Head coach: Dan Hinds
2006 Record: 7-5
Region: 5A1 Central
Key Losses: RB John Trujillo, K Jordan Litke, QB Mark Lund, DB Avory Battle, OL/DL Steve Lambe, OL Jeff Melrick, RB Mario Abbadessa, WR Brian St. Cyr, DL Tyler McClellan, DL Robbie Peterson, DL Matt McGuire
Key Returners: WR Allante Battle, WR Luke Matthews, DE Devon Kennard, TE Steve Figueroa, DL Zeb Togiai, P Brock Jolly, LB Mike Sadoway, RB Chris Jones, OL Connor Wilson, LB Mason Stanley, DB Cole Pembroke
The Thunder went 7-5 last year and
many have said they have underachieved in recent years. Take this into
consideration; they went 7-5 with 31 of their 52 players being underclassmen.
That means Coach Hinds has a battle tested group capable of doing some big
things. It also means that they return those 31 players that include
division-one talents junior DE Devon Kennard, WR Allante Battle, WR Luke
Matthews and TE Steve Figueroa (ASU commit). Throw in
The Thunder's 7-5 finish included 8 of their 12 opponents making the playoffs (6 of 10 in the regular season), four of those games were decided by 14 points or less, so a couple of breaks here or there could have led to a much better season. Some things DV has is speed and talent, no one will deny that.
Junior Cole Pembroke looks to take over at QB for the departed Mark Lund. Pembroke is big and athletic and was an all region DB last year. Having three D1 receivers and a capable RB in Chris Jones will make the transition much easier for Pembroke.
Junior Connor Wilson will be the anchor of the offensive line as will two-way starter Mike Sadoway. Sadoway has put on 50 pounds since last year and is poised for a breakout season.
The d-line will be solid with Kennard and Togiai to put pressure on opposing QBs and under-rated Mason Stanley will team with Sadoway in the linebacking corps.
I like what the secondary brings
to the table with
are high for Desert Vista. Only time will tell if they can live up to them.