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Tyre Johnson carries the ball against Chandler Friday night at Austin Field.  |  Photo by Kimberly Carrillo

Mountain Pointe avenges state title loss, upsets Chandler on the road

By Eddie Poe AFN Contributor

From the start, you could tell it weighed heavy on their minds.

After falling in last year’s 6A state championship to Chandler, Mountain Pointe found the best type of redemption on Friday night — knocking off the No.1 team in the state on their own turf.

With a three-headed backfield controlling the running game early on, junior quarterback Nick Wallerstedt remained poised behind a stout offensive line as No. 2 Mountain Pointe stunned No.1 Chandler 24-21 on Friday night at Austin Field.

“I’m so proud of these boys, each and every one of them,” coach Norris Vaughan said.

As he shook hands and received congratulatory hugs from his coaching staff following the game, Vaughan yelled, “This ain’t us!”

He was referring to last week’s game against national power Chaminade Prep (Mission Viejo, Calif.) in which the Pride were unable to overcome a slew of mistakes en route to a loss.

A different Mountain Pointe team showed up on Friday night though.

Just before the end of the first quarter, the Pride (2-1) got things started when Wallerstedt took a keeper in from three yards out. Ten seconds later, Jacob Olsen recovered a fumble by Chandler and ran it in from 12 yards out to give the Pride a 14-0 lead.

On their first drive of the second quarter, Chandler made another costly mistake. The punter was unable to kick the ball away after a high snap and the Pride were gifted the ball on Chandler’s 17-yard line.

A few plays later, Jakim McKinney ran in it from two yards out and there was utter silence from the Chandler faithful. 

“That early momentum carried us,” Wallerstedt said. “It was exactly what we needed.”

Chandler (2-2) didn’t just fall back and fold. After four failed drives to start the game, backup quarterback Billy Bolger (replacing the injured Jacob Conover) began finding seams and the offense received some help in the form of a roughing the passer penalty. 

After a run that put them in the red zone was called back on a holding penalty, the Wolves eventually got on the board on a DeCarlos Brooks touchdown run with 4:37 remaining in the half.

For nearly the entire third quarter, both offenses stalled, unable to move the ball down the field. Driving towards the end of the quarter, Bolger found a receiver open across the middle and he took it 36 yards for a touchdown to cut Mountain Pointe’s lead to 21-14 as the third quarter ended.

Wallerstedt and Mountain Pointe’s backfield trio — Gary Bragg, Delano Salgado, and Marshawn Gibson — wore the Chandler defense down as they marched down the field to start the fourth quarter. Taking nearly seven minutes off the clock, Ben Abercrombie capped off the drive with a 16-yard field goal to give the Pride a 24-14 lead with five and half minutes remaining. 

Bolger and the Wolves didn’t feel the pressure though as they answered with a score of their own, running in a short touchdown to cut the lead back to 24-21 with just under three minutes to go. 

Then, on a handoff out left, the ball fell from Bragg’s hands as he turned up field and the Wolves recovered the fumble. The home crowd was the loudest it had been all game long, while the visiting Mountain Pointe fans were in utter shock. 

Just like a strong team does, the defense picked up the mistake made by the offense. On fourth down and the game on the line, Bolger’s pass was tipped up in the air and Salgado secured it to seal the victory. 

On the ground, the Pride ran for an even 200 yards while Wallerstedt accounted for 79 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.

“We’re still finding out who we are,” Vaughan said. “But this game helps us in the direction of finding it.”

Mountain Pointe will continue their season on the road next week as they travel to Mesa Mountain View.

Pride representing Arizona at Oregon State!  |  

Football factories: High schools producing college talent

, azcentral sports2:37 p.m. MST September 29, 2016

Many high schools in Arizona have been sending players to the next level for years. In fact, this season, 37 Arizona high schools have more than one former player on FBS college football team rosters. We rank each high school with at least two former players at the next level. (Note: Data includes players only at the FBS, or Football Bowl Subdivision level.) Where does your school stand?


