Prep notebook: Gilbert begins second Dunn era - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Prep notebook: Gilbert begins second Dunn era

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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 7:00 pm | Updated: 2:58 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Gilbert High kicked off the second Dan Dunn era Monday night when the Tigers officially hit the field for the first time in 2009.

Gilbert High kicked off the second Dan Dunn era Monday night when the Tigers officially hit the field for the first time in 2009.

Dunn will have his team practice at night for at least the first three weeks leading up to the season opener against Phoenix Brophy on Sept. 4.

"I've always started out the season practicing at night," Dunn said. "It gives the kids a little break from the heat of the day, and we get used to what it will be like for the first game."

Dunn's coaching staff includes a couple of mainstays from his initial Gilbert High staffs in the 1970s and early 1980s in brother Rick (a former Gilbert High head coach) and assistant Pete Romanowski. Dunn said only one coach on his staff is not a former player of his or has ties to Gilbert High.

DOBSON

Dobson has traditionally used an offense with a heavy reliance on the running game in its nearly three decades of existence. Expect a shift this season with new coach Alex Jacobson in the saddle.

Jacobson likes to air it out and has taken a keen interest in Texas Tech's passing game - one predicated on short passing, screens and the like.

Dobson averaged 15 passes a game last year in 11 games and didn't pass the 1,000-yard mark for the season (930). Those numbers could be shredded by this year's squad.

QUEEN CREEK

The Bulldogs graduated all but four starters from last year's squad, which went 8-4 and lost in the 4A-II quarterfinals by a point to Phoenix Greenway.

Coach Curt LeBlanc said he will be counting on his incoming juniors to help fill the void, and he picked a good class to lean on.

The core of that group hasn't lost a game in three years, dating back to a youth league championship in eighth grade.

The junior class went undefeated as freshmen and again last year on the junior varsity level.

With the team moving up a classification to 4A-I this year, those players will have a large say in determining Queen Creek's fortunes.

MARCOS DE NIZA

The last time Marcos de Niza competed in a mixed region (5A-I and 5A-II schools), it didn't fare well as a 5A-II school vs. 5A-I schools. The Padres competed in the Central Region in 2005 and 2006 against Tempe Corona del Sol, Chandler Basha, Phoenix Desert Vista and Phoenix Mountain Pointe - all of which were 5A-I. The Padres were a combined 0-8 vs. those opponents in those two years yet still managed to qualify for the 5A-II state playoffs. The Padres went 3-8 and lost in the first round in 2005, then went 6-7 and reached the state semis in 2006.

This time around, the Padres may be able to compete with 5A opponents Mesa Desert Ridge, Casa Grande, Mesa Westwood, Mesa Skyline and Mountain Pointe. Marcos returns one of the most experienced teams in school history, especially on offense. Coming back are their top two rushers, (Ramon Abreu and Dominic Sotelo), their quarterback (Zach Schira) and top two receivers (Justin Rodriguez and Tevin Newell). That's 1,443 yards rushing, 1,520 receiving and 1,935 passing.

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