High-SchoolArizona: Football

Chaparral's Davonte' Neal commits to Notre Dame

February, 21, 2012
Chaparral senior Davonte' Neal, rated the nation's No. 8 recruit in the ESPNU 150, committed to Notre Dame this afternoon, according to sources.

ESPN Recruiting Nation has the full story here.

Andrus Peat to Stanford on National Signing Day

February, 1, 2012

Corona del Sol senior Andrus Peat, the nation's No. 9 recruit and No. 2 OT, announced on ESPNU that he will play at Stanford next season.

Peat is listed at 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds. The Under Armour All-American was considering USC and Florida State as well as Nebraska, where his brother Todd plays.

For the full breakdown of Peat's announcement, click here, and for full Signing Day coverage, click here.

Saguaro's D.J. Foster picks Arizona State

January, 27, 2012
Saguaro standout running back D.J. Foster made his college decision on Friday, opting to stay in-state when he selected Arizona State.

Foster, a senior, was named the Player of the Year by The Arizona Republic. He rushed for more than 3,000 yards this season and scored 54 touchdowns despite sitting out the final regular season game. He later led his Sabercats squad to the Division III state championship. Foster was also a third team All-American by ESPNHS.

For more information on his commitment to ASU, click here.

Arizona's Signing Day Updates

January, 20, 2012
Signing day is drawing closer and a few of Arizona's top athletes are still uncommitted. Here's a quick rundown of their suitors.

*Chaparral senior Davonte' Neal, ranked the nation's No. 8 recruit in the ESPNU 150, is considering Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

*Corona del Sol senior Andrus Peat, ranked the nation's No. 9 recruit in the ESPNU 150, is considering Florida State, Nebraska, Stanford and USC.

*Saguaro senior D.J. Foster is considering Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA.

Be sure to check out our football page on signing day for the latest news and updates on recruits from Arizona as well as the rest of the country.

Saguaro football coach fired despite state title

January, 9, 2012
As first reported by The Arizona Republic, Saguaro football coach John Sanders was fired on Thursday despite leading the Sabercats to their fourth state title in five seasons back in December.

Sanders, who concluded his tenure with a 62-7 record, came under fire earlier this season after sitting his starters during his team's highly anticipated final regular season game of the year against Chaparral. The Sabercats went on to lose the game, 65-0, but the team rebounded to win the Division III state championship just weeks later.

The school district released a brief statement detailing the decision but neglecting to give any specific reasons for Sanders' dismissal. The search for a new candidate was expected to begin on Monday.

Three from AZ named to ESPNHS All-American team

December, 22, 2011
Three Arizona football players were named to the ESPNHS All-American team this morning.

Chaparral senior Davonte' Neal was the state's lone representative on the first team. Neal, who was also recently named the Gatorade State Player of the Year, made the team as a kick returner. According to the list...

"A two-time Gatorade State Player of the Year, Neal returned three kickoffs and two punts for scores. He also topped the 1,000-yard mark in rushing and receiving."

Saguaro senior running back D.J. Foster made the second team, and Corona del Sol senior offensive lineman Andrus Peat made the third team.

For the full list of All-Americans, click here.

2011 football champions, state by state

December, 20, 2011
Across the country, the high school football season is now complete, and Arizona's football champs join the list of state champions in every classification throughout the nation.

To see the full list of state champions as well as how this state stacks up, click here.

Five Days of List-Mas: AZ's underclass football players

December, 13, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The top underclassmen in high school football.

The state championships are over and the Class of 2012 had a great run, but it’s never too early to start looking at the impressive players in the Class of 2013 and beyond. Who’s going to rule the gridiron in Arizona next season? We give you the early rundown of who to watch for.

5. Jalen Brown (SO), Mountain Pointe, WR/DB
Credentials: 37 receptions, 621 yards, 10 TDs, two INTs, 24 tackles, offers from Arizona, Arizona State

4. Devon Allen (JR), Brophy Prep, WR/DB
Credentials: 844 receiving yards, 19.18 yards per catch, 17 total TDs, AZFCA All-Division I first-teamer, also a track standout

3. Cameron Denson (JR), Salpointe Catholic, WR/DB
Credentials: 957 receiving yards, 15 TDs, five INTs (three for scores), finalist for Arizona Republic Big School Player of the Year

2. Chans Cox (JR), Blue Ridge, RB/LB
Credentials: Already has four college offers, rushed for 682 yards/13 TDs, 61 tackles, led team to D-IV state title

1. Tyler Bruggman (JR), Brophy Prep, QB
Credentials: 2,497 passing yards, 37 passing TDs, only two INTs, offers from Arizona State, Colorado State

Tomorrow: The POWERADE Arizona Weekly Rankings.

