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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dbacks Fire Gibson

On Friday the Dbacks decided to part ways with manager Kirk Gibson.   Many people wondered what Gibson’s fate was after the Dbacks reassigned, or fired depends on how you look at it, then General manager Kevin Towers. He was let go with just three regular season games remaining.  The Dbacks already had a press conference scheduled to introduce their new General Manager, Dave Stewart.  Needless to say the press conference turned out to be more out Gibson than Stewart.

The firing of Gibson makes sense and not because of the way this season has went for the Dbacks.  It makes sense because of the new President of the team, Tony La Rusa.  He wants to bring in his guys, guys he knows and has worked with before.  This was the reason Stewart was named general Manager.  The team’s new manager will most likely be somebody that La Russa knows and can trust and can, manager through.  A lot like Derek Fisher for Phil Jackson.

I don’t disagree with the move, let’s be honest this franchise needs a facelift.  What bothers me is the timing of the whole thing.  How are you going to have such faith in a guy that you plan to hire yet you announce a firing at the same time.  They should have let Gibson coach out the final three games of the season and fired him on Monday.  This would have allowed Stewart to be introduced to the Dback fans in a more positive manner. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Looking Back At Friday Night: 9/26/2014

Today I begin a new column I call "Looking Back At Friday Night".  Each week I let you know how some of the teams did the night before.  Each week I will add a game and if you follow my blog you will understand why.  The teams that I will be covering will all be teams in which one of their plays was profiled on "The Friday Highlight".

The Combs Coyotes had no problem traveling to Chino Valley and picking up another victory.  They beat the Cougars rather easily winning 57-2.  They improve to 4-1 on the season and will face the Colts of Cortez High on Friday night.

Phoenix Christian Prep had an unexpected tough time with the Thunderbird Chiefs falling 48-27.  They lost in a shootout, but don't count them out just yet.  The Cougars fell to 3-2 on the season and will face the Moon Valley Rockets on Friday night.

In a huge game with fellow west side power Centennial the Liberty Lions suffered their first loss off the season.  They lost to the Coyotes in a close one 17-14.  They look to shake off the loss next week when they travel to Glendale to play Raymond S. Kellis.

The St. Mary's Knights fell to the Saint's from Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale 34-7.  The loss puts the Knights season record at 3-2. They will host La Joya Lobos Friday at Phoenix College.  The Knights will have their hands full but are ready to put another W in the win column.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The High School Highlight: Gabe Losada

This week we travel to central Phoenix and visit the Knight's of St. Mary's High School.  Here we find a team in division 2 that is 3-1 on the season.  The Knight's face Notre Dame Prep tonight in a game that promises to be very entertaining.  The Knight's are quarterbacked by senior Gabe Losada.  He has been the starter since his sophomore season and is a proven leader for the Knights.  He threw for 3,448 yards and 42 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions as a junior.  He even had 9 touchdowns in one game.  In case you're wondering the team he touched for 9 TD's was Camelback.  This year he is off to another great start.  He already has 1129 yards and 7 touchdowns.  He is on pace to add another 2,800 yards to his career total. 

Losada is not only just a leader on the field, but in the classroom as well.  He holds a 3.75 GPA and has a goal of going to college and playing football.  He says he would love to have football pay for his education.  When not playing football he enjoys hanging out with friends and family.  He says it's hard to balance school, football and a social life but is up for the task. 

He started playing football because of his family.  He has grown up around the game and loves to play football.  His goal for this season, for St. Mary's to win their section and be able to wear the coveted gold pants while making noise in the state playoffs. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with St. Mary's it's a school rich with tradition.  It's probably the best high school in the state when it comes to tradition.  Losada says "it's unlike anything you've ever seen".  From the gold pants the team wears in the playoffs to pregame prayer at the historic St. Mary's Archway.  Every Friday the stands at Phoenix College's Hoy Field are pack with green and white.  After each score the cheerleaders throw out mini footballs and the student section is always ready to support their Knights.  The tradition at St. Mary's is truly indescribable.

Losada helps carry on that tradition.  He is a remarkable young man that one will make a difference in this world.  He is only 17 yet seems to be wise beyond his years.  He is a very respectful young man and I am honored to show you a piece of his life.   

