4A2 Skyline Region
Buckeye and Desert Edge both made the playoffs but only Buckeye and Mohave had winning records in this region. Kellis is new to 4A2 and Verrado and Youngker are not fielding varsity squads. Dysart and Mohave are both going through coaching changes. Buckeye is my early favorite to win the region title.
2. Desert Edge
6. Verrado- no varsity
7. Youngker- no varsity
Buckeye- 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."
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.
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
Desert Edge- The Scorpions went 4-7 last year and lost three of those games by a total of nine points, so a winning season was within reach. They did end up making their first ever playoff appearance. They lose some solid offensive and defensive linemen but they have core group of players that could get them above the .500 mark. It all starts up front and big OLs Travis Muller and Matt Baxter return after garnering all region honors. Maurice McInnis and Chad Snider will be asked to step up at RB and QB respectively. Two way star Brandon Ortega was their leading receiver at TE last year and he will be missed.
Replacing the 27 sacks that DEs Marcus Jacobs and Brandon Oretga will be the biggest task on defense. Devin Sauceda will be asked to step up and be a force. All region LB David Berg will be moved to safety and McInnis will also see double duty in the secondary. The kicking game looks solid as both their punter and kicker were all region picks last year.
Coach Felker was pleased with his team's performance in passing league and believe me Desert Edge has some athletes, their track team won the 4A2 state title and they get players from a 6-2 JV team. DE plays five teams that were playoff bound last year and four of those games are in the first half of the season and one of them played in 3A last year (Seton Catholic). If they can make it through the rough patch at the beginning of the year, I think DE could improve on last year's mark and make the playoffs.
Key Losses: OL Nik Freemyer, OL Brad Rach, TE/DE Brandon Ortega, DB Carlos Alcantar, DL Robert Rosales, LB Bryan Payette, DE Marcus Jacobs, RB Tarell Brock, DB Markell Brock
Key Returners: OL Travis Muller, OL Matt Baxter, LB Jeremi Williams, P Jonathan Thornton, LB David Berg, DL Devin Sauceda, K Radek Jana
Mohave- Mohave quietly went 6-5 last year and have good home field advantage against the teams that have to make the long journey north.
The biggest loss is 1000 yard rusher Jeff Camara but they return nearly 25 players from last year's roster including QB Randy McQueen and big OL Dorrian Edwards.
There are plenty of winnable games on their schedule and I think they will be above the .500 mark again.
Key Losses: RB Jeff Camara, OL Dan Osuna, WR/DB Casey Fleming, P Ryan Albers, LB Bobby Diaz, HC Al Melo
Key Returners: OL Dorrian Edwards, LB Cody Adams, LB Jay Mexia, K Matt Boyd, QB Randy Queen, DE Tommy Taylor, LB Nick Padilla, HC Dan Stickel
Kellis- Kellis went 3-7 last year on a partial varsity schedule. They played some 2A and 3A programs and could have easily been .500. They are a young program that has some athletes. They are very competitive in track and will be a sound program in a few years.
DE Kenny Barnes became Kellis'
first ever D1 player when he committed to
Coach Golden has yet to have a senior class thus he returns all of the players from last year's team. The schedule is vastly upgraded this year but I would not be surprised to see Kellis match last year's win total versus this tougher lineup.
Dysart- There are no secrets that Dysart has struggled. They went 1-9 last year and managed a win over Cortez. They were outscored 96 to 416.
Dysart was young last year and a vast majority of their players return but the expectations are low. New head coach Josh Mitchell has his work cut out for him.
Key Losses: QB Ryan Kilgore, WR/DB Brion Hawkins, OL Ryan Esparza, WR Paul Lucero, OL Margarito Gonzalez, HC Abraham Johnson
Key Returners: OL Jimmie Marshall, LB Anthony Tasker, WR Ryan Ward, K Ricky Buell, HC Josh Mitchell
Verrado- Jason Weinman was named their first head coach. They will not play a varsity schedule this year.
Youngker- Jason Stuewe has been picked to lead this team when they open.
Coach of the Year- Bobby Barnes- Buckeye
Offensive Player of the Year- Troy Ganley- QB- Buckeye
Defensive Player of the Year- Tyler Miller- LB- Buckeye
4A2 Skyline Region Top 10 Players
1. Tyler Miller- LB- Buckeye
2. Clint Gladden- DE- Buckeye
3. Coleman McArthur- TE/DE- Buckeye
4. Kenny Barnes- DE- Kellis
6. Troy Ganley- QB- Buckeye
7. Dorrian Edwards- OL- Mohave
8. Kellend Bookover- DT- Buckeye
9. Eddie Allen- DB- Buckeye
10. Mike Sanders- WR- Kellis