5A2 Northwest Region Preview

24-7 continues on it's crash course of region previews by moving on to the 5A2 Northwest Region.

5A2 Northwest Region




Willow Canyon moves up from the 4A West Valley, Valley Vista is a new program and four members from the old Northwest (Goldwater, Deer Valley, Kingman and Boulder Creek) make up the 5A2 Northwest Region. With three relatively new programs being in this region I look at Deer Valley and Goldwater as the front-runners.




1. Goldwater

2. Deer Valley

3. Willow Canyon

4. Boulder Creek

5. Kingman

6. Valley Vista




Goldwater- The Bulldogs made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs last year and finished 6-6. Not a bad season. Head coach Dan Friedman resigned and took the job at Boulder Creek. New head coach Ed Cook inherits a team with enough components to win this region. Their main loss is QB/LB Miles Kizer but they return three players who accounted for over 2500 yards rushing. RBs Aaron Thomas, Bobby Tomas and CJ Morgan form one of the most potent backfields in the state. Top wideout Garrett Lee returns as does all region TE Billy Jenson. OL John May joins Jenson upfront.


No denying that Kizer was the heart and sole of this defense and he will be missed but Cook returns three of his top five tacklers and all region DT Luis Salmon


Their schedule may also be in their favor as the Bulldogs only drew three playoff opponents from last year. I like Goldwater's chances in this region.


Key Losses: LB Miles Kizer, HC Dan Friedman, DL Dan Cavanaugh, DL Alex Lindley


Key Returners: RB Bobby Thomas, OL John May, TE Billy Jenson, DB Aaron Thomas, WR/DB Garrett Lee, DT Luis Salmon, HC Ed Cook


Deer Valley- A week 10 win over Goldwater put DV at 6-4 and got in them in the playoffs. They faced Goldwater in round one and they always say it is tough to beat a team twice in a season and Goldwater prevailed with a one point win to advance.


26 seniors leave including their top offensive weapons QB Tyler Hosler (2600 + passing yards), WR Spencer Albertson (965 yards) and RB Zach Hernandez (731 yards). Jimmy Goad returns at wideout and he should definitely improve on his 666 receiving yards from last year as he will be the go to guy. Bryce Cooper rushed for nearly 500 yards and will probably see a lot more action on O. LB Dante Sellers is the likely QB.


The defense is in much better shape then the offense despite losing LB Hernandez (99 tackles 13.5 sacks). Cooper and CB Alfred Bowden both were all region picks last year and are poised for a great senior year. Sellers returns at OLB/DE and he was impressive yet under-recognized last year after recording 80 tackles and 8 sacks. DE Ron Mallory (6-7 260) has made great strides this off-season and looks to be a force on the offensive and defensive lines.


They play Valley Vista, Kingman, Boulder Creek, Sunrise Mountain and Willow Canyon who combined for 9 total wins but their other five games are against teams who combined for 43 wins. I think DV will compete for this region's title and finish around the .500 mark again.


Key Losses: QB Tyler Hosler, WR Spencer Albertson, RB/LB Zach Hernandez, DL Caleb Livingston, DB Justin Hosler, OL Royce Sumayo, LB Kevin Derosett, OL Scott Kidd, DL Marshall Swerdfeger


Key Returners: WR Jimmy Goad, LB Dante Sellers, DB Alfred Bowden, DB Bryce Cooper, OL/DL Ron Mallory


Willow Canyon- Despite starting the year 0-4, Willow Canyon finished year 4-7. The Wildcats were competitive in every game they played and might have recorded the biggest win in their short history when they beat Millennium near the end of the season.


Their go to guy will be junior RB BJ Scott who should push for all region honors. Cody Taylor returns after rushing for over 300 yards and Justin Weber is solid at both DB and WR.


The move up from 4A will not be easy but over half of their roster returns and with the growth out in Surprise; Willow Canyon could turn into a quality program in the next few years. I don't think they will contend for a region title this year but do not overlook the Wildcats.