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ASU vs. UCLA Preview

Later today the undefeated Arizona State Sun Devils host the 3-0 Bruins of UCLA.  This is a huge game for both teams because the last few years the winner of this game went on the win the Pac 12 South and played for a conference title.  This game is being called a "blackout", which means fans will be wearing black in support of the hometown sun Devils.

ASU will be without starting quarterback Taylor Kelly due to a foot injury.  Fans are hoping that Mike Bercovici can lead the Sun Devils to victory in a backup role just like Drew Stanton has done for the Arizona Cardinals.  In fact Bercovici even received a text from Stanton giving his support and wishing him well.  The Sun Devils will rely heavily on its talented tailback D.J. Foster.  If Foster can have the big game he is capable of ASU will have no problem picking up this victory.  Defensively they will have their hands full of quarterback Brett Hundley is on the field.  The Bruin's have a very talented team that many feel can make a run at the Pac 12 title, but they haven't played that way all year long.  They have struggled in each of their first 3 games.  If they struggle early tonight in Tempe look for the Sun Devil's to take advantage and come away with the victory.

Prediction: ASU 21, UCLA 20

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

No Quarterback Controversy

The Arizona Cardinals are 3-0 and off to a great start to the 2014 season.  They have done so with great quarterback play by both starter Carson Palmer and backup Drew Stanton.  Palmer started the first game of the season on a Monday Night against the San Diego Chargers.  He had a great game throwing for 304 yards and two touchdowns.  His most impressive stat was his 29 yards rushing.  Palmer later joked that he hadn't run for that many yards since high school.  He kept plays and drives a live with his feet and was able to lead the Cardinals to victory.

A few hours before their week 2 game against the New York Giants it was announced that Carson Palmer and hurt his shoulder and would not be playing in the game.  There was no need to worry because Drew Stanton stepped and led his team to victory.  While he wasn't magical but he did what a backup was supposed to do, manage the game well and give your team the opportunity to win the game.  He threw for just 166 yards but threw two very important TD's that helped the Cardinals to a victory.  With Palmer still out he started again against the 49ers and continued where he left off.  This time throwing for 244 yards and adding 2 more touchdowns to his season total.  His best stat is his 0 interceptions in 2 games as the starter.

With the way the quarterbacks have played since future Hall Of Famer retired Stanton's play would definitely be a cause for a quarterback controversy.  But the Arizona Cardinals are different now a days.  They have a new General Manager and a new Coach that won't allow this to become a distraction for the tea.  They are sticking with Carson Palmer as the starter.  When he is ready to play he will get the start.  What makes this easier for fans to except is the Cardinals are winning games the old Cardinals wouldn't have.  Their high caliber offense and great playing calling is allowing the team to avoid any controversy that may arise of the quarterback situation.  The Cardinals have a problem that most teams would love to have.  Two quarterbacks that can take them to the playoffs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Domination In The Desert

It's a great time to be a football fan in Arizona.  The Cardinals, Sun Devils, and the Wildcats are all undefeated!  I know it's still early but they are all a combined 10-0.  The reality is that the undefeated streak the three of our state teams are in will probably end soon.  The next three teams that the Arizona teams will face are UCLA, Oregon, and the Denver Broncos.

 The Arizona Cardinals came up with a big win Sunday against division foes the San Francisco 49ers.  The Cardinals used a team effort to remain undefeated.  For the first time since the Super Bowl team the offense is carrying the team.  They are averaging 22 points a game behind great quarterback play from Drew Stanton and Carson Palmer.  This is really helping the team while they try to get healthier on defense.


The Arizona Wildcat's also came up with a huge win this weekend and they did it in dramatic fashion.  They beat the California Golden Bears 49-45 on a last second Hail Mary pass.  Anu Solomon found Austin Hill for 49 yards and the go ahead touchdown as time expired.  The win gave the Wildcat's a perfect 4-0 record.  The Wildcat's haven't had the toughed a schedules but have won the games they should have and even one they shouldn't have.  If they want to stay unbeaten they have a tough road ahead of them and it starts in Oregon.  They play the Ducks on October 2 after a bye this week.