Chaparral's Davonte' Neal named Gatorade POY

December, 1, 2011
Chaparral wide receiver Davonte' Neal was named the Gatorade Arizona Football Player of the Year this morning.

Neal, a senior, led the Firebirds as both a running back and wide receiver and was one of the best kick returners in the state. He helped Chaparral win the Division II state championship.

For the breakdown on Neal's award, click here.

POWERADE Arizona Rankings (Final)

November, 28, 2011
After games ending Sunday, Nov. 27

NOTE: With the playoffs having ended, this will be the last Arizona weekly ranking of the season.

After 53 consecutive wins, which was at the time a state record, Hamilton finally lost a game — in the Division I state final, no less — to Desert Vista. The loss ends a long reign atop the state for the Huskies and puts Chaparral atop our state rankings. The Firebirds claimed the Division II state title in dominating fashion.

1. Chaparral — defeated Cienega, 37-14 (final regular season rank: 2)

2. Desert Vista — defeated Hamilton, 49-13 (final regular season rank: NR)

3. Hamilton — lost to Desert Vista, 49-13 (final regular season rank: 1)

Click here for the full POWERADE Arizona Weekly Rankings.

Arizona Preps Pick'em: Championship Edition

November, 23, 2011
There's no time for chit-chat; there's turkey to be had. So let's get to it.

Division I: Hamilton 41, Desert Vista 21

Division II: Chaparral 48, Cienega 20

Division III: Saguaro 44, Cactus 24

Division IV: Blue Ridge 27, Show Low 24

Division V: Yuma Catholic 17, Northwest Christian 14

Previous Record: 25-7

A guide to your AIA state title games

November, 22, 2011
Another exciting season is just about in the books, and now it's time for the state championship games. We'll give you our preps pick'em previews later this week, but let's break down the matchups and learn about the players in the championship games.

Division I: Hamilton (13-0) vs. Desert Vista (12-1)

Hamilton Key Players: QB Blake Kemp (Sr.) 2,324 yards, 20 TDs; WR Kendyl Taylor (Sr.) 893 rec. yards, 520 rushing TDs, 17 total TDs; LB Santana Sterling (So.) 92 tackles (25 solo); DL Jaxon Hood (Sr.) 12.5 sacks

Desert Vista Key Players: QB Hunter Rodriguez (Sr.) 1,1812 yards, 15 TDs; RB Dominic Kereluk (Sr.) 828 yards, 12 TDs; LB Mike Arredondo (Sr.) 17 rushing TDs, 148 tackles (48 solo); DL Melvin Lorenzo (Jr.) 7.0 sacks

Hamilton and Desert Vista have faced off once before, and local media suggested it was going to be the end of the Huskies' impressive winning streak. You heard it here first, one local writer mused. The streak ends tonight. Of course, that's not quite how it went down. Hamilton won, 35-10, and now holds the nation's longest active winning streak at 53 victories. Since then, all Desert Vista has done is proven it's worthy of a rematch. The Thunder have scored 42 points or more in each of their three playoff wins and have been strong defensively as well (despite giving up 32 points last week against Basha). Meanwhile, the Huskies keep rolling — they've won by less than double digits just once all year.

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Arizona Preps Pick'em: Playoffs Week 3

November, 17, 2011
Each week we'll take three intriguing matchups and put our knowledge to the test with some predictions. If you think your team's game is one of the best on the schedule, let us know in the comments or on Twitter @CParishESPNHS and we'll put it up for debate.

After a brief hiatus, we're back at it and ready to pick some great games. Let's get to it.

