Focus '06: Salpointe Catholic

Salpointe Catholic has recently been putting out division one players every year and may have as many as four for the class of 2006. Three of them already have written offers. There is also a junior-to-be at Salpointe that will be very heavily recruited for the class of 2007. caught up with Salpointe Catholic head coach Dennis Bene to speak about his four talented juniors.

With Salpointe, it always starts with the line play. This year they are sending Ian Brinker to Oregon State and waiting in the wings is John Romero. The 6-4, 270 pound lineman already has written offers from Arizona and Arizona State.

"He is a big-time recruit," said coach Bene. "He played his best football towards the end of last year and really came on the last month of the season. He really came into his own. The game just comes naturally to him. I think he'll end up as a defensive tackle in college."

Andrew Berryhill is a recruit that could play a number of positions; defensive end, linebacker, or tight end. The 6-4, 240 pounder has a written offer from Arizona State.

"He is really coming along. He runs real well and has real good hands. I see him as a college tight end because he just has more of a knack for the offensive side of the ball."

Berryhill has a unique situation as he may not even be able to suit up for the Lancers next fall. "He went to a charter school one year and that changed his academic situation. They say that he is a senior academically right now, but he is a junior athletically. He has only played for two years. We ought to have the situation settled before the season and hopefully by the summer."

Ben Thiltges is yet another player who received an offer from Arizona State at the Sun Devils' camp last summer. Thiltges missed his entire junior year with a torn ACL and also had surgery on both shoulders. He is scheduled to be fully healed by summer time.

"Ben is the hardest working player I have ever had. He has an incredible natural instinct for the game and he just outworks everyone. He is an overachiever. He has great hands as a tight end, but I think he'll be a linebacker in college."

Thiltges says that ASU has told him, despite the inuries, that his offer to Tempe stands.

The last player brings about a blast from the past for UA fans. Levess Eafon is the little brother of former Wildcat star, Kelvin Eafon. He transferred from Houston to Salpointe before last season.

"He started getting some attention towards the end of last year. In our first playoff game he really broke out. He ended up with 192 yards rushing."

Despite all the talent on his squad this year, the biggest prize may be yet to come. Junior-to-be lineman Kris O'Dowd, at 6-5 275, is a star in the making. "He just might be the crown jewel and the biggest recruit to ever come through here."

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