1. Chandler Hamilton (14)

  • Arizona: Kyeler Burke, safety, 6-11, 174, freshman
  • Texas A&M: Qualen Cunningham, defensive line, 6-3, 240, junior
  • Oregon: Reggie Daniels, defensive back, 6-1, 205, senior
  • California: A.J. Greathouse, cornerback, 6-0, 195, junior
  • Army: Bryce Holland, offensive line, 6-2, 285, junior
  • Arizona: Malcolm Holland, cornerback, 5-11, 182, freshman
  • Arizona: Jalen Jenkins, safety, 5-10, 185, freshman
  • Kansas: Kwamie Lassiter II, wide receiver, 5-11, 165, freshman
  • Notre Dame:  Cole Luke,    cornerback, 5-11, 195, senior
  • Oregon State: Trent Moore, offensive line, 6-4, 297, sophomore
  • Stanford: J.J. Parson, cornerback, 5-10, 173, freshman
  • Vanderbilt: Caleb Peart, linebacker, 6-1, 234, freshman
  • Wisconsin: Garrett Rand, defensive end, 6-2, 274, freshman
  • Stanford: Casey Tucker, offensive line, 6-6, 301, junior

2. Phoenix Mountain Pointe (13)

  • Oregon: Jalen Brown, wide receiver, 6-1, 200, sophomore
  • Georgia State: Cloves Campbell, defensive back, 6-1, 205, senior
  • Utah: Nick Carman, offensive line, 6-3, 276, freshman
  • UAB: Natrell Curtis, offensive line, 6-3, 335, freshman
  • Colorado: Xavier Cochrane, wide receiver, 5-9, 170, sophomore
  • ASU: Mitchell Fraboni, long snapper, 6-2, 217, junior
  • Oregon State: Timmy Hernandez, wide receiver, 6-0, 195, sophomore
  • Hawaii: R.J. Hollis, offensive line, 6-4, 295, senior
  • UCLA: Kenny Lacy, offensive line, 6-4, 305, junior
  • Oregon State: Paul Lucas, wide receiver, 5-11, 188, sophomore
  • Oregon State: Landry Payne, safety, 6-0, 195, junior
  • Oregon State: Wesley Payne, linebacker, 5-10, 215, junior
  • ASU: Jack Smith, athlete, 6-1, 185, freshman

3. Peoria Centennial (12)

  • California: Kamryn Bennett, offensive line, 6-3, 295, sophomore
  • Old Dominion: Reed Buce, long snapper, 6-2, 209, junior
  • Arizona: Layth Friekh, offensive line, 6-5, 282, junior
  • Purdue: Tanner Hawthorne, offensive line, 6-6, 275, freshman
  • UNLV: Troy Hawthorne, defensive back, 6-3, 210, senior
  • Stanford: Zach Hoffpauir, safety, 6-0, 202, senior
  • ASU: Marshal Nathe, offensive line, 6-3, 290, freshman
  • Wyoming: Jalen Ortiz, defensive back, 5-10,    196, junior
  • Arizona: Shawn Poindexter, wide receiver, 6-5, 210, junior
  • Arizona: Isaac Steele, cornerback, 6-1, 171, freshman
  • Colorado: Brett Tonz, defensive end, 6-3, 285, freshman
  • Nebraska: Dedrick Young II, linebacker, 6-1, 220, sophomore

3. Chandler (12)

  • Utah State: Devin Centers, defensive back, 5-9, 200, senior
  • Oregon State: Darell Garretson, quarterback, 6-0, 209, junior
  • Colorado: Justin Jan, wide receiver, 6-3, 210, freshman
  • ASU: N’Keal Harry, wide receiver, 6-4, 200, freshman
  • ASU: Jordan Hoyt, defensive line, 6-4, 280, junior
  • ASU: Chase Lucas, 6-0, 170, defensive back, freshman
  • ASU: Tyler McClure, offensive line, 6-1, 271, junior
  • Oregon State: Mason Moran, quarterback, 6-3, 185, freshman
  • ASU: Bryce Perkins, quarterback, 6-3, 215, freshman
  • Oregon State: Hamilcar Rashed Jr., linebacker, 6-4, 222, freshman
  • Memphis: Dustin Woodard, offensive line, 6-2, 285, freshman
  • San Diego State: Kyree Woods, cornerback, 6-0, 175, freshman

5. Scottsdale Chaparral (10)

  • New Mexico State: Josh Aganon, wide receiver, 5-10, 185, junior
  • Virginia: Connor Brewer, quarterback, 6-2, 195, senior
  • ASU: Ryan Bright, wide receiver, 6-5, 190, freshman
  • Massachusetts: Jordin Hamilton, cornerback, 5-10, 172, junior
  • Arizona: Cody Ippolito, linebacker, 6-2, 248, senior
  • Arizona: Davonte’ Neal, cornerback, 5-10, 178, senior
  • Boise State: Jake Roh, tight end, 6-3, 227, junior
  • Arizona: Keenan Walker, offensive line, 6-5, 283, freshman
  • ASU: Tyler Whiley, defensive back, 6-0, 210, sophomore
  • Arizona: Trevor Wood, tight end, 6-5, 258, sophomore

