Tempe High will be thin at linebacker for at least the next two weeks after John Bautch and Jesus Bojorquez both went down with injuries.
Bautch, the team’s leading tacker, has a broken hand and had surgery Thursday in an attempt to prevent nerve damage. Bautch, who also plays running back and is tied for the team lead with four touchdowns, is expected to return for the Buffaloes’ Oct. 17 game at Scottsdale Coronado.
Bojorquez, Bautch’s backup, broke his arm this week while playing basketball. There is no timetable yet for his return.
The four players involved in a one-vehicle rollover accident in April will be honored before tonight’s homecoming game against Gilbert Perry.
Brothers Dylan and Luke Beaver, Randy Deal and Parker Skidmore have been named captains, and three of them will be at midfield for the coin flip. The crash took the life of Dylan Beaver, and the other three suffered varying degrees of brain trauma.
Skidmore, who was the team’s top running back last season, is still an active member of the team, kicking extra points. Beaver and Deal are unable to play because of their injuries but have become extensions of the coaching staff. Beaver, a receiver and kicker last year, works with the kickers, and Deal, who was the team’s top lineman, is an extra set of eyes for line coaches during drills.
“We want to remind them that they’re still part of the team,” coach Steve Campbell said.
Rough times get rougher for the Pride, as they’ll be without four starters Friday against Chandler Hamilton.
All players were inflicted during last week’s loss against Scottsdale Horizon. Running back De’andre Currie (612 yards rushing, six touchdowns) is out with a sprained ankle, quarterback Austin Lahr suffered a left hand injury at the end of the first half.
Linebacker Ryan Noble suffered a leg injury during the opening kickoff of the second half, and receiver/defensive back Will Claye is out after being ejected at the end of last week’s game for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Pride will go with Austin Blom, who played the second half last week in place of Lahr.
The Bears lost wideout/defensive back Brennan Reid for the rest of the season due to a broken foot.
Reid was originally injured during the Bears’ loss at Tucson Salpointe in the second game of the season. He had surgery recently to temporarily insert a metal plate into his foot, as he suffered a couple of small bone breaks around his ankle.
The Dons will be without two starters for tonight’s game against Glendale. Two-way lineman Jake Bissett has an ankle injury, while receiver/safety Colton Anderson has an injured knee. Both are expected back next week.
Wolves coach Jim Ewan and several of his players have been battling flulike symptoms this week while the district is on its annual two-week fall break.
“This may be a good time to get more kids involved and allow the kids going through this to get healthy,” Ewan said.
Chandler is set for a 3-hour-plus bus trip to Yuma today to meet Yuma High.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Coronado running back Kaylin Ashley was named the Arizona Cardinals High School Player of the Week after rushing for 285 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in a 41-19 victory over Glendale Raymond Kellis.
Staff writers Les Willsey, Kyle Odegard and Mark Heller contributed to this report.