Zone Read: Something Bigger Than Football

With the high school season just days away my focus this week, unfortunately, is all about an incident which happened off the field, not on one.

Keep The Coleman’s In Your Thoughts

The Queen Creek High School family suffered an unthinkable loss with the tragic passing of Geno Coleman who was killed in a car accident driving to work Tuesday night. Geno is the father of Dante, one of the top defensive players in the Valley, and Dayson, who plays on the Bulldogs’ junior varsity squad.

“The Queen Creek football family is trying to do its part during this difficult time for the Coleman’s,” head coach Travis Schureman said to Sports360AZ.com. “We are aiming to ease their burden. We love and support them. When one member of the Bulldogs’ family hurts, we all do.”

Schureman and the Bulldog family have rallied around their community in need. Now it’s time we do the same for the Coleman’s.

Coyote Howl

There’s something to be said for perseverance and no greater example than Centennial senior running back Zidane Thomas whose back story is detailed and quite a bit to handle for an adult, much less a teenager trying to find his way on and off the field.

Earlier this week this came across my timeline and I couldn’t have been happier.

“Zidane enjoyed his visit to Boise,” head coach Richard Taylor said to Sports360AZ.com. “[He] felt a connection with the coaches. Head coach [Bryan Harsin] told him he is their number one running back recruit.”

Harsin personally toured Thomas on his visit last week.

What’s even more scary for 2017 Centennial opponents is what Taylor said to us on #AZAudibles earlier this summer about his star back. 

Get ready for a steady diet of #2 this fall.

Another Young Bird to the Nest?

It looks like #Chaptown has a new resident as my Sports360AZ partner-in-crime Jordan Hamm alerted me to this social post last weekend.

Thanks to everyone at Buchtel made me who I am but i will be continuing my high school career at Chaparall High School pic.twitter.com/9YT9lmKhH9

— Darvon Hubbard (@Iam_dxii) July 30, 2017

As if the Firebirds weren’t already loaded with ridiculous young skill talent in sophomore quarterback Jack Miller and wide receiver/kicker Tommy Christakos, as well as veteran returners Marqui Johnson and Conlan Carey. Chaparral appears to be adding another offensive weapon in Hubbard who becomes the third 2020 prospect with Power 5 offers.

The 6-foot, already 200-pound sophomore has offers from Minnesota, Kentucky, Bowling Green and Toledo. A big, powerful back with sneaky speed, expect his interest to intensify as national powers will flock to Scottsdale to get a closer look at the dynamic young trio the next few years.

Per this Scout.com article, Hubbard already has family in Arizona and the relocation west to the warmer climate was to aid his mother’s health.

But Wait, There’s More…

Also heard Atlanta running back Josh Edwards is transferring into the Firebirds’ program. He is expected contribute to an offense that has gone through a total transformation since the end of the last season with the additions of Miller, as well as the before mentioned Hubbard and Edwards. 

What Can You Do For An Encore?

Two years ago Horizon went 0-10. After Kris Heavner resigned, Ty Wisdom was brought in from Surprise Valley Vista to fix whatever went south during Heavner’s final season with the Huskies.

Wisdom’s impact on the program was immediate as Horizon went 6-4 in 2016. He believes the pieces were already in place before he even took the job in February of 2016.

“It wasn’t a matter of talent,” Wisdom explained to Sports360AZ.com. “It was getting them to believe in themselves and making the game fun again.”

Mission accomplished in north Scottsdale.

Remember the Name

In a state littered with talented athletes keep an eye out in Queen Creek on Zach Jefferies from Benjamin Franklin High School. 

As a freshman last fall he rushed for over 400 yards and four scores as a running back, while splitting time at wide receiver where he caught three more touchdowns in just seven games played. He’s helping build a program for his father and keep the momentum moving forward after going 7-3 last fall. It was the Chargers first winning season in school history.

The 6-foot, 170-pounder Jefferies isn’t overly big but has the frame to bulk up over the next three years at BFHS without losing his elusiveness. 

Clearly, the talent is already in place.