The Central Catholic football team could be without one of its top two-way players on Friday evening.
Running back and middle linebacker D’Angelo Bellamy is questionable for the season opener at Clovis West. The same hip injury that forced Bellamy out of the scrimmage with Turlock and Buhach Colony on Aug. 11 has kept him out of practice this week.
Bellamy jogged a little Thursday, according to coach Roger Canepa who diagnosed the injury as a pulled muscle near the hip. The Raiders have been cautious with Bellamy, who has been injury prone. He was limited last fall with a broken hand and then missed time during the basketball season with gashed finger.
Bellamy is poised for a breakout season, and hoped to follow in the footsteps of Montell and Louis Bland, both of whom played linebacker and running back for teams the qualified for a CIF State bowl. He is No. 5 on the Front Row’s list of top-50 returning players.
“I doubt if he’ll play,” Canepa said. “It really sucks for us on defense, because he’s athletic enough to cover people, like Spread teams. Offensively, we have other backs. We have other options.”
The Raiders have reinforcements in the backfield. Minaya Olivo, Dayton Magana, Kyle Jacklich and Junior Bravo could help fill Bellamy’s void in the offensive huddle. Defensively, if Bellamy is unavailable, Canepa isn’t sure who to play alongside Bravo.
“We got some options,” Canepa said. “Minaya, Dayton, Kyle Jacklich and Junior, who can bang in there. We can still function. Defensively, it’s not a good situation."
It isn’t all bad news for the top-ranked Raiders, who welcome back tight end/defensive end Nic Sani, a long-armed, long-legged 6-foot-6 junior. Sani suffered a shoulder injury and also sat out the scrimmage.