Notre Dame’s goal: Repeat state championship - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Notre Dame’s goal: Repeat state championship

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 12:22 pm | Updated: 10:01 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Players at Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep know they will be competing with enormous bull’s-eyes on their jerseys all season.

They wouldn’t want it any other way.

“It’s good for the program,” defensive back and linebacker Andrew Stutz said.

“It makes us work that much harder. Practices have been a lot quicker, and we’ve gotten down to business right away this year. We like the target on our chest.”

It’s a mark that comes with being a defending state champion, but it’s also one opposing teams will find difficult to hit squarely.

With 17 returning starters, seven of which could be playing Division I college football next season, repeating as 4A-II champs is a strong possibility for the Saints.

Unlike last year when it featured a nearly unstoppable offense, Notre Dame will be led this time around by its defense, which returns all but one starter.

“We’re counting on our defense to make things happen for us,” coach Scot Bemis said.

The Saints lost two key offensive players to graduation in Parade All-American quarterback Sean Renfree and receiver Brandon Hirneise, who led the state in receiving yards. Bemis, though, believes his team will be bigger, stronger, faster and better at every position except quarterback.

He said his linemen are 20 to 30 pounds heavier than last year, and that extra weight should produce an abundance of running lanes for speedster Patrick Foley, who rushed for 761 yards as a junior.

The Saints weren’t underdogs very often last season, but being favored to win it all from the start presents a new set of challenges.

“Our kids know what they can do,” Bemis said. “They have to really step it up as far as playing with that target on our chest, expect that everybody is coming after us every single game. They have to find a way to keep that same desire and hunger.”

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Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
11 Will King QB 6-4 200 Jr.
14 Shane Wolfe QB/DB 5-9 175 Sr.
16 Eric Hopkins WR/LB 5-10 165 Sr.
17 Andy Wilder WR/DB/K 6-3 195 Sr.
18 D.J. Dogra RB/DB 5-5 125 Sr.
21 Jordan Geitz RB/LB 5-10 175 Jr.
22 Falabi Solanke RB/DB 5-8 185 Sr.
23 Chris Willie WR/DB 5-11 150 Jr.
28 Andrew Stutz RB/LB 6-0 200 Sr.
29 Kyl Combs RB/LB 6-1 195 So.
30 Anthony Haechler RB,LB 5-6 135 Jr.
32 Dominic Marino WR/DB 5-9 175 Sr.
33 Taylor Malenfant WR/DB 6-1 185 Sr.
34 Colton Mastro RB/DB 5-6 145 Jr.
36 Devon Villareal RB/LB 5-11 210 Jr.
42 Patrick Foley RB/DB 6-0 181 Sr.
44 Ryan Reardon RB/LB 6-1 218 Sr.
45 Anthony Greco RB/LB 6-2 227 Sr.
50 Brian Renfree OL/LB 6-2 195 Jr.
52 Jake Ely OL/LB 5-10 190 Jr.
54 Blair Tushaus OL/DL 6-3 260 Jr.
55 Dan Fischer OL/DL 5-11 210 Jr.
56 Matt O'Connor OL/DL 6-2 210 Sr.
58 Colin Stevens OL/DL 6-0 190 Sr.
59 Kevin Dogra OL/DL 5-10 215 Jr.
60 Buck Read OL/DL 6-1 235 Sr.
62 Zach Romo OL/DL 5-10 185 Jr.
66 Matt Kron OL/DL 6-0 245 Sr.
68 Shane Lannon OL/DL 6-3 195 Sr.
70 Peter Igras OL/DL 6-2 220 So.
72 Tyler Hugus OL/DL 6-2 215 Sr.
73 Eric Tompkins OL/DL 6-0 210 Jr.
75 Jake Schuman OL/DL 5-11 195 Sr.
76 Joey Spangehl OL/DL 6-1 180 Jr.
77 Ian Montague OL/DL 6-2 280 So.
78 Joe Shuba OL/DL 6-0 195 Jr.
81 Joey Verson WR/DB 6-3 175 Jr.
84 Joe Forster WR/DB 6-1 175 Sr.
85 Skyler McCurdy WR/DB 5-8 150 Jr.
88 Sean Morrow TE/LB 6-1 185 Jr.
89 Mayer Krigel TE/LB 6-0 180 Jr.
98 Ben Eckstein OL/DL 6-1 185 Jr.
99 Garrett Riggio TE/DL 6-4 235 Sr.
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