Where in the Valley is Gridiron going? - Week 1

Discussion in 'The Gridiron Arizona Forum' started by Gridiron Arizona, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Gridiron Arizona

    Gridiron Arizona Moderator
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    Aug 19, 2015
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    This year marks my 11th season of covering high school football in Arizona (7th on Twitter and 2nd with Arizona Varsity). Each week, I make the trek out to a school in the Metro Phoenix area to watch, tweet, take photos, and report on a game involving 6A or 5A teams.

    To kick things off in 2019, I'll be in Scottsdale as the Chaparral Firebirds play host to the Hamilton Huskies.

    Last year was the first time that I missed seeing Hamilton during the season. It also turned out to be the worst in school history with a 3-7 record and missing the playoffs for the first time (inaugural AIA season was in 1999). This game would mark the first step to show that the Huskies are back and last year was just a blip on the radar. The marquee player for HHS is Brenden Rice, who has created a name for himself (if you know, you know). The 6-3, 210-pound wide receiver has offers from 23 schools, including Michigan, Oregon, Texas A&M, and Arizona State. His QB, Nick Arvay, had 11 TD passes in the 5 games he was allotted after transferring in. This year, he gets a full 10. On the defensive side, the Huskies have Pac-12 commits with LB Jeremiah Trojan (UCLA) and OT Dylan Mayginnes (Washington State).

    This will actually be my first trip to ChapTown since 2015. I did see the Firebirds play on the road each of the past 2 seasons. CHS earns a visit with the duo of QB Jack Miller (2,431 yards & 27 TDs in 8 games) and WR/K Tommy Christakos (1,221 yards & 12 TDs). The seniors will be bound for Ohio State and Cal, respectively, after this year. On defense, Kamdan Hightower is a lockdown corner that has committed to UC Davis. Will he play man up on Rice? We'll have to see. Miller's injury late in the year coincided with a swoon that saw the 'Birds drop from 5-2 to 5-6. So, both teams enter the contest with 4-game losing streaks, which is something very unfamiliar with the programs that have championship pedigrees.

    Last year's game in Chandler was an instant classic with Chaparral converting on 3rd and goal from the 10 with a pass from Miller to Marcus Norvell to snag a 36-33 overtime victory causing the Chaparral players and coaches to rush the field. Will the 2019 game have similar drama? Check back on Saturday morning for a recap from the night.

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