5. Scottsdale Saguaro (10)

  • UNLV: Aaron Borg, linebacker, 6-1, 225, junior
  • Miami: Jordan Butler, long snapper, 5-9, 190, sophomore
  • Boise State: Julian Carter, wide receiver, 6-2, 200, freshman
  • Navy: Rob Dusz, nose guard, 6-0, 287, senior
  • UNLV: Andrew Erbes, offensive line, 6-2, 310, junior
  • Texas A&M: Christian Kirk, wide receiver, 5-11, 200, sophomore
  • Wisconsin: Karé Lyles, quarterback, 6-0, 214, freshman
  • Washington: Byron Murphy, defensive back, 5-11, 170, freshman
  • Purdue: Jalen Neal, offensive line, 6-8, 315, junior
  • California: Luke Rubenzer, safety, 6-0, 195, junior

7. Phoenix Brophy Prep (9)

  • Oregon: Devon Allen, wide receiver, 6-0, 185, junior
  • ASU: Frederick Gammage, wide receiver, 5-11. 185, senior
  • Stanford: A.T. Hall, offensive line, 6-5, 295, junior
  • Stanford: C.J. Keller, long snapper, 6-3, 210, junior
  • USC: Connor Murphy, defensive end, 6-7, 255, freshman
  • Colorado: Isaiah Oliver, defensive back, 6-1, 190, sophomore
  • Arizona: Donald Reiter, long snapper, 5-10, 254, freshman
  • ASU: Owen Rogers, safety, 6-1, 190, sophomore
  • Army: Ryan Velez, running back, 5-11, 195, freshman

8. Chandler Basha (7)

  • ASU: J.D. Alexander, tight end, 6-1, 212, freshman
  • ASU: Manuel Harris, wide receiver, 6-1, 172, freshman
  • Arizona: Nate Phillips, wide receiver, 5-7, 186, senior
  • Navy: Ronnie Querry, long snapper, 6-1, 208, junior
  • Arizona: Brandon Rutt, linebacker, 6-1, 215, sophomore
  • San Jose State: Evan Sarver, offensive line, 6-5, 297, senior
  • Arizona: Zach Werlinger, quarterback, 6-1, 188, sophomore

9. Phoenix Desert Vista (6)

  • LSU: Connor Culp, kicker, 5-11, 186, freshman
  • Utah: J.J. Dielman, offensive line, 6-5, 300, senior
  • Navy: Dylan Fischer, nose guard, 6-2, 307, junior
  • Oregon: Jalen Jelks, defensive line, 6-6, 268, sophomore
  • ASU: Drew McIntyre, athlete, 6-1, 220, freshman
  • New Mexico State: Peyton Theisler, punter, 5-8, 160, freshman

9. Gilbert Perry (6)

  • BYU: Mitch Harris, long snapper, 6-4, 215, freshman
  • BYU: Chandon Herring, offensive line, 6-7, 270, freshman
  • New Mexico State: Andrew Kenney, long snapper, 6-0, 220, senior
  • San Jose State: Deano Motes, offensive line, 6-5, 278, freshman
  • Washington: Taelon Parson, wide receiver, 6-1, 194, junior
  • Stanford: Lane Veach, linebacker, 6-6, 239, junior

11. Tucson Salpointe Catholic (5)

  • SMU: Carlos Carroll, linebacker, 6-3, 238, junior
  • Arizona: Cam Denson, wide receiver, 5-11, 187, junior
  • SMU: Travis Fister, offensive line, 6-2, 274, junior
  • Kentucky: Dylan Greenberg, offensive line, 6-2, 302, junior
  • Arizona: Justin Holt, defensive tackle, 6-2, 285, freshman

11. Vail Cienega (5)

  • Arizona: Matt Aragon, punter, 6-5, 211, freshman
  • Navy: Daniel Gonzales, linebacker, 6-2, 240, senior
  • Army: Christian Poe, wide receiver, 6-3, 190, sophomore
  • Army: Edgar Poe, wide receiver, 6-4, 216, senior
  • Hawaii: Jalen Rogers, defensive back, 6-1, 200, senior

11. Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep (5)

  • ASU: Grant Martinez, tight end, 6-5, 235, junior
  • Colorado: Jordan Gehrke, quarterback, 6-1, 200, senior
  • Arizona: Nick Reinhardt, long snapper, 6-1, 240, sophomore
  • Michigan: Brendan White, wide receiver, 6-1, 191, sophomore
  • Arizona: Parker Zellers, defensive line, 6-1, 247, junior

