4A2 Gila Region Preview

Southern Arizona's lone 4A2 region looks to be a wide open race

4A2 Gila Region Preview

Bottomline

This region was tougher than most people believed last year with five teams making the playoffs. Palo Verde went deep into the playoffs while Santa Rita made it to the championship game. Douglas had a huge upset of Arcadia in the 1st round and Amphi made it to the quarterfinals. 2009 was a banner year for this region but a lot of talent has graduated. I would expect this region to be just as competitive but seems to be down a little in talent in 2010.

Prediction

1. Palo Verde
2. Amphitheater
3. Santa Rita
4. Douglas
5. Sahuarita
6. Cholla
7. Rio Rico

Breakdown

Amphitheater- Outside of Tucson, not many people have respected this program but they have had some solid teams over the years and with the region being wide open, I think they are the sleeper team.

Key Losses: RB Gustavo Gastelum, QB Zach Roth, DB Will Palmer, OL Brandon Kuhn

Key Returners: OL Crispin Chivara, LB Clarence Williams, DB Alfonso Avitia

Catalina- Catalina may have been the surprise team in this region, going 5-5 in the regular season and squeaking into the playoffs. Dual-threat QB Darrian McIver returns after making all-region in 2009.

Key Losses: RB Ray Morales, LB Eddie Hernandez, DB Oliver Sanchez

Key Returners: QB Darrian McIver

Cholla- A nine point win over Rio Rico kept them from going winless. In fact, 2009 was a struggle. They managed to score over 14 points just twice last season and were shut out 3 times. Beating last year's win total would be a success.

Key Losses: P Adrian Escobar

Key Returners: QB Alex Lujan, DB Alex Cerpa

Douglas- This is a team that every once in a while puts together a nice season and 2009 was just that for Douglas, they surprised everyone with a 1st round upset of a quality Arcadia team and finished the year 8-4. They certainly will not sneak up on anybody in 2010. The losses are heavy and matching last year's win total may be tough.

Key Losses: WR Spencer Grijalva, RB Oscar Rios, OL Daniel Ballesteros, DL Jorge Fragoso, DB Joel Bello, DL Morgan Ramirez, DB Hector Grijalva

Key Returners: TE Diego Sanchez, LB Hunter Long, DB Abner Cortez

Palo Verde- PV went 11-2 but I would not say they rolled through their competition; they had four wins that were within 10 points. This team has been the most consistent team in this region and they return super RB Dylan Leahy. I see them as the region front runner despite the loss of nine all-region performers.

Key Losses: OL Ryan Frischella, OL Kyle Blecker, K Osani Igulu, RB Deshawn Hill, OL James Moran, DL Brad Virgen, LB Hassan Cross, DB Cameron Gause, DL Joe Stone,

Key Returners: RB Dylan Leahy

Rio Rico- RR showed improvement in 2009, staying competitive in a few games and getting a win versus Verrado. But they are still a long way from making much noise.

Key Losses:

Key Returners:

Sahuarita- SHS started off the year solid, going 2-2 with a close loss to Catalina Foothills but took a tailspin and averaged just over 7 points a game during a 5 game losing streak. With zero returning all-region players, matching last year's win total (3) would be a success.

Key Losses: OL Chance Kessler, DL Chris Brown, LB Eric Nelson, DB Sam Gelardi

Key Returners:

Santa Rita- SR was the league's worst team before Scurran revitalized the program. He turned them into a legit title contender but unfortunately so are 15 al-region players. I don't think they fall back to the cellar without Scurran but they don't look to be as strong.

Key Losses: QB Ian Garlets, RB Tamarin Jones, WR Greg Jones, OL Jaquari Kountz, OL Reggie Ewesuedo, RB Chris Correa, WR Chris Mulford, OL Jesse Lopez, K Chris Mayer, DL Bryce Gallion, DL Chris Olan, DB Dovonttay Jones, LB Alejandro Escarcega, LB Blake Martinez, HC Jeff Scurran

Key Returners: WR Daniel Dominguez, TE Bryce Dempsey

Coach of the Year- Matt Willard – Palo Verde
Offensive Player of the Year- Dylan Leahy – RB Palo Verde
Defensive Player of the Year- Clarence Williams – LB Amphi

Top 3 Players

1. Dylan Leahy – RB Palo Verde
2. Clarence Williams – LB Amphi
3. Diego Sanchez – TE Douglas


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