Now let's talk Arizona State, a team that had high expectations coming into this season and so far has lived up to those expectations.  The Sun Devils are currently 3-0 and face a tough challenge Thursday night.  Not only do they face one of the best teams in the Pac 12, but they also will be without star quarterback Taylor Kelly.  Kelly injured his right foot in the win over Colorado.  He is expected to miss 1-2 games.  ASU has a high-powered offense and hopefully will remain so without their starting QB.  Like the U of A, ASU has tough road ahead of them also and likely will not remain unbeaten for long.

All three of the Arizona teams may not finish the season unbeaten, but all will be very competitive.  ASU and U of A will likely end up in bowl games and the Cardinals will make the playoffs if they continue to play the way they have been.  All three have represented the state well.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Cardinals Improve to 3-0

On Sunday the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-14 to improve to 3-0.  The 49ers had the Cardinals on the ropes early and led 14-6 at halftime.  The third quarter was good to the Cardinals and so was quarterback Drew Stanton.  In his second consecutive start for starter Carson Palmer he was outstanding and led the Cardinals to victory.  Stanton was 18-33 for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Andre Ellington added 62 yards on the ground with 18 carries.  Michael Floyd led the receivers with 114 yards while John Brown caught both touchdown passes.

There were a lot of great things to come out of this game.  The Cardinals seemed to have gotten over their recent 49er woes.  The offense continues to be consistent and proved they can score with anybody in the league.  Another take away from this game is Kicker Chandler Catanzaro.  He is a perfect 9-9 on field goals, including a 51 yarder.  Another great thing to take away from this victory is Larry Fitzgerald.  Despite being seldomly used he proved to Cardinal Nation how important he really is.  On second and very long he caught back to back passes that gave the Cardinals a first down and put them in position to score.  The bad part is he fumbled on the next play and that’s all anybody will be talking about today.

The best thing to take away from this game is that now the Arizona Cardinals are undefeated through 3 games.  They join the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles as the only unbeaten teams in the NFL.  The Cardinals now have a bye week and are looking at 4 out of the next 5 games being very winnable.  The only tough game is the Denver Broncos, but with the way the offense is rolling is winnable.  I would love to see how much respect the Cardinals get nationally if at week 9 they are 8-0 atop the entire NFC and maybe even the NFL.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What Is A Rivalry?

If you are a sports fan then you know what a rivalry is, or do you?  Most people in Arizona would say the Arizona Cardinals and the San Fransisco 49ers are rivals.  Well Head coach Bruce Arians disagrees with them.  He says they are not rivals because the 49ers are dominating the series as of late, winning 9 of the last 10 meetings.    This made me wander.  What is a rivalry?

When you think rivalry many teams come to mind both locally and nationally.  Chandler vs. Hamilton, ASU vs. U of A, and Redskins vs. Cowboys are just a few and many more can be named.  But what makes these teams rivals?  Some are geographical, more so in high school and college.  Some are because teams are in the same division and play each other so often.  But when you get to the pros Arians is right.  You can't have a rivalry if one team is dominating the other.  This is why games such as the Steelers and the Browns don't mean as much as they once did.

So the reality is nowadays, in the pros, rivalry's don't exist.  We may think they do but they don't and one of the reasons is the players.  Using the NFL, for example, players don't typically stay on the same team.  It's hard for a player to really put himself into a rivalry when he used to play for that team or with some of its players.  Not having rivalries is damaging the NFL.  If every team played the same team in there division every year on the last game it would start rivalries because they will more likely have playoffs on the line.  So please bring back the rivalries.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Friday Highlight: Aaron Joseph

This week we travel to Peoria, where we will find 16 year old Aaron Joseph.  At 6'1 215 lbs. the outside linebacker is a senior at Liberty High School.  He and the Lions are currently unbeaten at 4-0 and play Apollo High tonight.  He has emerged as one of the leaders on defense with 27 tackles and 1 forced fumble.  He also has 8 solo tackles.  Joseph wears number 44 and the way he is playing he will have that many tackles in the next 2 games.

Joseph has played football since eight grade and until this year has always been a lineman.  When He is on the field he has a mindset that nothing can stop him from doing his job and making the play.  This had made the transition from line to linebacker easier for him.  Off the field he is a completely different person.  He can't seem to get mad about anything, he is always in a good mood.  He enjoys going to the gym and hanging out with friend's watching football.  He feels than in order to play football in high school it takes lots of determination, commitment and trust. 