(Ranks based on this week's state rankings)

No. 2 Chaparral (12-1) vs. No. 4 Centennial (11-1)

Wow. This is a semifinal matchup? It feels like it should be bigger. Chaparral has been a team possessed over the last eight weeks, steamrolling opponents left and right. Centennial suffered a frustrating loss to Deer Valley midway through the season but got revenge last week with a 28-21 victory. This game has a little bit of everything, and it's got so much talent on the field it might as well be a BCS title game. When two teams this good meet up, you usually look at the defenses (advantage: Centennial). But Chaparral's offense is just too explosive right now to pick against. PREDICTION: Chaparral 38, Centennial 24

Sabino (11-1) vs. Saguaro (10-2)

Saguaro's two losses are a bit deceptive. One came after the team's coach controversially benched starters against Chaparral in the last game of the season. The other came on a last-second field goal. But both setbacks put Saguaro in a much tougher position than they'd normally be in on its march to the D-III title. Sabino has a quarterback, Dallas Brown, who is a magician when it comes to improvising in the middle of a play. But Sabino's only true weakness is run defense, and that's not good when you're facing the state's best tailback in senior D.J. Foster. It's a tough matchup. PREDICTION: Saguaro 34, Sabino 20

No. 7 Blue Ridge (12-0) vs. Seton Catholic (12-0)

Don't get fooled here by name recognition. It's easy to pick Blue Ridge going away in this matchup, but Seton Catholic has had an outstanding year, dominating opponents and outscoring opponents by a combined total of 559-158. Blue Ridge played rival Show Low earlier this season and scraped out a 10-9 win; Seton Catholic is every bit as talented as Show Low and maybe more so. Sentinels junior QB Ryan Bresnehan has thrown for more than 3,000 yards this season. Don't be surprised if he's got even more up his sleeve against the highly touted Yellow Jackets. PREDICTION: Seton Catholic 24, Blue Ridge 22

Previous Record: 23-6

Arizona fall postseason update

November, 15, 2011
We've been MIA for a little while, but the Arizona postseason has been in full swing, so it's time to get back on track and find out what's going on around the state.


Joseph City has already won its third straight title in Division VI, but most of the other playoff rounds are deep into their brackets. In Division I there's been just one upset; No. 7 Basha took down second-ranked Brophy Prep. It looked as though Brophy was the only true challenge to top-ranked Hamilton, still running strong with the nation's longest winning streak. We'll see if Desert Ridge, Basha or Desert Vista has what it takes to slow down the Huskies. In Division II, fellow FAB 50 squad Centennial continues to win big after its slow start to the season and is a heavy favorite, but the three remaining teams (Centennial, Cienega and Ironwood Ridge) should not be taken lightly. Division III looks up for grabs (though we like Saguaro), Division IV has Blue Ridge and Show Low on another collision course, and Northwest Christian looks to be a heavy favorite in Division V.


You can find a full rundown of the state meets per our DyeStat team here. Arizona will also be hosting the NXN Southwest Regional this weekend at the Toka Sticks Golf Course in Gilbert.


Ho-hum, Brophy Prep won again. The team claimed its 24th consecutive crown in Division I, outscoring runner-up Mesa Mountain View by 168 points. In a more close contest, Salpointe Catholic toppled Arcadia by 86 points. Only one meet record was set, as Mesa Mountain View's 200 free relay team set a new state mark.


Brophy Prep and Canyon del Oro each claimed team titles this season, each winning by very narrow margins. Pinnacle's Zach Wright and CDO's Jaime Waltmire took the individual titles.


Thunderbird's Marcus Wheeler is a standout basketball player who's headed to Kansas. Well, not quite. While both of those things are true, Wheeler is joining the Jayhawks next fall to play baseball, not hoops. Wheeler, a point guard for the basketball team, hit .554 and drove in 50 runs last season.
Ninth-seeded Chandler won a thrilling 35-34 double-overtime contest against eighth-seeded Westview over the weekend, setting up a matchup with No. 1 Hamilton on Thursday night.

The much-anticipated rematch looked like it wouldn’t happen, though, as Westview appeared to win the game in the first overtime. After Chandler scored on its first OT possession, Westview answered with a running score by quarterback Blake Hahn. But rather than go for the extra point to tie the game, Westview went for 2. Hahn again found paydirt, but a holding call nullified the play as Westview was celebrating what they thought was a victory. Kicker Jacob Szostek then delivered a clutch 30-yard extra point to send the game into the second extra session.

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