterpart for Stagg, too.


Williams is not to be trifled with, and had a team-high 43 catches for 914 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior.

I’m fascinated to see how he syncs up with Bushnell, and in the second half of the season, how he and QB Marcus Moore (Weston Ranch transfer) connect.

QB – COLBY DICKSON (Lincoln, Jr.)

With a weapon like Russell, it’ll be interesting to see how Trojans coach Brian Gray and company utilize their young quarterback.

And, how Stagg’s 4-3 defense can affect Dickson’s comfort in the pocket.


Bushnell is at 5-8, 155, and was a wide receiver before this year.

Delta Kings coach Don Norton is tremendously impressed with his development as a passer and a leader, though, so this offense may not be as run heavy as once thought.

It certainly helps to have Williams to throw to, and Taylor protecting him.


McMiller’s senior leadership on a scary Trojans’ line should be something to watch Friday, especially when paired against the Delta Kings and Taylor.



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    Thomas Lawrence

    Lawrence became a prep and general assignment sports reporter for The Record in August 2014. He has covered high school, college and professional sports and more in his career. From November of 2011 through summer 2014, he covered college and prep ... Read Full
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