11. Glendale Mountain Ridge (5)

  • San Diego State: Turner Bernard, long snapper, 6-1, 200, freshman
  • Southern Mississippi: Cody Block, long snapper, 6-0, 215, junior
  • Boise State: Austin Cottrell, wide receiver, 6-2, 202, junior
  • San Jose State: Troy Kowalski, offensive line, 6-5, 293, freshman
  • Utah State: Brandon Pada, long snapper 5-11, 220, freshman

15. Mesa Red Mountain (4)

  • Utah State: Ethan Cortazzo, wide receiver, 6-0, 195, junior
  • BYU: Quin Ficklin, offensive line, 6-3, 280, sophomore
  • San Jose State: Billy Freeman, tight end, 6-3, 231, senior
  • Arizona: Josh McCauley, offensive line, 6-3, 266, freshman

15. Scottsdale Desert Mountain (4)

  • Houston: Kyle Allen, quarterback, 6-3, 210, junior
  • Oklahoma: Mark Andrews, wide receiver, 6-5, 250, sophomore
  • Arizona: Christian Boettcher, offensive line, 6-2, 285, sophomore
  • Idaho: D.J. Olmstead, defensive back, 5-11, 184, junior

15. Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge (4)

  • Arizona: Tyler Grammar, safety, 5-10, 190, senior
  • Arizona: Jake Matthews, linebacker, 6-3, 230, senior
  • New Mexico State: Kennon Nunez, long snapper, 6-2, 208, freshman
  • Air Force: Tyler Williams, wide receiver, 5-10, 185, junior

15. Tucson Sabino (4)

  • Navy: Marcus Edwards, nose guard, 6-4, 285, freshman
  • Arizona: Albert Green, safety, 5-10, 207, freshman
  • Florida: Andrew Mike, offensive line, 6-6, 301, sophomore
  • Army: Jeremy Timpf, linebacker, 6-1, 230, senior

15. Gilbert Higley (4)

  • ASU: Quinn Bailey, offensive line, 6-5, 311, sophomore
  • Nevada: Nick Colson, tight end, 6-4, 220, freshman
  • ASU: Trent Gilbert, wide receiver, 6-2, 186, freshman
  • ASU: Michael Tate, offensive line, 6-3, 280, freshman

15. Tucson (4)

  • New Mexico State: Austin Perkins, defensive back, 5-9, 175, freshman
  • San Diego State: Antonio Rosales, offensive lineman, 6-4, 295, junior
  • TCU: Markell Simmons, safety, 6-1, 200, sophomore
  • Alabama: Levi Wallace, defensive back, 6-0, 170, junior

21. Mesa Mountain View (3)

  • ASU: Jacom Brimhall, running back, 5-8, 185, junior
  • ASU: Brandon Mathews, linebacker, 6-0, 216, senior
  • BYU: Cody Stewart, defensive back, 6-3, 191, junior

21. Gilbert Mesquite (3)

  • Eastern Michigan: Juan Giraldo, defensive back, 5-11, 202, junior
  • ASU: Kody Kohl, tight end, 6-3, 235, senior
  • New Mexico State: Roy Lopez, defensive line, 6-2, 290, freshman

21. Paradise Valley (3)

  • Washington: Daniel Bridge-Gadd, quarterback, 6-2, 199, freshman
  • North Carolina State: Ryan Finley, quarterback, 6-4, 200, sophomore
  • Idaho: Patrick Johnson, offensive line, 6-2, 290, sophomore

21. Phoenix Horizon (3)

  • Baylor: Harrison Fox, offensive line, 6-2, 300, junior
  • Utah: Jake Grant, offensive line, 6-3, 290, freshman
  • UNLV: Dalton Sneed, quarterback, 6-0, 195, freshman

21. Gilbert (3)

  • UNLV: Will Kreitler, offensive line, 6-0, 295, senior
  • ASU: Steven Miller, offensive line, 6-5, 310, freshman
  • BYU: Young Tanner, quarterback, 6-0, 190, sophomore

21. Peoria Liberty (3)

  • Marshall: Deyton Jackson, wide receiver, 5-11, 174, freshman
  • New Mexico State: Tyler Rogers, quarterback, 6-3, 218, senior
  • Utah State: Travis Seefeldt, nose guard, 6-1, 305, senior

27. Anthem Boulder Creek (2)

  • Arizona: Nathan Eldridge, offensive line, 6-3, 290, freshman
  • Arizona: Gunther Johnson, quarterback, 6-0, 187, freshman

27. Marana Mountain View (2)

  • Arizona: Richie Estrada, running back, 5-10, 201, sophomore
  • Arizona: Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, safety, 6-2, 199, sophomore

27. Phoenix Thunderbird (2)

  • Oregon: Kani Benoit, running back, 6-0, 210, junior
  • Arizona: Jake Glatting, punter, 6-3, 206, sophomore

