Desert Ridge stronger, better able to run - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Desert Ridge stronger, better able to run

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 10:53 am | Updated: 10:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Friday night flight could be coming to an end.

In his first two seasons as coach at Mesa Desert Ridge, Jeremy Hathcock’s offensive game plan was to pass, pass and pass some more.

But it’s not like he had a choice. A lack of strength on the offensive line rendered a running game moot and forced the quarterback to get rid of the ball in a hurry for fear of being trampled.

“When I got here, our strongest player could bench press 185 pounds 10 times,” Hathcock said. “Now I’ve got wide receivers doing that.”

Last season, the running game consisted of screen passes to get skill players in space. This year, with three offensive linemen returning, it’ll be the more conventional route between the tackles.

Hathcock expects teams to game-plan for the pass, and he’s still going to use an aerial attack more than most high schools. But defenses beware.

“If they want to go crazy with it, keep six people in the box, then we’ll sneak up on people with the run,” Hathcock said.

While the offense has never had trouble putting up points, it’s how the defense fares that will make or break Desert Ridge’s season.

Last season’s pass-heavy offense lengthened games and could have led to inflated point totals for opponents, but Hathcock refuses to use that as a crutch.

“I’m not going to lie,” he said. “We were soft. People put it on us.”

This season, Hathcock expects a faster, stronger and, most importantly, better defense. It will be led by defensive back Chris Jamison and linebacker Prosper Chukwu.

They’ll be tested plenty, with nonregion games against Peoria Centennial and Mesa Red Mountain before Pima Region action.

Hathcock doesn’t know how it will end up. But he knows his kids are ready.

“We’ve got a countdown clock to Centennial and everything,” he said. “They’re champing at the bit to get after it.”

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Roster

No. Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Pos.
2 Brandon Mapalo 12 6-0 160 WR
3 Chris Heldore 12 5-10 175 RB/DB/WR
4 Javier Sanchez 12 5-10 175 DB/RB
5 Wes Dauz 12 5-10 145 WR
6 Iren Bordez 12 6-2 170 WR
7 Dak Gift 11 5-10 185 LB
8 Kevin Pantastico 11 6-1 175 QB
9 Chris Jaimison 12 5-8 165 DB/RB/WR
10 Alex Gonzalez 11 5-10 145 DB
11 Paris Clark 10 6-3 190 WR
12 Jordan Banas 10     QB
13 Jake Nikolous 10      
14 Dustin Childs 11 5-10 145 DB
16 Marcos Rodriguez 12 5-10 180 LB
18 Blake Weber 12 6-0 170 DB
20 Ryan Hathcock 10      
21 Chris Doane 12 5-10 160 WR
22 Zach Finch 11 6-0 150 DB/WR
23 Sam Papa 10 6-4 190 LB/WR
24 Tyler Chatwin 11 6-3 180 K
27 Zach Grace 12     K
30 Buck Deleon 11 5-6 150 RB/WR
32 Chris Ortega 12 5-10 175 LB
33 Tyler Gelardi 12 5-10 165 DB
34 Seam Hyslope 10     DB
35 Justin Gray 12 5-8 200 LB
36 Nathan Burch 10      
41 Abel Leucero 12 5-11 155 DB
42 Jordan Leper 10     LB
44 Tom Lawson 10 6-1 190 LB/RB
45 Tanner Nikolous 12 5-11 190 LB
51 Richard Belles 11 5-11 210 OL/DL
52 Kolby Ashby 11 5-11 180 LB
53 Kevin Ashak 12 6-2 265 OL/DL
54 Jared Weverstadt 11 6-2 250 OL
55 Cameron Brooks 12 6-0   OL
56 Zach Judd 11 5-10 180 OL
57 Trey Jacques 11 6-0 190 DL
63 Jose Peralta 12 6-3 280 OL/DL
67 Ian Carrol 12 6-0 230 OL
72 Kameron Preston 11     DL
73 Philip Jewel 12 6-0 175 DL
77 Prosper Chukwu 12 5-10 210 DL
78 CJ Ottaviani 12 6-2 190 DL
83 Justin Ressa 11 5-8 170 WR
85 Sam Treat 12 6-5 190 DB
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