5A1 East Valley Region Preview

This region looks to be a very competitive one. Picking a preseason favorite was tough. Take a look to see how 24-7 predicts the region to shape up.

5A1 East Valley Region




I think this may be one of the most competitive regions in the state. Mt. View, Red Mountain and Mesa all made the playoffs last year; at 6-4 Dobson was close and despite a 3-7 record last year Westwood was in every game they played except in their loss to Mt. View. This region is totally up for grabs. Tradition says that Mt. View will win but the Toros lose most of their weapons. Red Mountain looks poised to make a run at the title but I think every one of these teams could make a run at the playoffs. I would not be surprised if my predictions below are a bit off at the end of the year.




1. Red Mountain

2. Mt. View

3. Dobson

4. Mesa

5. Westwood




Red Mountain- People forget that it wasn't too long ago that the Mt. Lions won back to back state championships. Red Mountain tends to get underrated; last year is a perfect example. They finished 7-4 and lost to Horizon in the first round of the playoff. Their four losses came by a combined 32 points to the state champions, the state runners up, a tough Chandler team and Horizon. Winning the tough games this year will be vital.


Only 13 players from last year's squad return but 12 of those players earned all region recognition and those all region players return at every position on the field except TE and punter. They have two of the region's top d-linemen, return 1st team all region back Jarison Johnson, return a solid offensive line to block for him and have a very sound kicker.


The schedule may be in their favor to make a run at the region title as they play only five teams that were playoff bound last year and they get to face Mt. View at home.


Key Losses: OL Landon Weeks, OL Bryan Wightman, TE Kellen Farr, LB Kyle Enders, DB/WR Bryant Williams, LB Peter Jeffrey, RB David Marinacci, OL Jeff Nave, DB Jamie Davis, DB Luke Palmer


Key Returners: RB Jarison Johnson, DL Anthony Smith, OL Colten Sinsabaugh, DT Adam Uptegrove, QB Taylor Perkins, WR Kolten Molina, OL Colten Porter, RB Sean Parsons, K Evan Engwall, DL Aaron Kleinpeter, LB Randy Service, DB Jimmy Sanchez, OL Seth Peta


Mountain View- I learned in school a long time ago that the best predictor of the future is the past and every year people doubt Mt. View, claiming that they have lost too much to keep winning. All the Toros do is simply reload and prove the nay-sayers wrong. Mt. View is a model of efficiency; they are not stacked with division-one talent. They play with guys that would often be deemed too small or too slow and find a way to win. Winning is breed in Toro country from the junior high level where the junior highs run the same offense as the varsity, so by the time they are seniors the kids have been running the same schemes for 5-6 years.


Mt. View definitely has some obstacles to overcome this year. They lose their top passer, top two rushers, top three scorers, top three receivers and top three tacklers. And the schedule doesn't make things any easier as they play seven teams that made the playoffs last year. Despite all of the player losses to graduation, my gut tells me to not bet against the Toros.


Key Losses: QB Riley Nielsen, RB/DE Ridge Nielsen, DE Andy Centner, TE Greg Heap, OL Cody Lewers, LB Josh Shill, DB/RB Micah Yetter, DB Aaron Rhodes, WR Grant Scurr, DB Jay Willis, WR/DB Steve Frost, OL Raul Ovalle, LB Kevin Curtis, DB Hunter Reynolds, LB Jarom Rogers, WR Shane Robinson


Key Returners: OL David Hakes, K/P Kyle Jenkins, DL Buddy Koozer, DL Keith Strickland


Dobson- The Mustangs started the year off strong last year going 4-1 in non-region play. Region play did not go as smoothly as they went just 2-3. A six point loss to Red Mountain and a one point loss Westwood killed their playoff chances.


Dobson loses some talented players, the best possibly being Eric Henkel who was all region at three spots but what I like about Dobson is the fact that they return 33 of the 53 players from last year's 6-4 squad. Another thing I like is that they some how managed to get three of their four region games at home. Dobson could be a real sleeper not only in this region but in the 5A ranks.


