Sitting alone a few miles south of the I-10 in the far west Valley is Desert Edge High School.
It’s isolated to a point, surrounded by open space and just a bit off-the-beaten-path but don’t let the location fool you.
The Scorpion football program possesses a deadly sting.
Head coach Rich Wellbrock’s team has advanced to the state semifinals or deeper in three of the past four seasons and it’s business as usual this season as DEHS is off to another fast start doing it with a blend of youth and experience on both sides of the ball. They start two freshman offensive lineman and a rising sophomore quarterback.
Many believe the best of the bunch is at running back where Roshaun Johnson is just scratching the surface of his potential.
“He’s a big, physical running back for his age,” Scout.com Southwest Recruiting Analyst and Sports360AZ.com Recruiting Insider Jason Jewel said of the 6’1, 215-pound sophomore. “He has a chance to be one of the state’s top recruited players in the coming years.”
Easy to see why.
He’s on pace to easily eclipse last season’s impressive totals of 751 yards on 111 carries and seven touches. He’s also become a focal point in the Edge’s passing attack, outmuscling a pair of defenders and reeling a big fourth-down touchdown pass from Tehran Thomas last week in the Scorpions 40-7 route of then unbeaten rival Verrado.
“It was a different thing for Ro last year,” Wellbrock told Sports360AZ.com after a recent win. “We threw him the ball in space and we had all those different receivers. Now he’s had to take on a bigger role.”
His improvement on and off the field from last season has been evident. He’s bigger, stronger and faster after putting in extra hours in the weight room during the spring and summer “just being relentless” he said. He’s also become one of the leaders for a team looking to take one more step this post-season after their 77-48 loss to eventual champion Saguaro last November in the semifinals.
The Scorpions’ bond seems stronger than ever.
“We work together as a family,” he confidently explained. “It’s not just about team, it’s family.”
A young family with a promising future.