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GRIDIRON ARIZONA

Your Source for 6A & 5A High School Football Scores, Schedules, and Power Points

Schedule

GAMES OF AUG. 18, 2017:

Corona del Sol at Highland
Perry at Desert Vista
Mountain Pointe at O'Connor
Hamilton at Boulder Creek
Chaparral at Desert Mountain
Horizon at Cibola
Pinnacle at Brophy
Mesquite at Mesa
Red Mountain at Chandler
Westwood at Skyline
Carl Hayden at Alhambra
Cesar Chavez at Queen Creek
South Mountain at Maryvale
Kofa at Trevor Browne
Basha at Westview
Pueblo at Rincon
Nogales at Sunnyside
Tucson at Buena
Desert Edge at Centennial
North Canyon at Goldwater
Verrado at Paradise Valley
Willow Canyon at Maricopa
Arcadia at Williams Field
Notre Dame at Shadow Ridge
Campo Verde at Sabino
Ironwood Ridge at Marana
Fairfax at Camelback


GAMES OF AUG. 25, 2017:

La Joya at Corona del Sol
Desert Ridge at Brophy
Mesquite at Gilbert
Highland at Skyline
Boulder Creek at Liberty
Mesa at Desert Mountain
Horizon at Chaparral
Mountain Ridge at Tucson
Tolleson at O'Connor
Pinnacle at Basha
Dobson at Rincon
Mesa Mtn View at Valley Vista
Westwood at Copper Canyon
Central at Fairfax
Camelback at North
Trevor Browne at South Mtn
Queen Creek at Hamilton
Perry at Millennium
Imperial (CA) at Cibola
Kofa at Central (CA)
Sunnyside at Pueblo
Agua Fria at Washington
Williams Field at Deer Valley
Desert Edge at Notre Dame
Goldwater at Poston Butte
Arcadia at Verrado
Centennial at Apollo
Ironwood at Campo Verde
Kellis at Shadow Ridge
Maricopa at Paradise Valley
McClintock at Vista Grande
Ironwood Ridge at Sunnyslope
Sierra Linda at North Canyon
Amphitheater at Cholla
Desert View at Palo Verde
Buena at Flowing Wells
Cienega at Marana
Salpointe at Marana Mtn View
Sabino at Sahuaro
Cortez at Glendale
Greenway at Independence


GAMES OF AUG. 26, 2017:

Lake Havasu vs. Willow Can.
(Game @ NAU in Flagstaff)

IMG Academy (FL) at Chandler

Spring Ball with the Wildcats

Willow Canyon has hopes of catching a spot in the 5A playoffs

WEEKLY BLOG:  5/21/17

Spring football coincides with the end of the school year.  Before final exams at Willow Canyon this week (on Tuesday and Wednesday), the Wildcats have spent the month working in the weight room and on the field.  On Saturday, they split the team up and put on a spirited showcase event.

The coaches divided the players up into two teams - Blue and Silver - and staged a three-step lineman competition sandwiched around two halves of 7-on-7 football for the skill position players.  Like most schools across the state, it is a time of optimism.

"I think that each day we figured out a little more how to compete and the importance of playing as a unit instead of as individuals," head coach Joe Martinez said.  "I think we ended up on a high note, which is fun to see."

Martinez took over as the head coach midway through the 2013 season.  While there was a minor improvement (up a win from 2015), the team still finished 3-7 and saw its playoff drought continue to five consecutive years.

But despite an offense that was shut out four times and averaged just 12.4 points per contest, the playoffs might not be that far off.  The Wildcats lost twice last season by a touchdown or less.  Replenishments for soon-to-graduate seniors will come from a JV squad that went 5-3 last season, defeated Valley Vista (that's big around here in Surprise), and competed better than expected against Liberty and Centennial.

"I think we had a very talented sophomore group," Martinez said.  "A lot of them played together on JV.  We think they're going to supplement what we have coming back."

The quarterback last season was a senior, so the battle is on to replace him.  Brendan "Bear" Haynes, a junior this fall, and Josh Ormond, last season's freshman team QB, will battle throughout the summer for the starting position.  Martinez said the competition has been stiff and Haynes did well with the JV squad last year.  Ormond has also showed well in the spring.

