Seton Catholic Sentinels
Division IV, Section II
Coach: Rex Bowser
Last year’s record: 5-7, lost to Desert Edge in the first round of the 4A-II playoffs
Returning offensive starters: 4, including Adam Englebert, who had 65 catches for 1,004 yards and six touchdowns last season.
Returning defensive starters: 7, including Matt Haggerty, who had 67 tackles and four blocked kicks last season.
Aug. 26 at Fountain Hills; Sept. 2 at Coronado; Sept. 9 vs. Tempe Prep; Sept. 16 at San Tan Foothills; Sept. 23 vs. Maricopa; Sept. 30 at Combs; Oct. 7 at Canyon State; Oct. 14 vs. Valley Christian; Oct. 21 vs. Tempe; Oct. 28 vs. Bourgade Catholic
Aug. 26 at Fountain Hills: Fountain Hills made the 3A semifinals two years ago and the quarterfinals last year. The Falcons are one of the better 3A programs, and it will be interesting to see how Seton fares in this one. It may be a precursor to how the team’s season goes.
Oct. 14 vs. Valley Christian: Seton faces off with another small-school power late in the year. Valley Christian has long been a contender in 2A, but the division realignment has these two neighboring private schools facing off.
After years of sitting on the playoff bubble, Seton Catholic has its sights set higher this season.
The Sentinels have dropped down a division from most of its 4A-II brethren of a season ago, and now will try to be a state championship contender against a new cast of opponents. Seton went 5-7 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs, but had to face off with Williams Field, Notre Dame, Queen Creek and Desert Edge among others throughout the year. Those teams are nowhere to be found this season, as the schedule is much more favorable.
With a slew of teams that have traditionally competed in 2A or 3A, the Sentinels should find out how well they can compete against programs closer to their size.
“We’re still playing good teams,” Seton coach Rex Bowser said. “The difference is, we had 550 kids and we were playing schools with (an enrollment) between 1,300 to 1,900 every week. We could hang around .500, but sometimes we would get overwhelmed by speed and athleticism. We’re still going to be playing against some really good athletes, but there won’t be as many of them.”
Seton will have to replace quarterback Anthony Wallace (3,089 yards passing, 22 TD, 19 INT), and with a team that specializes in throwing the ball a lot, the battle between Ryan Bresnahan and David Gesicki to become the starter will be an important one. The winner will have a reliable target on the outside in Adam Englebert, who had more than 1,000 yards receiving last season.
The Sentinels lose their top four tacklers from a season ago but otherwise have experience returning on defense, and Bowser said the team will have its best secondary since he’s been the team’s coach. Matt Haggerty had a solid sophomore campaign and should be a standout defensively this season and is also expected to contribute at wide receiver.