27. Buckeye (2)

  • Arizona: DeAndre’ Miller, linebacker, 6-3, 236, junior
  • Idaho: Aaron Pue, linebacker, 5-7, 207, freshman

27. Phoenix Shadow Mountain (2)

  • Arizona: Isaiah Strong, cornerback, 6-0, 172, junior
  • BYU: Beau Tanner, wide receiver, 6-0, 188, freshman

27. Tempe Marcos de Niza (2)

  • ASU: Richie Becerra, linebacker, 5-11, 200, junior
  • Texas A&M: Priest Willis, defensive back, 6-2, 200, junior

27. Goodyear Desert Edge (2)

  • New Mexico State: Sebastian Anderson, offensive line, 6-6, 290, freshman
  • ASU: Brock Corbin, offensive line, 6-7, 315, freshman

27. Gilbert Williams Field (2)

  • ASU: Cade Cote, offensive line, 6-4, 281, freshman
  • ASU: Colbe Smelser, linebacker, 5-9, 210, junior

27. Peoria Sunrise Mountain (2)

  • Utah State: Preston Brooksby, offensive line, 6-5, 295, junior
  • Colorado State: Elroy Masters, Jr., wide receiver, 6-2, 215, junior

27. Surprise Valley Vista (2)

  • UTEP: Terry Juniel, wide receiver, 5-10, 180, sophomore
  • Louisville: Gio Pascascio, wide receiver, 6-3, 195, senior

27. Phoenix North Canyon (2)

  • Wyoming: John Okwoli, wide receiver, 6-2, 205, freshman
  • New Mexico: Evahelotu Tohi, linebacker, LB, 6-2, 235, junior

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 , azcentral sports10:14 a.m. MST July 21, 2016

Cardinals QB Drew Stanton outfits Mountain Pointe football


Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton asked the team’s community relations department for a list of the best high school football programs in the area.

Stanton was quickly led to Phoenix Mountain Pointe. He was told that the coaches and players “stand for all the right things.”

So Stanton stepped forward with the Taylor Haugen Foundation and its YESS (Youth Equipment for Sports Safety) Program and handed out protective gear to football players at all three levels Wednesday evening in Mountain Pointe’s gym.

MORE: High school football summer series schedule

Stanton helped players put on the EvoShield protective gear, which he has worn for seven years in the NFL, starting with the Detroit Lions, where quarterback Matthew Stafford was wearing it.

It helps prevent abdominal and internal injuries with pads placed under a tight mesh shirt on the back and sides.

The Taylor Haugen Foundation and YESS, a non-profit organization, began following the 2008 death of 15-year-old Niceville (Fla.) High junior varsity receiver Taylor Haugen, who had suffered an abdominal injury in football. Brian and Kathy Haugen created the foundation in 2011 to help kids and keep their son’s memory alive.

The equipment better protects football players from internal injuries.

“There is nothing I gain by doing this, except for the standpoint that I help them grow their son’s legacy,” Stanton told the players before helping them apply the equipment.

Stanton told the players that internal injuries from football didn’t register in his head initially, because the main focus has been on concussions.

RELATED: Top 10 high school football running backs

According to the foundation, which focuses on protecting middle school and high school athletes from abdominal injuries, three of the seven high school football-related deaths in the United States in 2015 were caused by abdominal injuries.

“As football players, you try to be tough, you try to do different things,” Stanton told the players. “By simply putting these pads on, believe me, I can’t tell you how many times those have saved me in the long run.”

Mountain Pointe senior offensive lineman Eddie Rivas said that he feels honored that Mountain Pointe was picked to wear the protective gear this football season.

He was moved by a video that discussed the death of Haugen.

“It can happen to anyone getting hit any time,” Rivas said. “You don’t know what the outcome can be. So knowing you do have that protection, it’s a blessing, really.”

RELATED: Top 10 Arizona high school football quarterbacks

Rivas said injuries are in the back of players’ minds, but, he added, “it’s football.”

“They told us since we were a kid, ‘That’s what you signed up for,’ ” Rivas said. “But knowing there are procedures to make  it safer, that’s good.”

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at or 602-460-1710. Follow him at

The Taylor Haugen Foundation

The Taylor Haugen Foundation was created to honor the memory of the 15-year-old Niceville High School student who passed away after a traumatic liver injury sustained during a football game on August 30, 2008

The Taylor Haugen Foundation provides awareness, education and abdominal injury protection to secondary aged schools and leagues in contact sports, through its YESS© Program (Youth Equipment for Sports Safety). The Foundation also recognizes and supports outstanding scholar-athletes with scholarships and awards.

