Conference/Region: 3A South
2008 record: 11-2, lost in 3A semifinals
Coach: Jim Fairfield, 18th season, 105-70
Returning offensive starters: 7, including quarterback Connor Brinton, who threw for 1,233 yards and 10 touchdowns last year.
Returning defensive starters: 7, including Alex Forehand, who had 79 tackles and 5.5 sacks last year.
Outlook: Fountain Hills made the 3A semifinals last season, and has the talent coming back to equal or surpass that mark this year.
Brinton and running back Beau Higgleman form an impressive 1-2 punch on offense. Brinton passed for 1,233 yards and 10 touchdowns last year and ran for 333 yards and four scores. Higgleman had 831 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns.
Brinton will have a top receiving threat in Jordan Henslin, who Fairfield describes as an outstanding athelete.
The defense returns seven starters, including Forehand and Kelby Sand, who tied for second on the team in tackles with 79 apiece last year. Forehand added 5.5 sacks.
The schedule won’t be easy, with contests against Wickenburg, Estrella Foothills, Show Low and Payson on the docket.
Aug.. 28 vs. Wickenburg
Sept. 4 at Estrella Foothills
Sept. 11 vs. Santa Cruz Valley
Sept. 18 at Florence
Sept. 25 at Globe
Oct. 2 vs. Show Low
Oct. 9 at Payson
Oct. 16 vs. Coolidge
Oct. 23 at San Tan Foothils
Oct. 30 vs. Empire
- Aug. 28 vs. Wickenburg: The season doesn’t open easily. Wickenburg’s only loss last year was in the 3A title game.
- Sept. 4 at Estrella Foothills: The second week will also be a tough test as Estrella Foothills should be in title contention.
- Oct. 9 at Payson: Last year’s state champions are the preseason No. 1.