Key Losses: DB/WR/P Eric Henkel, RB/DL Scott Kneisel, OL Joe Leichty, DL Craig Wiessel, DB/WR Neil Treffers, RB Shane Barker, RB Michael Holloway, TE Cody McKenna, OL Brad Nelson, LB Evan Eisenberg, TE Donald Lowman, DB Donald Talavera


Key Returners: QB Cody Lewis, DL Christian Long, OL Thomas Coggins, DL Mario Campos, DL/OL Kyle Henson, LB Chris Santos, LB Nathan Horgash, K Chris Trevilian, OL James Lake


Mesa- Mesa started the year 6-0. It was a little deceiving as only Horizon would end up making the playoffs of the six. To their credit, they blew out most of their players. Region games had a bit of a different outcome. They ended up going 2-3 in their region and squeaked into the playoffs with a 7-3 record. A 1st round playoff loss to Salpointe ended the Jackrabbit's year and head coach Dennis Parker resigned to take a college coaching job in Texas.


New head coach Kelley Moore was awesome at Independence. He had them in the playoffs and playing darn good football. I think he was a great hire at Mesa. Rumor has it that he brings over a wing-t offense and he has a very good back to carry the load in Nebraska commit Keelan Johnson. Johnson is also going to play some safety and that is the position that he was recruited at by the Huskers.


Mesa plays a pretty tough schedule with six of their ten opponents reaching the playoffs last year. I always say, you can do a lot with a good running back, especially at the high school level. Look for Johnson to get some carries and for more to get D1 prospect TE Beau Gardner in the mix.


Key Losses: K David Garcia, WR AJ Hill, OL Similami Tuituu, OL Dustin Tucker, LB Kris Gutierrez, P/DB Dustin Clarke, OL Wayne Woodbury, HC Dennis Parker


Key Returners: RB Keelan Johnson, TE Beau Gardner, DB Kyree Hart, HC Kelley Moore


Westwood- The Warriors went 3-7 last year but they lost five of those games by a combined 23 points, proving that they underachieved last year. Nearly half of their roster returns and they have some key players back and winning some of those close games will be crucial this year. Their schedule is a tough one with 8 of 11 making the playoffs last year. I pick Westwood at the bottom of the region but like I said earlier, anyone has a chance.


Key Losses: WR Nathan Palmer, OL/DL Jordan Bingham, LB Wayne Mullins, OL/DL Anthony Munoz, WR Shawn Deloney, OL Donny Anderson, LB Josh Dodge, DB Eric Ramirez, DB Mark Cox


Key Returners: RB Ben Ochoa, LB/TE Ben Parker, DB Adam Garcia, QB Brandon Large, RB Jeron Beaton


24-7Football.com Preseason All East Valley Region Team


QB- Cody Lewis- Dobson

RB- Keelan Johnson- Mesa

RB- Jarison Johnson- Red Mountain

WR- Michael Clore- Mesa

WR- Kolten Molina- Red Mountain

TE- Beau Gardner- Mesa

OL- David Hakes- Mt. View

OL- Colten Sinsabaugh- Red Mountain

OL- Kyle Henson- Dobson

OL- Colton Porter- Red Mountain

OL- Thomas Coggins- Dobson

K- Evan Engwall- Red Mountain

Return- Keelan Johnson- Mesa


DL- Anthony Smith- Red Mountain

DL- Christian Long- Dobson

DL- Buddy Koozer- Mt. View

DL- Adam Uptegrove- Red Mountain

LB- Ben Parker- Westwood

LB- Melvin Douglas- Dobson

LB- Randy Service- Red Mountain

DB- Adam Garcia- Westwood

DB- Keelan Johnson- Mesa

DB- Kyree Hart- Mesa

DB- Nathan Horgash- Dobson

P- Kyle Jenkins- Mt. View


Coach of the Year- Jim Jones- Red Mountain

Offensive Player of the Year- Keelan Johnson- RB- Mesa

Defensive Player of the Year- Anthony Smith- DL- Red Mountain


East Valley Region Top 10 Players


1. Keelan Johnson- RB- Mesa

2. Anthony Smith- DL- Red Mountain

3. Jarison Johnson- RB- Red Mountain

4. Beau Gardner- TE- Mesa

5. Cody Lewis- QB- Dobson

6. Christian Long- DT- Dobson

7. Evan Engwall- K- Red Mountain

8. Ben Parker- LB- Westwood

9. Melvin Douglas- LB- Dobson

10. Kyree Hart- Mesa

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