Saguaro is a contender year-in and year-out. That is seen with all of their countless playoff appearances and even more so their state championships. Though they had a more successful season then many in division III last season, it was a learning experience for a young team poised for a title run in 2013.
The Sabercats have started spring practices this week and look bigger and more talented than ever. No more evident than looking at how much bigger quarterback Luke Rubenzer, wide receiver Christian Kirk and offensive lineman Alex Anderson look since the end of last season.
For Kirk himself, he is the top Arizona recruit for the 2015 class and has added about 20 pounds since he was seen on the field last in 2012.
“The weight coaches have put together a good program and I’ve been sticking to it,” said Kirk. “Been going with it everyday and just taking my protein and that’s about it.”
It is a new role for Kirk this spring. The last two season’s he was an underclassman just learning the game and finding his way at the varsity level. Now Kirk explains that the game has slowed down and he can add leadership to this Sabercat team.
“Now that everything has settled down and I am used to the system and the program, I am really just making sure we get to a state championship this year and getting our team better,” Kirk mentioned.
It has been a busy off-season for Kirk along with his workout regiments. He has seen his recruitment blow up to what is now eight major college offers that consist of Arizona, Arizona State, California, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin.
His most recent, his second offer from the SEC, Texas A&M.
“It was definitely an offer I’ve dreamed for for a while,” Kirk stated. “It was a big time offer, I was super excited. “I went down there two weeks ago and saw the campus and facilities and it’s a great place. It was definitely a big time offer.”
Quarterback Luke Rubenzer has become a hot commodity as well. He is up to four offers which consist of all the academy schools (Army, Navy and Air Force) as well as from Weber State. Arizona State is also very interested in the man under center.
“Recruiting has definitely picked up from spring ball,” Rubenzer said. “Getting the offer from Army was exciting because it gives me all three Academy schools. It really lets me have my choice. Just trying to work through spring ball and see where the recruitment keeps on coming.”
Many who cover recruiting say it is Rubenzer’s height which could be holding him back from more offers as of now, but he says he has other intangibles that make those few inches he lacks, irrelevant.
“I make up for it with my running ability and my smartness really,” Rubenzer explained. “I had six interceptions to 36 touchdowns last year so just trying to keep my reads up, being smart on the field and that’s definitely going to help me make up for the lack of a couple inches.”
Soon to be senior offensive lineman Alex Anderson looks to be the leader of the Sabercats in the trenches. In the offseason he has added more size as well and has added two division I offers from San Diego State and Montana.
For Anderson this spring is the opportunity to continue to improve and grow individually and also grow as one of the leaders of a Saguaro team that is looking to do big things.
“I am just working on my footwork a lot,” explained Anderson. “I am trying to keep my pad level down this year and just working on basic lineman stuff.”
Saguaro has not been short on talent and that will be the case again this fall. But three great players now with upperclassman experience can take them over the top.