Well, the 2017 high school football season has officially wrapped. With its conclusion, I’d like to reflect on these past few months from my first full season of coverage.
First of all, the Arizona high school football scene is no joke. From schools across the state putting up fights against national powerhouses, to schools, and individuals, bouncing back from adversity and even making history, HSFB here in the Grand Canyon State should not be underestimated.
When I first got into Arizona high school football from Indiana I was a sophomore studying sports journalism at the Cronkite School at Arizona State. For one of my classes, I was assigned to find a school and center my stories for the semester around that school. Not knowing too much about football here, I chose a school that was close to where I was living.
That school was Saguaro. Jason Mohns and his staff welcomed me wholeheartedly and allowed me to come out almost every week to do a story for this class. At that point the Sabercats were driving for their third straight State title, the drive for five was a distant thought, and I was just a student getting started in this field. I can’t thank the Saguaro community enough for introducing me to what high school football in Arizona was all about and for helping me get experience.
Since then schools all across the state have welcomed me into their stadiums and allowed me tell the stories of their programs and the extraordinary athletes that make them up.
I joined the Sports360AZ staff a little over a year ago and I’ve been able to see the growth of high school football here in a short time. I’ve seen how programs like Notre Dame Prep have rebuilt themselves, how Saguaro made history with five consecutive State titles, Chandler’s dominance, how Centennial avenged their tough loss in state to bounce back and take the title this year, how Casteel has rallied on and off the field to support one of their own, the struggles of some programs, and so much more.
This season took me from Scottsdale to all over the East valley and back, and out to the West Valley as well. I got to see a lot of great football played and met a lot of amazing people that are so passionate about high school football.
I’d like to thank the coaches, players, communities and other media members for welcoming me and making this season a memorable one. For those that tune into AZ Audibles and the Friday Night 360 AZ Preview Show, thank you, as well, for your continued support.
Congratulations to the 2017 State Champions and to all teams on a fantastic season!