Buckeye Preseason Preview

24-7Football.com's preseason look at the Buckeye Hawks. This could be one of 4A2's top teams.

Team: Buckeye

Mascot: Hawks

City: Buckeye

Head coach: Bobby Barnes

2006 Record: 7-5

Region: 4A2 Skyline

 

Schedule

 

8/16- Scrimmage v. Estrella Foothills

8/24- @ Bradshaw Mountain

8/31- Millennium

9/7- Tempe

9/14- @ Seton Catholic

9/21- Queen Creek

9/28- @ Greenway

10/5- Bye

10/12- @ Mohave

10/19- Kellis

10/26- @ Dysart

11/2- Desert Edge

 

Key Losses: RB Trey Nahrgang, OL Chris Grapes, DB Justin Oliver, WR David Purnell

 

Key Returners: QB Troy Ganley, OL Zak Nicholson, TE/DE Coleman McArthur, WR Frankie Lynch, LB Tyler Miller, DE Clint Gladden, P Arthur Brown, K Ricky Norman, LB Patrick Sanders, OL Dakota Astraus, DL Kellend Bookover

 

Breakdown

 

Buckeye went 7-5 last year and eight of those opponents were playoff contenders. That group was comprised of 42 players and 29 of those were underclassmen. The Hawks also get players from a 6-2 JV team and 8-1 freshmen team. Good news for Coach Barnes. He has a stacked team that could make a push at the 4A2 title.

 

The biggest losses were all region performers Trey Nahrgang, Chris Grapes, DB Justin Oliver and WR Dave Purnell but the players returning far outweigh the losses. Buckeye returns five seniors that Coach Barnes feels have division-one potential in DE Clint Gladden, LB Tyler Miller, DT Kellend Bookover, TE Coleman McArthur and FS Eddie Allen. Barnes also was impressed by the hard work of QB Troy Ganley, who now stands 6-2 170, OL Dakota Astraus, who has put on 30 pounds, LB Tyler McArthur who "is ready to come out of his brother's shadow, and physical RB Ryan Taborn this off-season.

 

Other players that Barnes looks to have breakout seasons are Allen and underclassmen DB Randy Hale, 6-2 290 pound OL/DL Norberto Bejarano and OL Zak Nicholson. Barnes says Hale will be a special player once he leaves Buckeye. Bejarano didn't play last year but he could surprise some people and Nicholson is up to 250 pounds and looks to improve on his 2nd team all region play as a sophomore.

 

But Barnes points back to his seniors as his the rock of this team saying, "The strength of our team is our seniors who will be starting for their 3rd year. Coleman McArthur heads that group and is the best all around player I have ever coached. The colleges have held off offering him because of his size and they are dead wrong in not going after him. He is a perfect H-back type of fullback receiver for the college level. I intend to make it my personal charge to get him a D-1 or D-2 full scholarship. Tyler Miller and Clint Gladden as well as Kellend Brookover, Pat Sanders, and Jeremy Schwiesow are other seniors who will start for a third year and lead this team."

 

High note of the passing leagues this summer was up at NAU. Barnes comments, "Our 7x7 passing league play went better than we have ever done. We won the N.A.U. tournament on Tuesday for 4a and lower, and on Wednesday in the 5a we defeated Bradshaw Mountain and Desert Vista, the eventual champion."

 

Once last note from Coach Barnes, "Our focus was to strengthen our linemen and call on this special group of seniors to take a more active role in leadership. Those things were accomplished. We are as a program proud of our improvement over the last three years but are very upset at losing first round games in the playoffs."

 

Buckeye has all of the makings of a very dangerous team this year.

 


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