Salt River rebuilding after playoff run - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Salt River rebuilding after playoff run

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Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 3:22 pm | Updated: 2:39 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

SALT RIVER

Conference/Region: 1A East

2008 record: 5-4, lost in first round of 1A playoffs

Coach: Troy Head, first season, 0-0

Returning offensive starters: 2, including Micah Butler, who rushed for 728 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

Returning defensive starters: 2, including Hosteen Smith, the top returning lineman.

Outlook: Troy Head takes over a Salt River team that had some success last year, finishing above .500, but has to replace all but four starters.

Further hurting the team is the injury to Butler, who ran for 728 yards and seven touchdowns last year but will miss the first six weeks of the season with an injury.

Luis Lopez is moving from tight end to quarterback, a position he has never played before.

Johnny Lerma will fill in for Butler until he returns.

Salt River will attempt to fight for a region title, with its main competition being Superior and Fort Thomas.

Head won a 1A title at Mayer three years ago.

Schedule:

Aug. 28 – at Tanque Verde

Sept. 4 - vs. Valley Lutheran

Sept. 11 - at Clifton

Sept. 18 - vs. Superior

Sept. 25 - at Fort Thomas

Oct. 2 - vs. Duncan

Oct. 9 – vs. Veritas Prep

Oct. 17 - at Cibecue

Key games:

-- Sept. 18 vs. Superior: Salt River has a tall task against a Superior team that is favored to win the 1A East. A win or a good showing would boost confidence.

-- Sept. 25 at Fort Thomas: The second game of a challenging back-to-back. When the dust settles, Salt River will have a good idea of where it stands.

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