Last year, Arizona was well-represented in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, TX. North Canyon offensive tackle Austin Jackson (now with USC), Saguaro safety K.J. Jarrell (ASU), Williams Field kicker Brandon Ruiz (ASU) and St. Mary’s defensive end Odua Isibor (UCLA) all played in the game, and Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns was the offensive coordinator for the West team.
This year, Mohns returns as the West’s head coach.
“I was really shocked when they called me and asked me to be head coach and obviously really honored,” Mohns said.
“What I found out is they like to bring somebody back as head coach that’s been an assistant in the last couple of years because you kind of know what you expect you understand how the practices work and the flow of the schedule is.”
This next week, Mohns will oversee some of the best high school football players in the nation and work with some of the top coaches in the sport.
“It’s really a cool deal to be there. It’s really an honor to get to coach the players that will be in the NFL in the next for five years.”
Mohns said he benefitted while learning from other strong football minds on the coaching staff and gaining friendships with them.
“(They are) guys that I’ll have relationships with for a long time, we just hit it off,” Mohns said. “When you meet guys from prominent programs that are playing for state championships and have kids that are being recruited, there are a lot of similarities and good guys to have as friends.”
A byproduct of this event could be the Sabercats playing other top-flight programs from around the country that may have a coach on the West team’s staff. Last year, Mohns and Steve Leisz worked out a game where Saguaro would play Texas power Houston Episcopal.
The game fell through because Episcopal is a private school and not a part of the NFHS organization.
Mohns believes this year could produce another big-time matchup for the ‘Cats. He said he has been talking to Kennedy Catholic (Wash.) head coach Sheldon Cross about scheduling a game in the next two-year block.
Between the bowl itself and the opportunity to go against other quality out-of-state opponents, Mohns believes Arizona belongs among the country’s elite football states.
“The caliber of football number one when you watch Chandler take it to Northwestern and compete against the schools but they’re competing against and send Tenniel eating Aquinas,” Mohns said. “Arizona football is competing on the next level. The best kids around Arizona stack up with the bed kids around the country. There is no drop-off. I think the colleges see that because the recruiting has picked up like it has. From a coaching and a team standpoint, Arizona can play with anybody.”
See Jason Mohns Coach at The U.S. Army All-American Bowl
The Army All-American Bowl kicks off at the Alamodome on January 6th at 11 a.m. PST.