Mandatory practice for Varsity will begin on Monday, July 25th.

All players must cleared before the first day of practice.  Find information and documents here.

, azcentral sports7:37 a.m. MST April 6, 2016


Pola-Mao Top Prospects 2017

Top Arizona high school football prospects: 2017 class

This is the beginning of azcentral sports’ Top 150 high school football prospects for the 2017 class.

This is a loaded list. There were quite a few changes from last year’s original 2017 list, including a new No. 1.

Note: Spring football practices begin on May 2 for most teams in the state.

Editor’s note:Last year, Obert unveiled his Top 100 prospects in the 2017 class before their junior seasons. This is a new list, with new rankings. He will unveil a new batch of ten each week. 

RELATED: More high school recruiting coverage

MORE: Top 50 prospects of class of 2018

No. 30 Kade Warner, Scottsdale Desert Mountain, WR, 6-2, 205

Led the state last season in catches with 96. His next move will be to show that he is more than a possession receiver. He’ll improve on his 12-yards-a-catch with improved speed and quickness. He is the son of former NFL MVP quarterback Kurt Warner, who is Desert Mountain’s offensive coordinator.

No. 29 Eddie Rivas, Mountain Pointe, OL, 6-4, 280

Continued to work hard in the weight room and on his footwork since helping Mountain Pointe to an unbeaten regular season. One of the best motors coach Norris Vaughan has had among the many strong linemen to come out of Mountain Pointe.

No. 28 Dalton Cash, Pinnacle, TE, 6-5, 235

A converted offensive lineman, Cash had a breakout junior season at tight end with 20 catches for 346 yards and five TDs. He’ll have one of the top quarterback throwing to him in sophomore-to-be Spencer Rattler. Cash has good hands with speed and is an exceptional blocker.

No. 27 Tehran Thomas, Goodyear Desert Edge, Athlete, 5-10, 190

This two-year starter at quarterback might be the most dynamic running quarterback in the state. He is working with local QB coach Mike Giovando and has shown improved accuracy and arm strength. He could be a major surprise in May. He ran for 1,500 yards and passed for 1,000 each of the past two years. He led Desert Edge to a win over Paradise Valley in the Division III state championship game. He has an Army offer and possesses a 3.3 grade-point average.

No. 26 Brandon Ruiz, Gilbert Williams Field, K, 5-10, 170

Last week, he showed off the strongest leg in the state with a 72-yard field goal during a workout. He is ranked No.3 in the country by Chris Sailer Kicking for the 2017 class. He will be hitting several college camps this summer and should be among the most sought after high school kickers in the nation.

No. 25 Tavion Allen, Laveen Cesar Chavez, FS, 6-0, 165

Allen made All-Arizona last season when he had 10 interceptions, taking three back for touchdowns. He had three interception, two returned for TDs, in a state playoff game against Sabino. Very smart player who makes good grades and is versatile enough to play corner. He runs track and has best marks of 11.2 seconds in the 100 meters, 22.6 in the 200 and 43 feet, 3 inches in the triple jump. He seeks his first offer. Once that happens, it will blow up.

No. 24 T.J. Green, Chandler, RB, 5-11, 190

Coach Shaun Aguano expects Green’s recruiting to blow up in the spring. He has one offer from Hawaii. He has gotten bigger since his breakout junior season when he ran for 1,148 yards and 17 TDs, averaging 10 yards a carry, after Chase Lucas’ season got derailed with a knee injury in the second game of the season. Aguano compares Green to former Chandler running back Paul Perkins, who went on to star at UCLA.

No. 23 Johnny Johnson, Chandler, WR, 6-1, 190

Picked up his first offer from Nevada. Johnson emerged in his first season at Chandler with 37 catches for 552 yards as a third option. He’ll become one of the Wolves’ bigger weapons next season. When college coaches come around in May, his recruiting will take off. He has different gears and exceptional moves. Extends the play after catching the ball.

No. 22 Rhett Rodriguez, Tucson Catalina Foothills, QB, 6-1, 190

He has committed to his dad’s University of Arizona team. He will become coach Jeff Scurran’s first four-year starting quarterback. He threw for 35 touchdowns and five interceptions, completing 68 percent of his passes last season. He nearly had 2,000 rushing yards with only one fumble.  And he’s a 4.0 student.

No. 21 Drew Dixon, Tucson Sabino, QB, 6-5, 205

He has picked up offers from Arizona, Hawaii and San Jose State, but which position he’ll play in college is anybody’s guess. He has been a dynamic dual-threat quarterback for Sabino, but he could transition to receiver or safety, he is that good of an athlete. He will use the spring and next season to show he can be a Division I college quarterback. UA, Hawaii and San Jose State all have offered him as a quarterback. “He’s a Pac-12 level athlete,” coach Jay Campos said.