Key Losses: DL Alex Nickell, DL Joel Sienkiewicz, WR John Carter, OL Austin Nichols, QB Troy Valdez, LB Oscar Herrara, WR James Pritchett OL Mike Ligouri


Key Returners: DL Justin Jones, LB Daniel Torres, RB BJ Scott


Boulder Creek- Not a lot was expected from BC last year and honestly not much will be expected from them this year. New head coach Dan Friedman did a good job at Goldwater and gets to pretty much mold the program from scratch as former head coach Steve Heideman was not here long.


BC went 2-8 playing some out of state opponents from Vegas and New Mexico. Their two wins came over Cobre from NM and another upstart program Copper Canyon. A one point loss to 2A Maricopa was their closest chance at another win.


Their schedule will not be quite as easy as half of their opponents made the playoffs last year. They play newcomer Valley Vista and that may be their best shot at a win. They return some solid players on defense including LB Kris Sexton (90 + tackles), DL Steve Kallen (60 tackles/4.5 sacks) and DB Chris Russell (49 tackles/3 INTs). On offense junior QB Colin Hulse returns and RB Alyic Rideout will be up from JV where he rushed for 1000 yards.


Obviously with the school being so new, Coach Friedman will have plenty of young talent returning to work with.


Key Losses: RB Devin Contreras, RB Cody Witherrite, WR Tanner Walker, DL Chad Menneke, DB/K Mike Williams, DL Matt Kroll, HC Scott Heideman


Key Returners: QB Colin Hulse, LB Kris Sexton, DB Chris Russell, DL Steve Kallen, HC Dan Friedman


Kingman- Kingman's lone win came in week one versus Carl Hayden. They lost 9 straight and were shutout in 7 of those games. Numbers are thin again and most of their players go both ways. They host Valley Vista and Boulder Creek and those will be their best shots at wins.


Key Losses: DL Joseph Kephart, RB Jesse Ochoa, QB/DB Shaun Farrington


Key Returners: OL/DL Mike Riger, OL/DL Trey Gilleo


Valley Vista- Former Glendale head man Jason Wilke takes over this first year program.



24-7Football.com Preseason All 5A2 Northwest Region Team


QB- Dante Sellers- Deer Valley

RB- Bobby Thomas- Goldwater

RB- Aaron Thomas- Goldwater

WR- Jimmy Goad- Deer Valley

WR- Justin Weber- Willow Canyon

TE- Billy Jenson- Goldwater

OL- Mike Riger- Kingman

OL- John May- Goldwater

OL- Ron Mallory- Deer Valley

OL- Trey Gilleo- Kingman

OL- Gabe Montano- Deer Valley

K- Gabe Navarro- Deer Valley

Return- Aaron Thomas- Goldwater


DL- Justin Jones- Willow Canyon

DL- Luis Salmon- Goldwater

DL- Sean Kennemer- Deer Valley

DL- Steve Kallen- Boulder Creek

LB- Dante Sellers- Deer Valley

LB- Daniel Torres- Willow Canyon

LB- Kris Sexton- Boulder Creek

DB- Alfred Bowden- Deer Valley

DB- Bryce Cooper- Deer Valley

DB- Aaron Thomas- Goldwater

DB- Garrett Lee- Goldwater

P- Alfred Bowden- Deer Valley


Coach of the Year- Ed Cook- Goldwater

Offensive Player of the Year- Jimmy Goad- WR- Deer Valley

Defensive Player of the Year- Alfred Bowden- CB- Deer Valley


5A2 Northwest Region Top 10 Players


1. Jimmy Goad- WR- Deer Valley

2. Alfred Bowden- CB- Deer Valley

3. Dante Sellers- OLB/QB- Deer Valley

4. Aaron Thomas- RB/DB- Goldwater

5. Bryce Cooper- DB- Deer Valley

6. John May- OL- Goldwater

7. Bobby Tomas- RB- Goldwater

8. Ron Mallory- OL/DL- Deer Valley

9. BJ Scott (JR)- RB Willow Canyon

10. Billy Jenson- TE- Goldwater


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