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Sunday, August 30, 2015


Friday night was the home opener for the Aztecs of Copper Canyon High School.  The stands were jammed packed with students, parent's and supporters of the football team.  This was also a special night for one young man in particular, J.J. Lyons.

Not only was this the home opener for the school, but it was also Lyons first game as an Aztec.  To top it off it was his first game as a senior year.  Lyons was not able to play last week in Tucson and came out this week ready to show his skills off to the rest of the state.

Lyons wanted to impress in his first time wearing a Copper Canyon jersey.  He did just that.  He caught a pass one yard inside the end zone for a two-point conversion.  The catch was after a great route and with two defenders guarding him.  He also scored on a 19 yard deep route where he ran passed two defenders for the touchdown.

Lyons had an all around great game as a receiver and return man.  The most impressive thing to me wasn't his stats,  it was his leadership.  Copper Canyon ended up losing to Sierra Linda 63-38, but if you watched Lyons on field demeanor you would have thought the game was a lot closer.  He kept his head up the entire game and made sure his teammates did also.  He and the team remained optimistic throughout the game.

Copper Canyon started the second half with a freshman at quarterback.  Lyons was seen a number of times talking to him and game planning what they were going to do next.  It helped a lot, despite two interceptions the QB had a pretty good game and looked very comfortable on the field.

Lyons good game despite a loss will help people start to notice how talented this young man is.  He definitely will be playing on Saturdays next season, the question is where?  He already has a number of schools looking at him, one of them being NAU.  If he continues his great play that number is sure to rise during the season.

The Aztecs will try to get their first win next week when they travel to Dysart to take on the Demons next Friday.  Dysart is 1-0 after a victory over Wickenburg.  Copper Canyon is now 0-2.   

Friday, August 28, 2015


                             Check out Abel Navarrette's highlights

This week's edition of The High School Highlight takes us to St. Mary's High School, home of the Knights.  The school is rich with football tradition and is coached by one of it's former players, Marcel Lopez.  Our focus is on 16 year old Abel Navarrette.

The Knights are coming off a 7-4 record last year, which included a playoff berth.  This season the team is currently 1-0 after a 31-14 win over Gilbert in week zero.

One of the guys on last years playoff team who is poised to take his team back to the playoffs is junior Abel Navarrette.  He is a middle linebacker and tight end that plays just about every snap on Friday nights.

 Navarrette is 6'2 235 pounds and wears jersey #5.  He had 105 tackles, 44 solo, 1 sack 1 forced fumble and a fumble recovery as a sophomore.  He also caught 11 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown while on offense.  He wants to lead his team to state championship and one day have his number retired from the school.  He also hopes to attend a university and play college football.

Navarrette has a 3.4 GPA and plans to be a physical trainer when he gets older.  This is a young man that just wants to be a better person and get the most out of life.

Navarrette feels that high school sports isn't just about watching kids play the game.  He knows there is a lot of sweat, time, effort and thinking that goes into sports.  He says it's kind of feels like a job and he likes that because he feels his coaches are preparing him for the real world and he really respects that.

St. Mary's tradition is like no other's.  Navarrette says the Knights pride themselves in tradition.  They are 9 time state champions and he says that's in part of the school, coaches, parents, alumni and of coarse the student body.

Navarrette talked about a quote that has stuck with him ever since his freshman year. "We may not be the biggest, but we have a firm conviction that we can be the best".

He also says it's an honor to wear the green and white of St. Mary's High School.

Navarrette is another prime example of the many very intelligent and hard working young men that play high school football.

Another tradition at St. Mary's is the gold pants.  Anytime the Knights make the playoffs they wear gold pants.  With young men as talented as Navarrette there is no reason they shouldn't be wearing gold again this year.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


I was in Tolleson last night to kick off the 2015 High School Football season.  The Wolverines were playing host to the Poston Butte Broncos. The game ended up being a great one with Tolleson coming from behind to get the victory 34-28.

Tolleson got the ball first and marched down the field to take an early 7-0 lead.  Then Poston Butte began to take control scoring 3 times to take a 20-7 lead into the locker room.

One minute into the third quarter Poston Butte scored again.  They added the two-point conversion to take a commanding 28-7 lead.  The game felt like it was going to be a blowout.  Then Tolleson turned on the switch.

They scored and scored again chipping away at the lead.  Then midway through the fourth quarter they tied the score at 28.  After a fumble recovery they scored the go ahead score with 1:47 to play. Poston Butte had one final chance to get the victory but another fumble would end all hopes of a comeback.

Next Friday Poston Butte goes home to battle Desert Mountain, another team that suffered a heartbreaking loss last night.  Tolleson, now 1-0 plays host to Notre Dame Prep when they take the field next week.

Friday, August 21, 2015


          Check Out Tavian Patrick's Highlights:

Welcome to another year of high school football. With that comes another season of The High School Highlight.  Our first stop is Desert Ridge High School, home of the Jaguars.  They are led by head coach Jeremy Hathcock.  One of coach Hathcock's leader's on the team is senior Wide Receiver and Return Specialist Tavian Patrick.

The Jaguars went 11-2 last season and lost to Brophy Prep in the state playoffs.  Tavian Patrick was a junior on that team and hopes to have an even better year this season.  Patrick is 5'10 170 pounds and wears #3.  He had 328 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.  He also had another 244 yards on returns last season.  His longest being a 99 yard touchdown against Mountain View.

Patrick has high hopes for this season.  He is hopeful that he can make all-state and his team make it to the State Final.  Patrick, also a track star, hopes to qualify for state in track as well.  He knows that if he keeps his focus he can achieve his goals

Patrick also gets it done in the classroom as well.  He boasts a 3.44 GPA and has set a goal to improve it to 3.5 by the time he graduates.  He has also set goals to attend college on a football and track scholarship.  He plans to major in sports medicine while in college.  He has also volunteered to feed the homeless with his mom and sister since he was little.  He also helped hold clothing backpack and water drives for the less fortunate.  He says it helps him realize how blessed he is.

