With the high school football season kicking off this Friday, some quick thoughts around the most passionate area of high school football in our State, the Chandler Unified School District. My two cents on what I have seen and heard coming into #Fridaynight360az
Chandler-Division-One prospects all over the field. They are, what Hamilton used to be. The bar is soooo high. Anything short of a State title is a failed season in fans minds. I tend to look at the growth and development of the players. Shaun Aguano and his staff do a very good job of producing kids that will be able to continue playing beyond high school, not just at the D1 level. Opener Friday v Red Mountain, a team that pushed Brophy around in a scrimmage last week. Interesting matchup
Perry-One year wonder or here to stay? Brock Purdy was the most electric quarterback in the region last year. Something about this team that screams “we aren’t Chandler, we aren’t Hamilton, and we don’t want to be” They bloodied some noses last year and made people take notice. Opener this Friday at Desert Vista is one of the best games of the week. It feels as though the Pumas are about to become a year in, year out,power program under Preston Jones. Enrollment numbers indicate that Perry is going to be a factor for years to come.
Hamilton-Can 16,17, 18 year olds hold-up to the constant pressure that has been heaped on them from the offseason scandal? Easy to say “it’s behind us” or use the “us against them” mantra. In reality it’s a “you v you” season. Lots of D1 talent, with vultures from other programs circling. Great story to follow for sure. Head coach Dick Baniszewski has pushed all the good buttons in the offseason. He’s the right voice in the middle of a storm. There were plenty of outside voices trying to convince kids to leave the program. Smartly(in my opinion) most stayed. They open at Boulder Creek this Friday.
Basha- Well-respected Rich Wellbrock is in his first season as head coach. A program that of all of the CUSD schools is flying under the radar. Thinking there may be an element of physical play and discipline that we’ve not seen before at the corner of Riggs and Val Vista. The Bears could be That team with no-names on the backs of their jerseys that play the game the right way and for the right reasons. Of all the CUSD schools this season, Basha is the one that is the most intriguing. Opens up at Westview this Friday.
Casteel-The Colts have a D1 QB prospect and several talented players facing a schedule that won’t show much until 2018 when the Colts move up to D5. Not knocking the program, just stating facts. Globe and Payson are the first two games. A year from now they’ll likely be lining up against Higley and Centennial. No question that head coach Spencer Stowers has made his mark. With the population sprawl of the Valley moving in the South East direction, it’s not hard to see this program becoming a perennial State power in a very short period of time, with plenty of players to choose from. They open at home against Globe Friday night.
If you’re a fan of football, then you should make a point of seeing these teams during the next three months, on a Friday night. You will see several players who will go on to college, you may see a couple that may just make it all the way to the NFL. Not going to do a silly list of names of players, not fair to the kid or his teammates. You’ll figure it out on your own if you head out to a game under the lights.