Junior quarterback Parker Rasmussen, Highland's leader in rushing and passing yards per game last year, will play for Desert Ridge this season, according to Jaguars coach Jeremy Hathcock.
Rasmussen was 71-for-146 for 896 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions last year for the Hawks, who went 3-7. He also carried the ball 104 times for 510 yards and a touchdown.
He was the quarterback for Desert Ridge at the Fiesta Bowl 7-on-7 Tournament at Brophy Sports Complex last weekend.
Kevin Pantastico, Desert Ridge's quarterback the past two years, graduated in the spring. He averaged nearly 266 yards per game in the Jaguars' pass-happy offense. Highland runs an option attack, limiting the passing opportunities.
Rasmussen also played for the Highland boys basketball team.
One of his new teammates, wide receiver Paris Clark, grabbed the attention of USC at a recent camp.
The senior wide receiver could garner a scholarship offer from the Trojans if he can meet academic requirements.
"He was probably the best receiver at USC," Hathcock said.
Clark caught 39 passes for 705 yards and six touchdowns last season.
MARCOS DE NIZA
The Padres lost several impact players from last season — Ramon Abreu and Justin Rodriguez are at the top of that list — but have plenty of skill players ready to fill in.
Anthony Shivers, Jeryan Butler and Martwon Weaver helped lead Marcos de Niza to an undefeated run in the Fiesta Bowl tournament, which culminated in a 27-0 title game victory over Brophy.
The new signal-caller will be Tommy Thornton, a transfer from Colorado who has impressed the staff thus far.
Adam Pavlenko and Dominic Sotelo return to anchor a defense that shut down the Broncos in the event's final game.
"It's going to be a good season this year," Shivers said.
CORONA DEL SOL
A blossoming baseball career might be holding Kyle Jorgensen back on the gridiron.
The junior will battle for the starting quarterback spot come training camp, but he is playing baseball this summer while Kyle Busk practices with the football team, giving Busk the upper hand. Sophomore Evan Kinney could also be in the mix, but a hairline fracture in his elbow will sideline him indefinitely.
"By the time we come out of camp, we'll have a starting quarterback," new Aztecs coach Zane Zamenski said. "But I'm happy to see the competition thus far."