Desert Vista’s depth in trenches hopes to lead Thunder to repeat as champs

It was a magical 2011 for the Desert Vista Thunder football team as they were the last ones standing at University of Phoenix Stadium as state champions for the first time since 1998. Also ending Hamilton’s run of 53 consecutive wins in the process.

Before the 2011 season, the seniors met with Head Coach Dan Hinds and said they were not only going to go to the title game, they were going to win it. For 2012 this group of incoming seniors has the same drive, but now they have the experience of knowing what it takes to be state champions.

“When Michael Arrendondo came out last year on TV and said we were going to win a championship, for me as a coach that was pretty bold,” explained Coach Hinds. “These guys are quietly talking about it amongst themselves and they are really showing it more so through their work ethic.”

Desert Vista 2012 Schedule:

8/18 – v Palo Verde (Sollenberger Classic)

8/24 – @ Mesa

9/7 – v Mountain Pointe

9/14 – @ Westwood

9/21 – v Corona del Sol

9/28 – v Saguaro

10/5 – @ Hamilton

10/12 – v Mesquite

10/19 – v Dobson

10/26 – @ Chandler

The Thunder are returning nine starters to the 2012 roster including four on offense and five on defense. The strength of this team without a doubt lies in the trenches. Four out of the five starters on the offensive line are back. Many also play defense.

The offensive line is led by seniors Mitch Wehrli and Dylan Fischer who are both being recruited by colleges at the next level. The Thunder will be led by a new quarterback under center after Hunter Rodriguez has graduated and now playing baseball for the University of Utah. Matt Young takes over and has a skill set that Coach Hinds is excited about. Two of the Thunder’s top playmakers will be a force to be reckoned with as Jarek Hilgers will get most of the carries at running back and Kaleb Germinaro will once again be Coach Hinds’ “fly guy.”

Some of those offensive lineman are joined by defensive tackle Lorenzo Melvin on the defensive line who is one of the more vocal leaders on the team. He too is one of the more highly recruited players on the Thunder roster. And anchoring the defense in the secondary will be Nick Farina.

The Thunder did however lose all three of their starting linebackers from 2011.

“We are going to need some guys to step up in those areas but I still think we are pretty strong there,” Hinds mentioned.

The Thunder kick off their 2012 season at the Sollenberger Classic from the place they brought home a stat championship, University of Phoenix Stadium, against Palo Verde on August 18th.

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