Each week, we’ll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses. We'll highlight a blue-chipper (a first-team player), an OTP (other top player) and an under-the-radar pick (someone who didn't make the squad but is making a case to be on the team).
This week, a top-ranked receiver makes big plays for his top-ranked team and two defenders make headlines for their outstanding play.
Blue Chip: Kendyl Taylor, Hamilton, WR
You don't win 46 games in a row without some surefire playmakers, and that's exactly what Taylor has been for the top-ranked Huskies. Taylor provided a big lift this past weekend in Hamilton's game against Chandler when he outran defenders with some explosive moves and scored on a 44-yard touchdown, giving Hamilton a lead it wouldn't relinquish. On the season, Taylor has 400 receiving yards and three scores, and he's also racked up nearly 150 yards on the ground with two more TDs. And he can change a game defensively, too.
OTP: Chuks Amaechi, Westview, LB
Westview is off to a hot 5-1 start this season and has a pivotal contest this weekend against Brophy Prep. And one of the biggest reasons for the team's hot start has been Amaechi. The senior has played just about everywhere for the Knights. He's got a pass reception on offense and has seen time on the O-line. But on defense he's been everywhere. He leads the team in sacks with four, is among the team leaders in tackles and even has an interception.
Under the Radar: Gabe Lumas, Kingman, DB
Kingman's season hadn't quite been going to plan before this past weekend. The Bulldogs were 0-5 and defense had been a major question mark; the team had given up 25 points or more in every game. Lumas hadn't even recorded a single interception all season. But he made up for it against Flagstaff. Lumas recorded seven interceptions, which is thought to be an Arizona record, helping the Bulldogs win their first game of the season. According to the NFHS, he's the 13th player in prep history to record more than six INTs in one game.