Horizon hoping its juniors are precocious - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Horizon hoping its juniors are precocious

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 9:33 pm | Updated: 10:36 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

It’s a conundrum: If a 2-8 football team loses the majority of its starters from the year before, is it a bad thing?

Scottsdale Horizon got beaten up by 5A-I powers Mesa and Phoenix Brophy early last season and never recovered. A surprising 13-9 win over Tempe Marcos de Niza was the only thing that kept the Huskies from finishing winless in the region last season.

The same brutal schedule is back, and the region may be even tougher than last season.

Horizon coach Steve Casey is counting on a stable of youngsters to improve on last year’s results. Only nine seniors who played football last season return to the team.

“Our sophomore class is pretty good,” Casey said. “It gives us a direction we need to go. Last year, we just didn’t make the plays. If we eliminate mistakes at opportune times, we have a chance to compete.”

One senior returner is linebacker/running back J.D. Souder.

He was limited by injuries last season but still led the team with 439 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. He had a team-high 82 tackles on defense.

“He’s going to be the glue,” Casey said.

The cupboard around him is not empty.

Leading receivers Cru Casey and Donaven Anderson are back, and they will also play in the secondary.

Shem Casey was second on the team with 71 tackles and he returns.

The new quarterback will be Ryan Stamford after Kevin Spain transferred to Paradise Valley.

Stamford is young and inexperienced, but so far Casey has been pleased with his progress.

If he can continue saying that about more of his youngsters, they may surprise some people.

“Horizon’s got a really good junior group,” Marcos de Niza coach Roy Lopez said. “Nobody’s overlooking them.”

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Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
1 Nate Defreitas DB/RB 5'9 180 Jr.
2 Matt Jones RB/LB 5'9 180 So.
3 Brandon Holmes DB/RB 5'7 130 So.
4 Colin McLellan QB/DB 6'0 155 Sr.
6 Cody Fraizer DB 5'8 155 So.
7 Cru Casey DB/WR 5'9 180 Sr.
8 Ryan Stanford QB 6'1 160 So.
10 Marko Stankovic PK/WR 6'2 180 Jr.
11 Matt Colucci WR/OLB 5'11 180 So.
12 Tanner Horn QB/DB 5'10 160 So.
14 Josh Velez NT/WR 5'9 165 Jr.
15 J.D. Souder RB/LB 5'11 215 Sr.
20 Shem Casey DB/WR 5'10 155 Jr.
21 Connor Burks DB/RB 5'11 165 Sr.
22 Jonathan Grubb DB/WR 6'2 175 Sr.
23 Jorge Moran DB/WR 5'7 155 Sr.
24 M.C. Nelson DB/WR 6'0 160 Sr.
30 Reese Kanter RB/DB 5'10 165 Jr.
32 Eric Stevens WR/DB 6'0 175 Sr.
33 Chris Alvarez RB/DB 5'8 155 Jr.
34 Chris Ohmart DS/OLB 5'11 160 Jr.
35 Juan Santana DB/WR 5'9 150 Sr.
37 Eric Dachman DB/WR 5'8 145 Sr.
45 Connor Grimes NT/RB 5'8 175 Sr.
48 Chris Campbell OLB 6'0 160 Sr.
50 Sean Mahon LB/OL 6'0 225 Sr.
51 Phil Huibregtse OL/DL 5'10 195 Sr.
52 Brad Evans OL/DL 6'2 185 Sr.
54 Matt McArdle DL/OL 6'0 175 Jr.
55 Bobby Valenza OL/LB 5'9 200 Jr.
56 Robert Beasley OL/DL 6'2 260 Sr.
57 Tim Kutcher DL/OL 5'8 200 Jr.
64 Jon Brownfield OL/DL 5'10 240 Jr.
66 Keith English OL/DL 6'0 200 Jr.
67 Jacob Gibson OL/DL 6'2 245 So.
70 Cody Crozier OL/DL 6'2 200 So.
71 Brandon Beugelink OL/DL 5'11 185 So.
72 Thane Pierce OL/DL 6'1 220 So.
76 Kevin McAtamney OL/DL 5'11 185 Jr.
79 Eric Huntingford OL/DL 6'3 280 Jr.
80 Blaine Fross TE/LB 6'0 180 Jr.
81 Nathan Kohlerman DL/OL 6'0 190 Jr.
82 Donaven Anderson TE/DE 6'3 215 Sr.
83 Seth Jones TE/DE 6'0 180 Sr.
84 David Phipps OLB/WR 5'11 175 Jr.
85 Cameron Riedel WR/DB 5'11 180 Jr.
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