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J.T. Nettleton, Sr., WR/DB, Saguaro
It only took one spring practice for coach Jason Mohns to realize he had an impact piece in Nettleton. The two-way standout transferred in from Washington and should play a big role in Saguaro’s title chances. He finished last season with 54 catches for 916 yards and nine touchdowns for Poulsbo North Kitsap High and added 60 tackles and three interceptions on defense. A first-team All-Olympic team selection, Nettleton is another key addition for an already-talented Sabercats squad.
It’s not how you start, right? No, because Rubenzer was terrific as a junior in 2012, but began his much-ballyhooed senior season with three interceptions against Chaparral on opening night. His next 13 games were a 60-to-0 TD-to-INT ratio. He set new state records for career touchdown passes (130), career yardage (9.648) and a national leader in completion percentage (73.7 percent), a Class 4A single-season record with 61 TD passes and tied a record with nine touchdown passes against Goodyear Desert Edge in the semifinals. It’s the kind of stuff which makes the 4,201 yards passing, 1,235 yards rushing, 10 rushing touchdowns and two interceptions on defense seem trivial, as does the Gatorade Player of the Year award he won this week. The easy rebuttal here would be the Cal-commit was a product of coach Jason Mohns’ system, not to mention playing Div. III against uneven competition, having Christian Kirk and J.T. Nettleton, and a big offensive line made life easy. All of which is fine, if those are qualifying remarks ending with “...but that guy can play.”
All-Tribune First Team Offense
It all sounds exhausting: A championship program with completely new starting lineups, followed by a coaching change, followed by injuries to its top talent.