Chandler High football coach Jim Ewan is trying to look at the lighter side of things as the Wolves prepare for a rematch Friday with Gilbert in the first round of the 5A Division I state playoffs.
At this point, he has to.
“We may be the fastest team on crutches this week,” Ewan said.
Ewan’s reference is to a number of Chandler’s top skill-position players who are dinged heading into a second meeting in three weeks with Gilbert.
Senior running back/defensive back Bryce Lamb had his knee X-rayed and also had an MRI, both of which came back negative. Sophomore running back Taylor Walstadt, who garnered most of the carries last week with leading rusher Jamil Hines on the shelf, suffered a sprained ankle against Hamilton. Walstadt is questionable, and Hines is also questionable while trying to recover from an Achilles pull. Lamb, Walstadt and Hines all sat our practice Monday.
Wide receiver Markus Wheaton suffered a thigh contusion against Hamilton but was able to practice Monday.
CHANDLER SETON CATHOLIC
After a promising start, Seton Catholic’s second year in 4A-II ended the same way its first one did, with a five-game losing streak.
First-year coach Rex Bowser, though, said all in all, it wasn’t a bad season.
Despite not fielding a junior varsity team last year, the Sentinels improved their record from 2-8 to 5-6, were in playoff contention until the final game and ended up missing the postseason by only 1.5 power points.
Additionally, all six losses were to teams that did qualify for the playoffs, and three of those games were in doubt late. The Sentinels had the lead in the fourth quarter against Queen Creek (before losing 39-35) and in the third quarter against Arcadia (47-35), and were tied heading into the fourth quarter against Tempe (30-16).
“That shows this program isn’t years away, it’s a few plays away,” Bowser said.
PHOENIX DESERT VISTA
Desert Vista is one of the hottest teams in 5A-I entering the playoffs. The fourth-seeded Thunder won their second Central Region title under coach Dan Hinds and had their most regular-season wins since 2003.
How did they do this after losing the state’s best player — defensive end/running back Devon Kennard — early in the season, changing quarterbacks and never having a healthy offensive or defensive line ?
Must have been the halftime speech.
In the final six games of the regular season, the Thunder outscored opponents 92-39 after intermission, including 45-13 in region games.
Chaparral shortstop Jordan Weymouth will sign a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Texas on Wednesday.
Weymouth, a senior who has played center field and second base for the Firebirds, will be a third-year starter this spring, and may see time on the mound or the middle infield.
He hit .390 with 32 runs and 22 RBIs last spring for the 4A-I state champions.
Chaparral running back Dwayne Garrett earned Scottsdale Quarterback Club offensive player of the week honors for the second straight week after rushing for 255 yards and four touchdowns in Friday’s 45-28 win over Cave Creek Cactus Shadows.
Coronado defensive end David Breese earned defensive honors by collecting seven tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in a win over Arcadia.
Tribune writers Matt Paulson, Mark Heller and Kyle Odegard contributed to this story.