Joseph first stared playing football because his father wanted him to, but after the first snap he was hooked.  The love he has for the game is unmatched by anything he has ever felt.  He also loves playing the game because of the bond that has been created between him and his teammates, which continues to grow each year he plays.  In the classroom he is a great student.  He has all A's and B's so far this year.  He plans on going to college and playing in the NFL.  If that doesn't work out he plans to become a marine biologist.

Joseph loves being a Lion and takes pride in calling himself a member of the Liberty High School football team.  he loves the many traditions the team has.  A few of those traditions are reading there quote before each game, answering the bells when they have a home game and running out onto the field with The school flag and hammer before every game.  They even run a Gasser for every loss.  Now that's what I call tradition. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Cardinals Got It Right

All everyone is talking about this week in the NFL is domestic violence and not football.  The talk has become even more intense here in Arizona since the news of running back Jonathan Dwyer being arrested for domestic violence yesterday.  More details have emerged that don't paint a pretty picture of Dwyer.  This now put the Arizona Cardinals at the center of the NFL's domestic violence issue.  It left everyone wandering how the Cardinals would respond.

The Arizona Cardinals responded quickly, deactivating Jonathan Dwyer within hours of his arrest.  This morning they placed Dwyer on the non-football injury list.  According to head coach Bruce Arians, who held a special media session which is normally held by coordinators on Thursdays, Dwyer will not be apart of the team until he is completely exonerated.  The list the Cardinals put Dwyer on gives them the option to decide not to pay him.  For now the Cardinals will still pay him, but its nice to have the option available.

The Cardinals sent a message to the rest of the NFL in dealing with this case.  The message "We are not going to put up with domestic violence".  They sent this message by reacting so quickly after the arrest.  They also released another running back, Chris Rainey, who has a history of domestic violence.  The ironic part of that story is when Arians was decided whether or not to sign him a few weeks ago to the practice squad it was Jonathan Dwyer who put in a good word for him.  By cutting Rainey the Cardinals let it be known that they are not going to stand for any domestic violence by it's team members.  Perhaps they should have a few words with commissioner Goodell.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More To Talk About In The NFL

About 2:00 PM Arizona time there came more news from the NFL.  Yes you guessed it, another player was arrested for domestic violence.  For the second time this year it happened to the Arizona Cardinals.  Jonathan Dwyer, a running back, is being questioned by Phoenix Police regarding allegations that he beat his.  Early reports are saying that he broke his wife's nose during an argument they had.  The report also says that the incident occurred "awhile" ago and Dwyer's wife saved the reports of her injuries.

The arrest was confirmed by multiple sources.  Most people are probably wondering why she waited and is now coming out with the abuse.  The other question is what are the Arizona Cardinals going to do and how long will it take them to address the situation?  I expect the cardinals to cut Jonathan Dwyer.  If this happens and Andre Ellington's foot doesn't hold up it could get real interesting for the Cardinals who are already thin at the running back position.

Regardless of how the matter ends up in the court system the fact is Jonathan Dwyer hit his wife and needs to be dismissed from the Arizona Cardinals. The fact that this is the second Cardinal to be involved in domestic violence in the last year is more reason to set a president here in Arizona.  Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim have the opportunity to tell the rest of the NFL "We are not going to stand for domestic violence in Arizona".

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let's Just Play Football

We are in week three of the regular season and the big talk surrounding the NFL doesn't have anything to do with the actual game.  When people talk football nowadays they commonly use the names Rice, Goodell, Gordon, Sam and now Peterson.  We are not talking about the great plays made on the field, instead we are talking about what these guys are doing off the field.

These players are all involved in topics that need to be discussed, but with the exception of Michael Sam, they don't deserve all this attention that they are getting.  The media needs to just move on and worry about football.  We as fans deserve to see highlights when we turn on Sports Center or the local sports channel, not another press conference about a guy saying he's sorry and won't do it again.  Let's be real he'll probably do it again anyway.  So on behalf of the average NFL fan I say "Let's just play football".

