Corona eyeing region title, deep playoff run - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Corona eyeing region title, deep playoff run

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 5:58 pm | Updated: 10:49 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A whole lot went right for Tempe Corona del Sol last season.

The Aztecs won nine consecutive games following an 0-2 start before falling to eventual champion Phoenix Brophy in the playoffs.

They found a quarterback in current junior Chase Cartwright, and J.R. Hamm rushed for more than 1,400 yards. The defense improved immensely in the final six weeks of the season, and they won the Central Region championship.

Almost all of those responsible for the 2007 success return this fall, but it’s the one who doesn’t (Hamm) that could indirectly lead to something better.

In addition to Cartwright (1,300 yards, 10 touchdowns, four interceptions) having a full season under his belt behind center, the Aztecs have speed in the backfield.

Hamm’s height (5-foot-7), strength and shiftiness were his greatest attributes, but with junior Michael Lange and senior Kirby Pellant, 20-yard gains are more likely to become 40 or 50 yards.

Kyle Benson and Evan Althiede are returning bruisers, but now the Aztecs have burners.

“We had great backs but were 20-yard backs,” coach Gary Venturo said. “It’d be nice to go the distance.”

That’s also the goal this season. Better passing and game management from Cartwright, health and experience has the Aztecs eyeing another region championship and deeper playoff run.

Venturo already said this team is further along than last year’s, which reached the state quarterfinals.

Questions remain, particularly with the team’s depth, offensive line and a deep Central Region, but so far there have been more answers than wonder for the first time in a few years.

“If we stay healthy, we’ll be there just like the other teams,” Venturo said. “I like the makeup of our team. They can go a long way.”

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Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
2 Zachary Sitton RB/DB 5-10 180 Sr.
3 Evan Althiede RB/LB 5-10 185 Sr.
4 Jacob Bohr QB/DL 6-1 220 Jr.
5 Grant Walton QB/DB 5-11 180 Sr.
7 Kirby Pellant WR/DB/K 5-9 170 Sr.
9 Billy Johnson WR/DB 6-0 160 Jr.
10 Chase Cartwright QB/DB 6-3 205 Jr.
11 Michael Lange RB/LB 5-11 190 Jr.
13 Brandon Stern WR/DB 6-0 185 Sr.
14 Tony Letoi WR/DB 5-9 160 Jr.
15 Jackson Allen WR/DB/K 6-3 180 Sr.
18 Brendon Tunstall WR/DB 6-0 185 Sr.
20 Kyle Benson RB/LB 6-3 210 Jr.
21 Christopher Owan WR/DB 5-9 150 Jr.
22 Ryan Nolan WR/DB 6-0 190 Sr.
23 David Oney WR/DB 5-9 160 Sr.
24 Austin Crothers WR/DB 5-9 170 Jr.
31 Reilly Sehl RB/LB 5-9 160 Sr.
33 Jordan Parsons WR/DB 5-11 170 Jr.
40 Chris Karp RB/LB 5-10 180 Jr.
41 Josh Hempstead RB/DB 5-9 185 Jr.
42 Derek Maisel RB/LB 5-11 190 Sr.
44 Alan Stitt RB/LB 5-10 185 Jr.
45 Eryan Segan TE/DL 5-10 220 Sr.
50 Tyler Giannonatti OL/LB 6-1 225 Sr.
54 Grant Shidawara OL/DL 5-9 200 Jr.
55 Vince Bonanno OL/DL 6-1 200 Sr.
61 Zeric Butters OL/DL 6-2 200 Sr.
62 Greg Brandon OL/DL 6-0 195 Sr.
63 Max Tapia OL/DL 6-2 215 Jr.
64 Andre Lepe OL/DL 6-0 200 Jr.
70 J.P. Dyament OL/DL 6-3 225 Jr.
71 Ryan Johnson OL/DL 5-10 200 Sr.
72 Carlos Hernandez OL/DL 5-8 230 Sr.
74 Kyle Homewood OL/DL 6-3 235 Jr.
75 Kyle Winstead OL/DL 6-3 200 Jr.
76 Zach Jubie OL/DL 6-3 235 Jr.
77 Todd Peat OL/DL 6-2 270 So.
81 Jake Buntrock WR/DB 6-0 185 Jr.
85 Luke Macchiaroli TE/DL 6-3 225 Sr.
86 Mark Kinney TE/DL 6-1 200 Jr.
87 Austin Malm WR/DB 5-10 185 Sr.
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