5A2 Southern Region
Sunnyside is one of my early favorites to contend for the 5A2 title thus making them my favorite to win the region. Ironwood Ridge and Rincon both move up, joining Mt View in this four team region. All four made the playoffs last year so I think this region could be pretty competitive.
2. Ironwood Ridge
3. Marana Mt. View
Sunnyside- Seven point losses to two very
good teams (Sabino and
Typical of every Sunnyside team, there are not a ton of 6-3 280 pound giants on their team. They play with undersized kids and Coach Sanchez gets them to play their hearts out. I firmly believe that Sunnyside will give virtually any team a great fight week in and week out.
They lose their QB but they have a
stable of capable RBs ready to carry the load. That group is led by senior Jovan Stevenson, who is one of
The biggest holes will be on defense where nine starters depart, making the ability to control the clock with the run game that much more important.
Despite the heavy losses on D, I still pick Sunnyside to win the region and they will be one of my favorites in the 5A2 ranks.
Key Losses: WR Alex Leon, OL Isaac Villa, TE Terrell Lennox, DL Jesus Herrara, DL Rocky Somorano, LB Zac Holmes, LB Pat Medina, DB/P Anthony Aguilar, LB Marques Laverty, DB Robert Rodriguez
Key Returners: RB Jovan Stevenson, OL Hugo Blanco, OL Jorge Mazon, K Jesus Ortiz, RB Manny Aguilar, OL Chris Hart
Ironwood Ridge- Coach Minor and the Nighthawks put together a very good 9-3 season last year. They lose WR Colin Gilbert and his 1,000 yard receiving as well as QB Bobby Farley. RB D'Juan Cherry returns and will be leaned upon to improve on last year's 900 yard rushing until the new QB and WR are broken in.
Their defense looks to be their strength where stud DE Wes Hohman returns and they benefit from the transfer all region DL Ben Swartz from Flowing Wells. Minor thinks that Cherry has D1 skills at corner and LB Jake Fischer will be one of the state's most recruited players in 2009.
The move up to 5A will not be easy but I think Ridge will be solid and they can win some games.
Key Losses: WR Colin Gilbert, WR Brian
Key Returners: DB/RB D'Juan Cherry, LB Jake Fischer, DL Wes Hohman, DL Ben Swartz
Schmidt has some solid players
coming back including QB Ben Johnson and RB Dan Moore.
The Mountain Lions have a pretty tough schedule with five teams making last year's playoffs but they do have some winnable games and I would not be surprised to see them finish above .500.
Key Losses: RB/LB Jared Hiller, OL Matt Simon, OL Josh Brockbank, DL Greg Mauai, LB Jeremy Walrath, DL Travis Gebelle, DB Danny Washburn, DB Michael Clark, WR Josh Morrow, LB Carlos Villasenor, HC Wayne Jones
Key Returners: RB Dan Moore, OL Sterling Nymeyer, LB Kameron Kapferer, QB Ben Johnson, HC Paul Schmidt
Rincon- Rincon was pretty successful last year going 6-6. They move up to 5A this year and lose their head coach. Seventeen lettermen return for new coach Pat Ryden but learning a new system will be the toughest part.
This region looks to be pretty competitive so I think it is no knock against Rincon by picking them at the bottom. They will have some growing pains with the move up and with a new coach.
Key Losses: RB Cody Schaffer, OL Matt Brock, DL Hayden Hall, DB Francis Ravenell, HC Matt Johnson
Key Returners: HC Pat Ryden, OL Nick Ryan, DB Nick Dominguez, QB Tommy Stubbins, LB Jon LePage
Coach of the Year- Richard Sanchez- Sunnyside
Offensive Player of the Year- Jovan Stevenson- RB- Sunnyside
Defensive Player of the Year- Wes Hohman- DE- Ironwood Ridge
5A2 Southern Region Top 10 Players
1. Jovan Stevenson- RB- Sunnyside
2. Wes Hohman- DL- Ironwood Ridge
3. Dan Moore- RB.
4. Jake Fischer (JR)- LB- Ironwood Ridge
5. D'Juan Cherry- RB/DB- Ironwood Ridge
6. Hugo Blanco- OL- Sunnyside
7. Ben Swartz- DL- Ironwood Ridge
8. Nick Ryan- OL/DL- Rincon
9. Ben Johnson- QB- Mt View
10. Manny Aguilar- RB- Sunnyside