Patrick was inspired by his father, who was drafted out of high school by the Oakland A's.  He is now a coach with the San Diego Padres.  His parent's always thought he would be an athlete, they just expected him to play baseball.  Once he started watching his cousin play football he decided to give it a try.  That's when he new he had a true passion for the game of football.

Patrick says after he completes his final season at the school the thing he will miss most is teammates and coaches.  He says that when you play high school football they truly become family.  Patrick currently has 3 offers to play college football from Air Force, Cornell and Arizona Christian.  He has yet to commit.

One of Patrick's fondest moments in football is his 99 yard kick return that went for a touchdown.  It wasn't because it was a televised game, it was because his grandma got to see his spectacular TD.

Patrick begins his final season of high school football when Desert Ridge host's Liberty next Friday night.  This is the first game for the Jaguars, who have high hopes of winning a State Championship.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


The Arizona Cardinals made a roster move on Monday.  They signed another Johnson, Chris.  He is a running back that used to play with the Jets and the Titans.

Johnson has lost a step but will provide competition for starter Andre Ellington.  The Cardinals need help in the run game and hopefully Johnson can provide that help.

Johnson is a good fit here in Arizona.  With Carson Palmer and that passing attack the ground game only needs to give 80-90 yards a game to be affective. With both Johnson and Ellington the Cardinals may be more of a run threat this season.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals took the field at University of Phoenix Stadium to open up the 2015 Preseason.  They hosted the Kansas City Chiefs and lost 34-19. 

The preseason is judged more on how players perform  more so than the actual score.  The first team offense and defense looked great in their short appearance last night.  One of the bright spots was quarterback Carson Palmer.

Palmer was playing in his first game since his season ending ACL tear last year that eventually ended up costing the Cardinals their season.  He had looked great during camp but came out last night on fire.  As decided before the game he only played one series.  He was 4-4 for 77 yards, and had running back Andre Ellington been 100% he would have had a touchdown pass to add to his stats.

Palmer's stat line was impressive, so was the fact that he led the offense right down the field to score.  But the most impressive thing to me was how comfortable he looked.  Palmer played like the super star quarterback Cardinal fans know he can be. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Earlier today New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith was involved in a locker room altercation with a teammate.  The result was Smith was sucker punched by a teammate over $600.

The teammate, linebacker IK Enemkpali says Smith owes him the money for traveling costs to the Linebackers camp that Smith ended up not attending.  Smith did not go to the camp due to a close friend being killed in a motorcycle accident.

Enemkpali confronted Smith today in the locker room.  Smith was then punched and received a broken jaw.  The injury will require surgery and sideline the QB for 6-10 weeks.  The Jets immediately released the linebacker after coach Todd Boles spoke with both parties involved.

Friday, August 7, 2015


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Thursday night and charged with DUI, hit and run and vandalism.  This is Smith's 3rd DUI since entering the NFL in 2011.

Apparently the 49ers have had enough because they released the linebacker earlier today.

Smith deserves everything that is coming to him. He has been given more than one chance but continues to make bad decisions. I truly believe in second chances but sometimes you need to just cut a guy loose and hope that helps him realize he needs to turn his life around.

For Smith and his families sake I hope he realizes it's time for a change.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Another NFL season is upon us.  As training camps are now in full swing let's take a look at the NFC West.  A division that many feel has the potential to send three teams to the playoffs.

The Favorite: Seattle Seahawks
They are the defending to time NFC champs. This off season they added even more talent. Jimmy Graham promises to be a great addition at the title and position and Russell Wilson is happy with his new contract. With that stellar defense they should at least make the playoffs, if not another trip to the Super Bowl.

The Contender:  Arizona Cardinals
Third-year coach Bruce Arians has everyone buying into his system in Arizona. And they should be, he is coming off to double-digit wins seasons. Last season they made an early exit in the playoffs, but everyone knows that would have been different if quarterback Carson Palmer doesn't get hurt. Palmer is back to 100% and the offensive line looks even stronger with some off season additions. If Palmer can stay healthy don't be surprised to see Arizona in Super Bowl 50.

The Underdog: St. Louis Rams
The Rams are a sleeper team. With new quarterback Nick Foles they should not be taken lightly. They are a team that may be the NFC West 3rd team in the playoffs if they play up to their potential. Or if things go wrong they could be looking for a new head coach. If running back Todd Gurley heals correctly the Rams will be a fun team to watch.

The Intriguing: San Francisco 49ers
With the nasty departure of coach Jim Harbaugh, new coach Jim Tomsula has a lot of rebuilding to do.  There is some talent on the roster and the defensive line definitely got better with the off season acquisition of defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. The truth is the 49ers are two to three years away from making any noise in the very powerful NFC West. Look for this seasons NFC champ to come out of the West, just don't expect it to be the 49ers.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


UFC Women's Bantamweight Champ Rhonda Rousey defended her belt last night against undefeated Bethe Correia. Rousey traveled to Brazil, the hometown of Correia and came back with the victory.  It took her just 34 seconds to end the fight and improve to 12-0.

Rousey has dominated the UFC and has many people thinking she is the best fighter around, male or female.

But how good is Rhonda Rousey?

Yes she is unbeaten but one has to wonder how good is her competition?  If she were a boxer would she be getting this much attention?

Rousey is great and may become the best ever but there isn't a sport where we would say that person is dominant after starting 12-0.  Let Rousey control the sport like she has been for five more years then she can be considered one of the greatest of all time.