Saguaro High’s spring football showcase brought together three from around the East Valley for a joint practice in front of several college coaches.
The Sabercats hosted three-time defending 6A Conference champion Chandler High and perennial 5A contender Higley High on Thursday, May 9.
More than 75 college coaches attended the showcase, which was highlighted by several athletes rated three stars or higher by 247Sports in their respective positions.
“I thought it went great,” Saguaro coach Jason Mohns said. “I heard good feedback from several of the college coaches. They got to see a lot of action and a lot of players from three of the top programs in the state.
“I’m just trying to create opportunities for all of our kids.”
The event allowed coaches to evaluate some of the state’s top talent in the 2020 class, including Saguaro defensive backs Kelee Ringo and Jacobe Covington, linebacker Damian Sellers and several key offensive weapons in wideout Matt Polk, tackles Jaylan Jeffers and Tye Kassen, athlete Will Shaffer, and running back Israel Benjamin.
Sabercats’ quarterback Tyler Beverett is also among the top recruits in the state for the 2020 class. Rated as a three-star, dual-threat quarterback, Beverett had one power five offer from the University of Indiana heading into the showcase.
He’s had interest from other major division I programs, and has visited several on his list. Though more offers might soon be on his way after a strong showing at the showcase.
“I just like to play my game with confidence and allow my teammates to go make plays,” Beverett said. “I think this showcase just makes everybody better and gives us an opportunity to make it to the next level.”
Beverett took several reps against Saguaro’s top-notch secondary during the showcase, as he routinely does in practice. It can be difficult at times, but he and Mohns believe it has helped his progression over the last two seasons.
“You better learn how to get through your progressions and get the ball out on time and accurately because if you don’t, you’ll leave home feeling sorry for yourself,” Mohns said. “It’s great for him. Our defense gets the best of us sometimes but our offense has progressed really well.
“It creates good competition and it’s good for Tyler to get those reps.”
As a junior, Beverett completed 107 passes for 2,093 yards and 22 touchdowns. He threw just 5 interceptions.
He missed three games due to a sprained knee in the middle of the season, but came back to help lead Saguaro to win 4A state championship game in Tucson over Salpointe Catholic.
The win marked the sixth consecutive state title for Saguaro, and 12th overall.
Winning another state title next season has become more difficult for every team with the installment of the Open Division, which will place the top eight teams from the 6A, 5A and 4A conferences in one playoff bracket. The new format allows for more teams to have a shot at a conference title, while also setting the stage for match ups between the best teams in the state, regardless of conference.
While the road to another title may have become more challenging for Saguaro, the amount of talent the Sabercats have on both sides of the ball quickly puts them into the conversation for a “true” state championship.
“We are going to be good, we are going to be rolling,” Beverett said. “I’m excited for it.”