Chandler Preseason preview

Chandler returns a talented group of players that could contend for a 5A title. Here is 24-7's preseason look at the Wolves.

Team: Chandler
Mascot: Wolves

City: Chandler

Head coach: Jim Ewan

2006 Record: 11-2

Region: 5A1 Fiesta




8/31- Ironwood

9/7- @ Dobson

9/14- Desert Vista

9/20- @ Chavez

9/28- Yuma

10/5- Highland

10/12- @ Corona

10/19- Mesquite

10/26- @ Gilbert

11/2- @ Hamilton


Key Losses: DL/OL Cameron Jordan, OL Joey Gomez, OL Brandon Van Norman, QB Kyle Hess, RB Byron Warren, DB Mikhail Barton, DL Kyle Benjamin, LB Tony Pawlak, LB Lucas Mellage, LB Shaefer Wall, LB George Wells, DB/WR Brandon Trowbridge, P Hatton Updike


Key Returners: TE Dion Jordan, RB Steven Jackson, WR Archie Woulard, CB Marc Anthony, DB Harold Bernard, LB Kurt Mangum, OL Damien Edwards




Chandler rattled off nine straight wins and entered week 10 with a head to head match up with Hamilton to decide the region title. Hamilton won 35-14 and took home the Fiesta region and state titles. Once again, there will be much anticipation for this week 10 game. Coach Ewan comments, "It definitely is going to be an exciting game, I can think of no better season finale, than playing your toughest opponent."


The Wolves suffer some heavy losses especially on defense where they must replace their entire linebacking corp. Some kids are stepping up trying to fill the void for those departed according to Ewan. He says, "We have spent time on our offensive and defensive lines this Spring and Summer, we lost some talented seniors from those two groups.  We have some kids who are working very hard to replace them, but they don't have varsity experience. That group will be led by Sam Forni, Tommy Jilek, Taylor Dye, Anthony Masangya, Sam Wences, Aaron Vega, Eric Hankins, sophomore Ammon Samia, sophomore Brandon Beck; coupled some transfers that have moved into our area.  That group is led by senior Damian Edwards (6-5 330), who moved in from Mesquite H.S., and a large contingent of kids from Hamilton H.S.  The linemen from that group are Terry Williams, junior defensive linemen, senior Dion Sewell, defensive linemen, Adam Kelsie senior, defensive linemen, and TE Sam Dohm a senior.  As our linemen mature and progress, we will be more effective as a team - DUH!  Our line backing core will be led by Austin Johnson a senior, who has worked hard to rehab a knee injury from last year, along w/senior Zach Shuder.  Transfers Kurt Magnum (sr. LB/RB) and Chad Davis (sr. LB) will give a new look to our defense."


But there are few teams in the state that can run as well as Chandler and they return quite possibly the best set of skill position players in the state.  No less then four players hold major division-one offers and Dion Jordan and Marc Anthony are amongst the top players at the position in the country. Ewan comments on that group, "Offensively, we have some very talented kids, but we will have a new face at QB, and that will be Payton LaCivita.  He has been working very hard all Spring and Summer to learn our offense.  He will be surrounded by some talented returning players: Dion Jordan, Steven Jackson, Harold Bernard, Marc Anthony (who will play some offense this year), Archie Woulard, and Michael Dunn.  We have had some transfers move in on offense as well, QB - Payton LaCivita from Basha, Cody McCleve a QB/FS from Desert Mtn., Jamil Hines - RB from St. Mary's and sophomore RB Jeremy Morris from Hamilton.


Anthony and Bernard make up a talented secondary and here are Coach Ewan's thoughts on them, "We have as talented a group as we have ever had here during my tenure.  Obviously, we will be led by seniors Marc Anthony C/WR and Harold Bernard RB/FS/WR, two very talented players, who have both received multiple college offers.  Joining them back there will be seniors Lee Peyton and Andre Brice.  Lee is one of the most improved players in our program.  I can't leave out Bryce Lamb, who will be a junior and needs to be on the field at several positions: corner, running back, wide receiver.


So, at least on paper, we have some talent.  The challenge now is as coaching staff, can we mold the pieces together?"


I like Chandler's chances. They have all of the pieces of a very good football team. Expect them to contend for the 5A1 title.

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