The older of the two quarterbacks got the early upper hand as he led the victorious Blue team to three touchdown drives in the spring game.

"He made some nice reads and made some nice throws," Martinez said of Haynes.

Aside from the passing game, Willow Canyon would like to run the football and the team returns leading rusher Dominic Cardoza.  The diminutive 5-7, 160-pounder made the best of his runs as a junior behind an offensive line that struggled in 2016.

"He's a great combination of balance and vision," Martinez said.  "We're hoping to be better up front this year and give him more lanes."

Offensively, the Wildcats will be under center and are one of the dwindling number of teams that still huddles between plays.  They will run some spread and give a multiple formations look.  On the defense, WCHS switches up from 3-4 to 4-3.

Willow Canyon has a young versatile athlete in Zach Enhelder.  The 6-3, 230-pound tight end can either be utilized as an extra lineman for the run game or as a receiver.  As a sophomore, he was a First Team All-5A Northwest Region selection by the coaches.

"He's a great tool for us," Martinez said.  "He's got an insatiable appetite in the weight room."

Enhelder can power clean 265 pounds and has squatted just under 400.  He was invited to the Nike Football Opening regional in Los Angeles back in March and showed well.

With several new players that lack varsity experience, the three weeks of practices have been valuable for the coaching staff.

"We've been able to do a lot of evaluation and film every practice from a couple angles," Martinez said.  "We have the ability to go beyond the first impression on the field."

Ezekiel Rangel made a big impact on the Blue team in the spring game with a touchdown catch and the game's lone interception.  Last season, he was a Second Team All-Region player at defensive back as a junior.  Rangel played free safety and also returned kickoffs.  This year, he could also be used more as a receiver.

"I'm hoping to play both sides," Rangel said.  "I prefer defense, but I like to help out where I can."

While Martinez would like to have a true platoon system, he feels it would spread the team too thin.  He said perhaps three or four of the Wildcats will play both ways.

On the defensive line, end Austin Dylong had five sacks (WCHS only posted stats in eight games last season).  Saturday, he was a part of the Blue team that won both the tire flip and a grueling obstacle course.  He said there is a strong bond among the D-Line unit as he enters his senior year.

"We always have so much fun," Dylong said.  "We're always having a good time.  I'm looking forward to us making a run towards the playoffs."

Other defensive players to watch this season are linebacker Kody Harris, defensive end Jalen Schaefer, and linebacker Robert Eblen.

In June, Willow Canyon's skill players will take part in the 7-on-7 competitions at Arizona State and Maricopa.  Maricopa will host the big 30-team event normally held in Surprise the past few years.

The following month, WCHS heads to Carlsbad, just outside of San Diego, for team camp.  It's a time of bonding and setting goals for the year.

"The biggest thing about camp is getting away from the distractions and focusing on being the kind of team we want to be for the season," Martinez said.  "Another big part is discovering the chemistry within the unit."

So, with pieces in place from last year, along with new fill-ins from JV and freshman squads, can the Wildcats show improvement again?  The team worked hard during the month of May and must continue to do the same in June, which will feature a combination of early morning and late afternoon training (on separate days). 

With the competition level ratcheted up compared to a normal practice Saturday night, there was some trash talk going back and forth and also some complaining when some coaches and players thought rules put in place for the event weren't being enforced.  Martinez took it as a teaching opportunity afterwards to remind the entire team that sometimes in games, there will be situations that are out of their control.  The important thing is how to handle it and get on with the next play.  During camp, the team will need to make sure it is all on the same page before they embark on this journey which formally begins with official practices on July 24.

"I definitely would like to think we are going to be over .500 for the first time since I've been here," Martinez said.