No. 20 Kyle Soelle, Saguaro, TE/OLB, 6-3, 215

It didn’t take long after arriving at Saguaro from Scottsdale Notre Dame for the spring semester for his recruiting to take off. He quickly picked up offers from Nevada, San Jose State, Hawaii and UNLV. And  he’s yet to line up for the Sabercats in spring ball. But he was Notre Dame’s best athlete last football season  and will be one of the more versatile players next season at Saguaro. Coach Jason Mohns will have fun with the many ways he can use Soelle, who could line up as an H-back and be used in double tight ends formation with a power run game.

No 19 Parker Walton, Scottsdale Chaparral, LB, 6-1, 215

Versatile, instinctual linebacker who can play middle and outside. Good cover skills. Plays with a chip on his shoulder. He will also be a running backs his senior season. He has been Chaparral’s defensive MVP the last two season. And he shows up on special teams.

No. 18 My-King Johnson, Tempe, DE/OLB, 6-4, 225

He picked up offers from Nevada and UNLV in March and figures to continue to ride the recruiting momentum with strong grades coming back. He is quick and explosive, a sack machine for the Buffaloes since his sophomore season.

No. 17 Creston Cooledge, Surprise Valley Vista, OL, 6-5, 270

He picked up his first offer from Columbia, but he is expected to get looks from major colleges during spring ball after coming off a fractured foot that kept him out the last four games of his junior season. Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State will take good looks at him. UC Davis and Brown have come in.  He intends to show that he is 100 percent back from the injury. He started last season at 280. He has leaned up and gotten stronger. He is bench pressing 335 pounds and squatting 450. He recently competed in the Nike Opening Region and Rivals Under Armour camp in Southern California. He feels much stronger and quicker now.

No. 16 Ben Thomas, Phoenix Pinnacle, OL, 6-3, 300

Amazing motor, Thomas, who plays both ways, has three Division I offers.  He is getting high interest, according to coach Dana Zupke, from TCU, BYU, Colorado and Utah. Zupke calls him a dominant offensive lineman.

No. 15 Chance Brewington, Chandler Hamilton, WR, 6-3, 190

With offers from New Mexico State, UNLV and Idaho, Brewington could be one of the hottest recruits in May. After injuries slowed him down his sophomore season, the son of a former pro baseball pitcher broke out big last season for the Huskies with 39 catches for 744 yards and six touchdowns. He is big, athletic and fearless. He is not afraid to cross the middle for tough catches.

No. 14 Corey Stephens, Saguaro, OL, 6-3, 285

He made All-Arizona as a junior, leading one of the best offensive lines in the state. His quick feet and strength keep improving. He’ll become a hot commodity in May after already receiving offers from Memphis, Columbia and Louisville.

No.  13 Jonathan Nathaniel, Basha, OL, 6-5, 265

He is starting to build up his recruiting resume after getting his first Pac-12 offer last month from Washington State. He has five Division I offers as of March 28. He is an exceptional pass blocker at tackle with good feet and hands. Coach Gerald Todd believes Nathaniel will be among the state’s top five recruited offensive linemen in the state.

No. 12 Jared Poplawski, Saguaro, TE, 6-4, 225

Offers from Arizona State, Hawaii, Memphis and UNLV will have lots of college coaches out in May to see how much more he has progressed since a breakout junior season in which he had 32 catches for 438 yards and six TDs for the 12-2 state championship Sabercats. Poplawki can play H-back. He is explosive and catches everything in traffic.

No. 11 Andrew Nichols, Peoria Centennial, TE/DE, 6-3, 235

Tremendous athlete keeps racking up the Ivy League offers. Cornell was recently added to Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Brown. Army has also offered him. He is versatile enough to play either tight end or defensive end in college. He had an incredible state playoff run last season, helping the Coyotes capture the Division I title with 7 ½ sacks in four games. He has Ivy League grades with major-college abilities.

No. 10 Bryce Gilbert, Gilbert Higley, TE, 6-5, 230

His recruiting began to blow up in the first two weeks of February with four offers, including Arizona, Arizona State and Nebraska. He added offers since then from Louisville, Oregon State and Columbia. Penn State and Duke are evaluating his transcripts before offering. Since catching 65 passes his junior season, he has put on 20 pounds. He is a big, physical receiver talented enough to play wideout, which is where coach Eddy Zubey has him in Higley’s spread offense. He has exceptional hands and athleticism.

