Desert Mountain 'cautiously optimistic’ - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Desert Mountain 'cautiously optimistic’

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 6:05 pm | Updated: 11:26 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

One at a time, steps are being taken.

Some are small (52 kids on varsity, 21 returning letterwinners, a 5-1 record in summer passing leagues, a TV game on Oct. 16).

Some are big (a new $1.25 million all-purpose weight room and locker room).

And with the need for more, some have yet to come at Scottsdale Desert Mountain. Most notably the first region victory since 2000 and first playoff appearance in 11 years.

It could happen. Under Tony Tabor, the Wolves went from three to four wins in his first two years, and it could have been more if not for injuries.

“We were out there playing with sophomores, and that experience was invaluable,” Tabor said. “It really was.”

For now, “cautiously optimistic” is the phrase of choice at Desert Mountain. Nearly 20 of the team’s seniors have been in the program for all three of Tabor’s seasons, and new offensive coordinator Greg Davis is implementing more offensive sets in hopes of being less predictable, which often put the defense in compromising positions.

Junior Kevin Radcliffe is at the helm under center after playing six games last season when starter Cory Campbell was injured. Rheshaun Lyn and Jordan Fox will be key playmakers on offense, while Neusha Vakili, Kyle Tokasey and Dekota D’Angelo anchor the defense.

“It’s a lot, but they’re catching on,” Tabor said.

The same can be said for the idea of winning.

Playoffs? At Desert Mountain?

The schedule doesn’t help that once-unthinkable aspiration, but November practices are no longer an incredulous thought.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” Tabor said. “We’ll get wins from power points, so we have to beat somebody good if we want to be good. We have to find a way to beat two or three good teams. If we can stay healthy and keep our heads together through the adversity we have a chance.”

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Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
3 Jonnie Merrill RB/DB 5-4 130 Sr.
5 Anthony Ippolito WR/DB 5-10 160 Sr.
7 Jordan Fox WR/DB 6-1 182 Sr.
9 John Owens QB/LB 6-0 180 Jr.
10 Kevin Radcliffe QB/DB 6-0 180 Jr.
11 Dekota D’Angelo WR/DB 6-0 180 Jr.
12 Greg Leight WR/DB 5-7 155 Jr.
14 Jason Phillips K 6-4 170 So.
16 Mike Larue WR/DB 6-0 180 Jr.
18 Matt Morales WR/LB 6-1 175 Jr.
19 Nick Turner WR/DB 5-10 155 Jr.
20 Nick Anthony TE/LB 6-1 185 Jr.
21 Matt Delvalle RB/DB 5-10 180 Jr.
22 Lance Harper RB/LB 6-2 195 Sr.
23 Kyle Tokasey WR/DB 6-0 165 Jr.
24 Alec Schoenberger WR/DB 6-4 180 Jr.
27 Tim Auer RB/LB 5-11 165 Sr.
28 Aron Russell RB/DB 5-9 165 Sr.
30 Kyle Fritz WR/DB 6-3 170 Sr.
31 Charles Schroeder RB/DB 5-8 180 Sr.
32 Mike Janikis WR/DB 5-11 180 Jr.
33 Neusha Vakili RB/LB 5-9 190 Sr.
34 Shane Williams RB/LB 5-10 185 Jr.
36 Max Hoemke WR/DB 5-10 152 Sr.
39 Quinn Dumas OL/LB 5-10 185 Jr.
40 Joel Slor WR/DB 5-6 155 Sr.
42 Matt Kiviko WR/DB 5-11 150 Jr.
44 Josh Hubner TE/DL 6-4 220 Sr.
45 Rheshaun Lyn RB/DB 6-1 210 Sr.
47 Matt Mielke RB/DB 5-9 170 Jr.
49 Nico Serventi WR/DB 5-10 170 Jr.
51 Cade Achezehn OL/DL 5-11 185 Jr.
52 Ian Marsh OL/DL 5-11 220 Jr.
54 Matt Mitchell OL/LB 6-0 195 Jr.
55 Seth Looschen OL/LB 6-1 210 Sr.
62 Josh Simon OL/DL 6-0 205 Jr.
63 Will Tharp OL/DL 6-0 185 Jr.
65 Andrew Leibowitz OL/DL 6-0 165 Jr.
66 Nick Tucker OL/DL 5-11 195 Sr.
68 Zach Sanich OL/DL 6-2 200 Sr.
70 Russ Estabrooks OL/DL 6-0 280 Jr.
74 Robert Hamilton OL/DL 6-2 260 Jr.
77 Tyeler Davidson OL/DL 6-3 280 Jr.
78 Alex Lehman OL/DL 6-4 255 Jr.
79 Tom Carlon OL/DL 6-3 190 Jr.
80 Nick Poplin RB/DB 5-8 160 Jr.
81 Charlie Andrews TE 6-4 230 Jr.
84 Jessie Calabrese WR/DB 5-11 160 Sr.
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