Let's see how the Wildcats could get there.  Remember, the 10-team schedule is identical to last year.  The three wins Willow Canyon had last season (Lake Havasu, Vista Grande, and Sierra Linda) are certainly attainable again.  Those three schools combined to go 6-24 a year ago.  Once again, the Lake Havasu game will be played in the afternoon on the last Saturday of August at the Skydome in Flagstaff.  WCHS would need to flip around the close losses in '16 against Sunnyslope and Shadow Ridge.  That would leave one more win to get to cross the .500 barrier.  Perhaps the Wildcats' best chance would be in the season opener at Maricopa.  Yes, it's a 60-mile road trip to the Gila River Valley (south of Phoenix), but last year's game was competitive.  After three quarters, it was scoreless before the Rams triumphed 20-6.  Willow Canyon would like to show better against their rivals in Surprise on the east side of the 303 (Valley Vista) than last year's 35-6 loss.  The other non-region game is against Kellis, which went 9-2 last season.  If Willow Canyon is going to get those six wins, it will probably come sooner than later.  The season's last two games are at home against Liberty and at Centennial, teams that were a combined 19-6 last season and probably better this year.


PHOTO CAPTION:  Willow Canyon's Ezekiel Rangel pulls in a pass with his bright green gloves during Saturday night's 7-on-7 Spring Game in Surprise.  Rangel was also a Second Team All-Region player as a free safety.  His Blue team defeated the Silver team, 38-14 on the night, which was a combination of lineman drills and 7-on-7 play.  The Wildcats will next play in the ASU passing league tournament on Monday, June 5 in Tempe.
 

Follow me on:  Twitter.com/gridironarizona


Sponsor of the Week: ANYTHON

Anython is an online platform used for promoting "thons"!  If you can think it, they can thon it, whether it be lift-a-thons, hoop-a-thons, hit-a-thons, serve-a-thons, etc.  It's a great way for players to do something related to their sport to earn money, rather than just begging for it!  Make it count with Anython!  For more info, contact kimf@anython.com.
 

If you'd like to take advantage of this section for your business, send an e-mail to gridironarizona@yahoo.com.


Willow Canyon: Raising the bar to raise money

Anython a game changer when it comes to fundraising

SPONSORED BLOG:  5/21/17

There are many "F" words when it comes to the game that we celebrate on these pages.  Don't worry, we keep it clean around here, and we also aren't talking about the grades on the transcripts that nobody wants to see.

It starts with the game (Football), and with the amount of time that players spend with teammates and coaches, trust develops among their new Family.  Friendships are made that can last for years beyond the playing Field and locker room.  There are the parents, siblings, and relatives, who also serve as Fans giving constant support.  It is also quite helpful to have Faith in something, whether it is in each other, the coaching staff, or in a higher power.

And then there's the "F" word that brings dread, but is vital to the support and growth of a high school program - Fundraising.

At Willow Canyon High School in Surprise, they've found a way to have some Fun with it.  For the second year, the Wildcats have utilized Anython to promote their lift-a-thon.

On Saturday, the final day of its three weeks of spring football, WCHS had its players go one by one onto the bench press.  The goal was to have each player load 70 percent of his weight onto the bar and attempt to do between 30 and 50 reps.

In the two weeks before the event, each player was able to create their own fundraising page through Anython.  These pages can be personalized and include a link for pledges to be given either as a flat sum or per rep (maximum of 50 in this particular case).  Social media helps spread awareness and parents and students can circulate the page address to friends and family on Facebook or Twitter.

Wildcats head coach Joe Martinez said this fundraiser goes beyond simply advertising football.

"It promotes the community around football," Martinez said.  "It helps develop and build momentum, not only as a celebration of the end of spring football, but to generate excitement towards the summer and keep it building towards the season."

In any type of youth or high school organization, raising funds is a necessity.  High schools aren't getting television money like Division I colleges or NFL franchises receive to foot the bills for their teams.  Funds raised in this endeavor for Willow Canyon are for equipment, new team gear, and scholarships for football camp in the summer.

It's also different than other fundraisers that teams do.  Progress can be monitored online showing the amount raised by each participant.  Athletics brings challenges and players like to not only rise up and face them personally, but battle with one another whether it be in pledges gained, or simply in how many reps they can do.

"The boys enjoy this fundraiser more," Willow Canyon Booster Club president Virginia Ward said.  "It drives competitiveness with them while making it easier for them to raise money for their program without having to ask for handouts."

Ward said this is the team's biggest fundraiser of the spring semester.  The team raised over $9,000 in the two-week window in which it was open. 

