Recap of Thursday night’s games:
If you haven’t had a chance to see the scores:
Red Mtn. 55 over Mtn. View 14
Brophy 24 over Westview 21
Deer Valley 14 over Centennial 7
Desert Ridge 63 over Basha 24
Hamilton 35 over Desert Vista 10
Perry 63 over Poston Butte 28
As I will be writing weekly on Pros2Preps, I thought it important to establish some things that I know and that I like about high school football. You need to understand that I believe that high school athletics is the last true amateur athletics in this country. Also, I love football but in this order: high school, college and finally professional football. So, if you just look at stats and you try and treat high school football as a science, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Some days the team that is supposed to win – just doesn’t. Sometimes 16 to 18-year-old players play like they are 14 – not their fault and not on purpose – but just because they are teenagers.
So kudos to:
Deer Valley and Joe Kersting and his staff for their big win over Centennial, which I think is one of the top programs in the state. They may have caught them on the right night, Centennial was without some key players, but the fact is – Deer Valley won.
Desert Ridge putting 63 points on Basha, impressive. Looks like they found their offense and it was in the end zone much of the night. One of the keys was their defensive pressure on Kyle Duran the QB of Basha, it is difficult to be successful when you are scrambling most of the night.
Westview moves up this year to Division I and some people wondered if they could compete, well yes they can. Their game with Brophy could have gone either way, high school football at its best.
The Brawl on Brown Road turns out to be less of a brawl but more of sixth grader going down on the third graders playground at recess (recess – you can tell how old I am), and being a bully. Big win for Red Mtn., who seems to be hitting their stride on both sides of the ball. It may take a year or so, but Coach DeGrenier will restore Mtn. View to respectability (which will be longer than the Toro faithful want it to be).
Perry wins big over Poston Butte. Two new schools, with Perry having had a couple of seasons of varsity play and Poston Butte’s first foray into true varsity football. This marks two big wins in a row for Perry and the challenge for Coach DeLaTorre and his Poston Butte players is to stay focused and keep at it. It was a loss, yes their goal of an undefeated season is gone, but they still can achieve their other goals. The world did not end – really.
Marcos over Gilbert last night was a fun night for me on several fronts. I had a chance to visit with some good friends and former players before the game. I started my career in high school at Gilbert with Dan Dunn and his brother Rick, and Tommy Lemons, their stat man for 51 years. Steve Lane who played for us at Gilbert and Mesa Community College is helping coach at Gilbert where his son, Dalton, is a stud like his old man. Stacy Garner, who played for us at MCC is also helping Dan. Dan has made it a family affair at Gilbert, with his son Matt, also helping coach. On the other side of the field was Roy Lopez, who I sort of paid for his college education. Not really, but he played center for us at MCC and then he played center for me at New Mexico Highlands University. One of Roy’s coaches is Sammy Johns, who I recruited to MCC, then when I left MCC , I re-recruited him to NMHU. At the end of the night, I was happy for Roy and the Padres, but I felt bad for Dan and his kids. This is why I like high school football over the other levels, it still is about kids and coaches and families. It really is a people business and not just “a business”.
Now, I saved my last game breakdown for Hamilton (the Evil Empire) because, even though I picked Desert Vista (and I will probably pick anyone that plays Hamilton – I have to – it’s the “underdog syndrome”), they ARE the Top Dog. What they accomplish week in and week out is not easy and the credit needs to go to both, the kids and the coaches. And not just the players who are there now, but also the players who preceded them, because the “old timers” set the tone, they set the standard. However, the one constant has been the coaches, and at times we are too quick to criticize coaches and too slow to give them credit. You can’t win without talent, everyone knows that, but year-in-and-year-out, even though Hamilton starts 12 to 15 new players, they keep on winning. Good kids yes, but very good coaches as well. So congrats to the Huskies and enjoy it until next Friday, when you have to defend the title for the 48th time.