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Friday Highlight: J.J. Lyons

This week we travel to Central Phoenix, home of the Phoenix Christian Prep Cougars.  Not only did they add "prep" to their name this offseason, they also added a new head coach, Stefan Demos as well.  Demos has the Cougars off to a 2-0 start as they prepare to face Higley High School later today.  The additions have already made a big difference.  Last year the Cougars got another addition that has made a great impact on team when J.J. Lyons moved in from Louisiana.

J.J. Lyons is now a junior and already has 12 catches for 163 yards and 1 TD in his first two games for the undefeated Cougars.  The 5'8 165 pound 17 year old does it all for the Cougars.  He plays Wide Receiver, Running Back, Defensive Back and he returns punts and kicks.  He plays all 48 minutes of the game on a typical Friday Night.

J.J. carries a 2.7 GPA and has dual enrollment at Grand Canyon University where he is taking Advanced Placement classes.  He plans to become a Certified Physical Therapist and own a private outpatient rehabilitation practice.   He also has a goal of obtaining a college athletic scholarship in football, track, basketball, or golf.

He also has goals for his team.  He wants to win a state championship.  Under a first year coach that normally would sound like a reach, but with the talent they have it is very possible.  The Cougars play in division III after moving up from division V two years ago.

J.J. was inspired by his grandfather, John H. Lyons Sr., who would also tell him stories about when he played wide receiver.  He was also inspired by seeing his grandfather’s accomplishment when he played.

He is a game changer and wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line.  He has an eye for the football and it shows with his stats thus far this early in the season.  He also knows that in order to be successful he needs to take it one play at a time.  He works as hard in the classroom as he does on the field.  He is a very respectful young man who works hard every day to be the best man he can be.

When asked to tell me something about high school sports that people may not know he said “Being a student athlete is not only fun but a vital thing to do in life, it teaches you honor, respect, loyalty and family.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's Wrong With Thursday Night Football

So it's Thursday night, time for some football.  A few years ago the NFL stared having a game on Thursday nights in hopes to boost ratings.  This is the first season you can see the games on local T.V.  You can watch the games on CBS.  Like most players I don't like the NFL being on Thursday night.  I could give you many reasons, such as I work Friday and don't want to go to a sports bar to see it and be tired at work on Friday.  I could also tell you that it's because NFL seems to be more about making money than making fans.  But the real truth is this, I would rather watch high school football.
For those of you who don't know Cox Cable channel 7 shows a game every Thursday Night.  They call it the Game of the week and for the most part every game is a close exciting game.  High School football has become a very popular sport in Arizona and Cox has done a great job making it available to the public.  To me it is more exciting to see a kid playing high school football on T.V. for the first time, then an overpaid athlete that doesn't want to play on Thursday anyways.     

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Roger, Over And Out!

The big news from the sports world today comes to us from the NFL.  Police officials say that the NFL was given a tape of Ray Rice back in April.  In the tape Rice is seen cold cocking his now wife during an argument.  Rice punched his wife so hard that maybe he should be fighting Floyd Mayweather this Saturday.  Rice was suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell for two games after a first tape was released of Rice dragging the woman out of the elevator.  The second tape, or the knockout tape as I like to call it, came out a few days ago.  Goodell was on CBS just last night defending the NFL.  He says that he nor anyone else in the NFL never saw the tape until it was released by TMZ earlier this week. 
Today the news came out that the NFL was given a DVD copy back in April. A law enforcement official said the tape was sent in April and that there is a voicemail coming from a phone number in the NFL's offices with a woman's voice.  The Voice is heard thanking police for the tape and saying something to the effect of  "your right this is horrible".
In light of the news we heard earlier today regarding this situation Roger Goodell should be removed immediately.  He handled this situation wrong from day 1.  He even tried to save face by implementing a tough domestic violence policy that seems to be too little too late.  The fact of the matter is this no man should never put his hands on a woman out of anger, and it certainly should not be covered up by the boss.  I realize Ray Rice is in the wrong and there should be more focus on him.  We also need to hold the people accountable that can do something to help fix the problem.  I know Roger Goodell has said he will not resign so I hope the NFL decides to remove him as commissioner.  So to you MR. Commissioner I say "Roger, Over and out!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Carson Palmer: The Real Deal!