As opposed to selling items like cookie dough, candles, or popcorn, or simply begging for money, the weightlifting aspect is something the players are vested in.  During spring ball, the players were in the weight room three days a week.

"It adds a level of fun and makes people want to do it," freshman center Alex Lee said.  "It seemed like a goal for me to do it."

Defensive end Brody Tardy played football for the first time last year on the JV team, but has also played basketball and been around several fundraisers.

"It's easier than going door to door," Tardy said.  "It's probably the best one I've done so far."

Doing a lift-a-thon is a natural fit for a football team, and a healthy way to see which athletes can hoist the greatest amount of weight, while providing a financial boost for things they otherwise would be unable to afford.

Tardy agreed with the rivalry within fellow players to do well.

"You can see guys going back and forth and it adds a level of competition between us," Tardy said.

With this being the second year of the lift-a-thon, it bred a comfort level of knowing how it works and how to tinker with it.  Also, the longer a single fundraiser continues to be done, the more it gets instilled into the team's culture and tradition.

"Kids were more familiar with it," Martinez said of the second time around.  "Because of that, I think the performance and buy-in was higher than it was a year ago."

Anython isn't used solely for football.  It is an online platform for promoting virtually any kind of "thon" you can think of.  Basketball teams can run a hoop-a-thon, baseball squads a hit-a-thon, tennis players a serve-a-thon.  Best of all, it's a great way for a player to do something directly related to preparing themselves for their sport to earn money.

To make it count for your team, club, or group with Anython, get in touch with Kim, the local area director.  Her contact e-mail is kimf@anython.com.


PHOTO CAPTION:  Freshman center Alex Lee works on his reps during the Willow Canyon lift-a-thon on Saturday inside the team's weight room.  The Wildcats combined the event to be on the same night as their 7-on-7 spring game and big man challenge.  After a month of 7-on-7 tournaments, a summer camp, and several workouts, Willow Canyon will begin its 13th season on August 18 at Maricopa HS.
 

Follow me on:  Twitter.com/gridironarizona


GRIDIRON ARIZONA POWER POINTS - 2017

 
6A CONFERENCE
  School Section         Record Power Points First Game      
1. Alhambra Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Carl Hayden (8/18)
1. Basha Premier   0-0      0.0000 @ Westview (8/18)
1. Boulder Creek Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Hamilton (8/18)
1. Brophy Premier   0-0      0.0000 vs. Pinnacle (8/18)
1. Central Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Fairfax (8/25)
1. Cesar Chavez Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Queen Creek (8/18)
1. Chandler Premier   0-0      0.0000 vs. Red Mountain (8/18)
1. Cibola Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Horizon (8/18)
1. Copper Canyon Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Westwood (8/25)
1. Corona del Sol Central   0-0      0.0000 @ Highland (8/18)
1. Desert Mountain Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Chaparral (8/18)
1. Desert Ridge Central   0-0      0.0000 @ Brophy (8/25)
1. Desert Vista Central   0-0      0.0000 vs. Perry (8/18)
1. Dobson East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Rincon (8/25)
1. Gilbert Central   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mesquite (8/25)
1. Hamilton Premier   0-0      0.0000 @ Boulder Creek (8/18)
1. Highland Central   0-0      0.0000 vs. Corona del Sol (8/18)
1. Horizon Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Cibola (8/18)
1. Kofa Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Trevor Browne (8/18)
1. La Joya Southwest   0-0      0.0000 @ Corona del Sol (8/25)
1. Maryvale Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. South Mountain (8/18)
1. Mesa East Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mesquite (8/18)
1. Millennium Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Perry (8/25)
1. Mountain Pointe Central   0-0      0.0000 @ O'Connor (8/18)
1. Mountain Ridge Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Tucson (8/25)
1. Mesa Mountain View East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Valley Vista (8/25)
1. North Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Camelback (8/25)
1. O'Connor Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mountain Pointe (8/18)
1. Perry Premier   0-0      0.0000 @ Desert Vista (8/18)
1. Pinnacle Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Brophy (8/18)
1. Red Mountain East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Chandler (8/18)
1. Rincon Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Pueblo (8/18)
1. Skyline East Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Westwood (8/18)
1. Sunnyside Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Nogales (8/18)
1. Tolleson Southwest   0-0      0.0000 @ O'Connor (8/25)
1. Trevor Browne Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Kofa (8/18)
1. Tucson Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Buena (8/18)
1. Valley Vista Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mesa Mountain View (8/25)
1. Westview Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Basha (8/18)
1. Westwood East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Skyline (8/18)


The top team from each section based on section record is guaranteed one of the 16 playoff berths.  These 16 teams will be placed in a bracket according to the final power points.

