Chandler will be tough, a lot of returning defensive starters. Basha's QB is real deal. Highland has a big TE and they are always a hard nosed team. I'm not sure what Hathcock has over there but he will have that team ready to compete and win for sure.
How they are looking this summer and how they will look this season when they play 11-11 in pads are two different questions. Chandler will be good, as they usually are, but recently lost to Higley in 7on7 (Conversely, they beat Hamilton to take the championship at SDSU). Highland and D-Ridge are grinders, typically with great running games, so 7 on 7 is even worse at predicting success this season. Basha has looked good, at times, in 7 on 7. At SDSU, I think they were seeded #14 (or close) in pool play, and lost to a good Upland team.
Obviously there is no direct correlation between summer accomplishments and the regular season ... I suppose my question should be articulated to "which players are standing out (or taking a step back) this summer...
Here are some thoughts based solely on summer: It is going to be an open race in D1 and D2. All the regular names have big seniors to replace and are up and down as a result. Hamilton was looking like top dog but an also ran Chandler squad beats them in SD. Chap gets 2 bridesmaid trophies in 7s and wins some Big man stuff but then sputters a bit; MP is figuring out some positions but does make good showings here and there. Brophy is less then stellar in 7s as is Saguaro, but I think that is a result of both trying to figure out how to replace playmakers who could consistently get behind playmakers in 7s. The sum total of it is that they all need to see how it comes together when their first 11 are on the field at the same time in pads. I expect the usual suspects will tend to be more consistent and executing well by then. So.....summer tells us very little.
I don't know, but he is a pretty huge one to replace and I expect their slow start in 7 v 7 showed that. How have their big men doing in their summer competitions? The fact is they had a big senior to replace, as other schools have had to replace as well. If you rely on a big senior in a previously successful season it is very likely there will be some growing pains trying to slide someone new into that spot and getting them to perform at a level that makes the graduation drop off less painful.
I agree he is a HUGE piece to replace. I also believe Mason will do just fine barring no injuries of course. I dont put too much into 7's as everything gets far more real once the shells go on. I feel of the "top" D1 teams in 2015 Chandler is right near the top with the amount of players returning.
Number of starters returning is always a gigantic factor. Less to learn; more used to playing with each other and knowing the scheme; bigger, stronger, faster and now (hopefully) more mature. I look at the loss of a dynamic player as sometime difficult to adjust to because the previous season his abilities might make a dynamic play in a tight spot or just let Chandler keep their foot on the throttle despite mistakes that other players might make. That difficult adjustment can be compounded when the dynamic player is the QB, who touches the ball every play and can make plays with his feet or arm. We have all heard of QBs "extending the play", well that's another way of saying "improvising when someone else screws up". If a returning team was used to such a talented QB covering up their mistakes or getting them out of a hole they tend to not correct the issues that create the environment that makes that QB look so special. I am not saying that is Chandler this year, and I really don't know much about Moran, but it would be a huge mistake to feel too comfortable with a large group of returning starters when their heart and soul the past 2 seasons was their QB and he is gone. They will need to double down and minimize mistakes to make the transition easier on Moran and let him settle into running the offense the way he does - and the way his teammates will have to get used to. Not that I would have a choice, but my preference would be to have Chap play Chandler early as they are, as opposed to later in the season. Chap has a better chance to compete when Chandler is getting used to a new QB, even if he is an incredible QB, than later. I just hope we will have adjusted to all of our new faces and are able to find players to step in and fill the holes left by our big seniors.
I respect all of what you said and it makes sense. Like I have said in previous posts, there are really only 6-8 teams who really need to be considered to hoist the Ship when the smoke clears and the playoffs arrive. The other teams are filler teams and while they have a solid player or two and have success every now and then, they rarely seem to ever find a way to compete with the big boys(Chandler, Hamilton, Brophy, DR, MP, Centennial) year in and year out. I am interested to see what Chap does this year. They have some nice pieces in place but is it enough to compete against the teams previously named.
Good and fair question. I don't know that I would slot Brophy and DR with the others. What I think the others have is simply talented depth, to the point that there wont be a giant drop off if they have to go to their 2s because of injury, etc. My concern is whether Chap can count on that given they field a program with much smaller numbers than Chandler, Hamilton, MP and even Centennial (although I know Woody would slot his boys being closer to Chap in numbers than the others). I think this season Chap will rely on good ol teamwork and scheme. Hard work, great execution and all 11 playing as a cohesive unit. They have shown flashes of that in 7s, but that doesn't mean a whole bunch come August.
"Talented" depth is key. Look at the Mesa schools. Aside from Skyline, every school has a ton of kids but never seem to put it together. Same can be said for the North Phx schools like Pinnacle and Horizon. I included DR and Brophy because you can pencil them into the Semi's almost each year. Centennial's O Line alone is something D1 teams should worry about. Im not sure who else they have aside from their returning QB but im sure they will make alot of noise in 2015 having read some articles and hearing about all the talent they have. 7 on 7 is long and drawn out to me so once the O and D are installed in the summer the truth will reveal itself when the pads come and the games start. I dont feel summer 7 0n 7 is a great way to gauge a teams upcoming success. Maybe take a look at the athleticism of a team but not determine how they will play on Friday nights. I wish Chap the best but it will be an uphill fight for them for sure.
Exactly. "Depth" is not the same as "talented depth". I think it will be an uphill challenge for Chap as well, primarily because of the numbers issue (which I think warranted staying in D2 - but that was NEVER going to happen and is a dead horse). But I think Chap has an outstanding Coaching staff with some key changes which have resulted in some tweaks to the scheme and technique that will make a big difference in the offense for sure - which is where we struggled last year. I also think the fact that we have a bunch of Soph starters returning as Juniors will make a big difference in our point production per game. The flip side of that is we lost some big players on the defensive side that we need to try and replace and if we can do that and take advantage of a great defensive scheme we will be surprising.
A lot of "if"s, just like everybody else. Thats why you play the games come Friday. Looking forward to it.