No. 9 Kolby Taylor, Chandler, WR, 5-11, 190

Taylor is up to double-digit offers, including four Pac-12 schools – ASU, UA, Oregon State and, most recently, Utah. He is on pace to come back this summer from a broken tibia suffered early in the state semifinals against Desert Ridge. He led the Wolves in receiving last season with 69 catches for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Watch: Kolby Taylor highlights

No. 8 Odua Isibor, Phoenix St. Mary’s, DE, 6-6, 215

Isibor began to make a recruiting impact late in his basketball season, gaining UA and USC offers. He still is raw but colleges see athleticism and a chance to get stronger and bigger. He has the drive to get better.

Watch: Odua Isibor highlights

No. 7 Chase Cord, Peoria Sunrise Mountain, QB, 6-3, 190

Cord didn’t pick up his first Division I offer until late October, from Colorado. In the past two months, he has had offers from Indiana, Iowa State, Illinois, UTEP and Nevada. He had more than 4,000 total yards last season when he passed for 3,173 yards and 52 touchdowns and ran for 1,059 yards and 13 scores. Cord is a great dual-threat prospect.

Watch: Chase Cord highlights

No. 6 K.J. Jarrell, Saguaro, S, 6-2, 180

Jarrell’s recruiting has picked up lately. He has 13 offers, including ASU, UA and UCLA. He is a big hitter with speed, skills and range. He benefited last spring when college scouts came out to Saguaro to watch 2016 cornerback Byron Murphy. Jarrell’s skills were so apparent that he picked up five Pac-12 offers in two days.

Watch: K.J. Jarrell highlights

No. 5 Tyler Johnson, Gilbert Highland, TE, 6-4, 245

Coming off an All-Arizona season, Johnson oozes big-time college potential. It’s a matter of getting him to challenge himself every play. He is blessed with tremendous talent. He can move from tight end to wide receiver. He has big-play capabilities. He is even a threat to return punts for touchdowns.

Watch: Tyler Johnson highlights

No. 4 Isaiah Pola-Mao, Phoenix Mountain Pointe, S, 6-4, 195

Pola-Mao is a two-time All-Arizona player who has offers from most of the Pac-12, including ASU and UA. Nebraska also has offered. He is a big, physical safety with great range and a knack for intercepting passes. He anticipates passes as well as any safety in the state. He will be a major college impact safety before he’s done.

Watch: Isaiah Pola-Mao highlights

No. 3 Jalen Harris, Mesa Desert Ridge, DE/WR, 6-4, 210

This is a huge jump for someone who was barely on the radar entering his junior season. But Harris is an athletic freak who had a monster junior season, helping the Jaguars reach the Division I state championship game. He could go to college as either a wide receiver or a defensive end/outside linebacker. He has been receiving lots of interest lately, including offers from UA, ASU, San Diego State and Oregon State.

Watch: Jalen Harris highlights

No. 2 Ryan Kelley, Chandler Basha, QB, 6-4, 187

Kelley committed to Oregon after his junior season ended, but he hasn’t stopped working. He has grown an inch and added 12 pounds. He is rated by ESPN as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, which shows how far he has come as a guy who can make plays with his legs. Kelley averaged more than 300 total yards a game last season.

Watch: Ryan Kelley highlights

No. 1 Austin Jackson, Phoenix North Canyon, OL, 6-5, 260

Jackson is an athletic tackle who can get down the field and make blocks. He holds his blocks well, is very mobile and has quick feet. He already has SEC offers from Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and Georgia. Florida could be the next school to offer. He currently holds 23 offers, including ASU, UA, Oregon, USC and California. Add offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, and he is clearly high on the recruiting list of most major colleges in the country. Three-sport athlete who helped North Canyon’s basketball team go deep in the state tournament. He also throw the discus and shot put in track and field.

Watch: Austin Jackson highlights

Reach Obert at or 602-460-1710. Follow him at

Photo by David Jolkovski/AFN

Pride preparing for season with heavy hearts

Posted: Monday, August 17, 2015 9:50 am | Updated: 5:50 pm, Mon Aug 17, 2015.

Summer 2015 Strength & Conditioning Camp Registration form


Football Training Times:

Varsity   –  1:00 pm

JV & Frosh  –  2:00 pm


Photo courtesy David Jolkovski/AFN

Football: MP vs Chandler:  Mountain Pointe running back Brandyn Leonard (7) runs the ball during the DI semifinals football game between Mountain Pointe and Chandler at Hamilton High School on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Mountain Pointe record book dented

Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2014 4:36 am

By Jason P. Skoda, Ahwatukee Foothills News