The AIA works with Maxpreps in devising the power points formula. The first official update won't come until after Week 5.  For the first few weeks of the season, we'll bring back the old 2009 formula just to give people an idea of where the teams stand.

 

5A CONFERENCE
  School Section         Record Power Points First Game    
1. Agua Fria Desert West   0-0      0.0000 @ Washington (8/25)
1. Apollo Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Centennial (8/25)
1. Arcadia Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Williams Field (8/18)
1. Buena Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Tucson (8/18)
1. Camelback Union   0-0      0.0000 vs. Fairfax (8/18)
1. Campo Verde San Tan   0-0      0.0000 @ Sabino (8/18)
1. Carl Hayden Union   0-0      0.0000 @ Alhambra (8/18)
1. Centennial Northwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Desert Edge (8/18)
1. Chaparral Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Desert Mountain (8/18)
1. Cholla Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 vs. Amphitheater (8/25) 
1. Cienega Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Marana (8/25)
1. Deer Valley Desert West   0-0      0.0000 vs. Williams Field (8/25)
1. Desert Edge Desert West   0-0      0.0000 @ Centennial (8/18)
1. Desert View Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 @ Palo Verde (8/25)
1. Fairfax Union   0-0      0.0000 @ Camelback (8/18)
1. Flowing Wells Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 vs. Buena (8/25)
1. Glendale Union   0-0      0.0000 vs. Cortez (8/25)
1. Goldwater Desert West   0-0      0.0000 vs. North Canyon (8/18)
1. Independence Union   0-0      0.0000 vs. Greenway (8/25)
1. Ironwood Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Campo Verde (8/25)
1. Ironwood Ridge Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Marana (8/18)
1. Kellis Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Shadow Ridge (8/25)
1. Lake Havasu Desert West   0-0      0.0000 vs. Willow Canyon (8/26)
1. Liberty Northwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Boulder Creek (8/25)
1. Marana Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 vs. Ironwood Ridge (8/18)
1. Maricopa Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Willow Canyon (8/18) 
1. McClintock Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Vista Grande (8/25) 
1. Mesquite San Tan   0-0      0.0000 @ Mesa (8/18)
1. Marana Mountain View Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Salpointe (8/25)
1. North Canyon Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Goldwater (8/18) 
1. Notre Dame Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Shadow Ridge (8/18) 
1. Paradise Valley Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Verrado (8/18)
1. Poston Butte Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 vs. Goldwater (8/25)
1. Queen Creek San Tan   0-0      0.0000 vs. Cesar Chavez (8/18)
1. Sahuaro Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Sabino (8/25)
1. Shadow Ridge Northwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Notre Dame (8/18)
1. Sierra Linda Northwest   0-0      0.0000 @ North Canyon (8/25)
1. South Mountain Union   0-0      0.0000 @ Maryvale (8/18)
1. Sunnyslope Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Ironwood Ridge (8/25)
1. Verrado Desert West   0-0      0.0000 @ Paradise Valley (8/18)
1. Vista Grande San Tan   0-0      0.0000 vs. McClintock (8/25)
1. Williams Field San Tan   0-0      0.0000 vs. Arcadia (8/18)
1. Willow Canyon Northwest   0-0      0.0000 @ Maricopa (8/18)

The top team from each section based on section record is guaranteed one of the 16 playoff berths.  These 16 teams will be placed in a bracket according to the final power points.  With Notre Dame Prep ruled ineligible, the 2nd place team from the Northeast Valley Region was an automatic qualifier.

The AIA works with Maxpreps in devising the power points formula. The first official update won't come until after Week 5.  For the first few weeks of the season, we'll bring back the old 2009 formula just to give people an idea of where the teams stand.

 

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