On Monday the Arizona Cardinals pulled off an impressive win over the visiting San Diego Chargers on the national stage of Monday Night Football.. There was great play on both sides of the ball, but what was the most impressive?  To me hands down it was quarterback Carson Palmer.  He looked spectacular the last nine games of last season and looked just as good in the preseason.  With all the hype over Andre Ellington and the speedy receiver corps. Palmer has been a bit overlooked coming into the 2014 regular season.
Palmer's performance was just short of amazing.  It wasn't his 24 of 31 passing, or his 304 yards passing with no interceptions that was impressive.  It wasn't even his two touchdown passes, including a game winner.  It was his feet.  Yes I actually said Carson Palmer's feet were the main reason for his great performance on Monday Night Football.  Carson Palmer is a pocket passer and when he does have to scramble he usually throws the ball away.  That wasn't the case Monday.  He escaped the grasp of the great Dwight Freeney on two consecutive plays.  He actually made Freeney look bad, which is really hard to do.  Palmer's ability to gain yardage when he scrambled allowed him to not only extend plays, but also drives with his feet.  Palmer's football smarts is probally his best characteristic, he uses his brains where most quaterback's use there talent.  Palmer started the season slow last year.  Unlike last year Palmer isn't learning a new system and from new coaches.  The fact that he has some experience in this offense should be enough to keep defenses worried about what he can do to them.  If Palmer continues to play the way he did on Monday the sky is the limit for the Arizona Cardinals.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

D-Backs Fire Kevin Towers

Yesterday in a move everybody saw coming the Arizona D-Backs fired General Manager Kevin Towers.  The surprising thing was the way the situation was handled.  Towers was told he was being let go as GM, but was offered a position in the organization.  Towers  told the D-Backs that he wanted to wait until the new GM is hired before he decided if he was going to stay or not.
Here's where I have a problem with this story.  It's obvious that the D-Backs weren't happy with Towers as GM.  I get wanting to demote the guy, but don't tell him "your fired, well you can stay if you want" it sends a message that your organization cannot make decision.  I say move on.  Towers wants to wait and see who the next GM will be, but lets be  honest it doesn't really matter who it is.  Tony LaRussa is going to be the next General Manager for the Arizona D-Backs, even if he hires someone else for the position.  Either way this whole GM situation puts the D-Backs farther apart from their division counterpart in Los Angeles.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Friday Highlight: Skylar Johnson

Our First edition of The Friday Highlight takes us to the San Tan Valley.  There you will find a school called Combs High school.  The Comb’s Coyotes traveled to Globe last week and won 17 – 0.  The thing that impressed me the most wasn’t the score.  It was 15 year old Skylar Johnson reaching out to me and letting me know that his team had won their season opener.  He didn’t mention that it was his first varsity football game.  He didn’t even mention his stats.  I was overly impressed so much that I decided to look a little closer at the quarterback from Combs High School.  I was even more impressed to find out that he is an active member of the LDS Church and holds a 2.8 GPA.     When asked about his long term goals Johnson said he will improve his GPA and attend college where he hopes to be able to continue his athletic career.  Johnson also has a short term goal.  It’s to become the starting quarterback for the varsity team.  Johnson split reps last week at QB and had a solid outing.  With his families support Johnson keeps working harder and harder each day to be the best QB he can be for his team.   Johnson has played Pop Warner and was on both the freshman and JV teams last year.  Johnson is a prime example of a student athlete.  He gives a 100% on and off the field.  “The brotherhood of a football team is almost as import than the sport itself” said Johnson.  Johnson is an impressive young man who you will hear good things about in the future.  He seems to be a very humble athlete who is waiting to hear the public address announcer at Combs High say “And now the starting quaterback for your Combs Coyotes #5 Skylar Johnson”. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Here Comes The Friday Highlight

Starting tomorrow I will be doing a weekly segment on high school football players.  I am calling it The Friday Highlight.  This column will highlight a different high school football player each week.  My goal is to show the diversity within the Arizona high school football community, so please nominate anyone you want to whether they are a starter, superstar or are just on the team.  Nominations can be sent, along with a bio of the athlete, including a pic to  I appreciate all the feedback and hope this column opens up your eyes to the great student athletes we have here in the state of Arizona, on and off the field.