Division II, Section III
Coach: Matt Lewis
Last year’s record: 2-8, missed playoffs
Returning offensive starters: 5, including offensive lineman Andre Collier, who was a second-team All-Desert Sky Region selection last year.
Returning defensive starters: 6, including linebacker Keegan Allen, who had a team-high 90 tackles last season.
Aug. 26 at Tempe, Sept. 2 at Cesar Chavez, Sept. 9 vs. Camelback, Sept. 16 at Willow Canyon, Sept. 23 vs. Chaparral, Sept. 30 vs. South Mountain, Oct. 7 vs. Shadow Mountain, Oct. 14 at Marcos de Niza, Oct. 21 at Notre Dame, Oct. 28 vs. Perry
Sept. 2 at Cesar Chavez: The schedule is light early on, and if McClintock can pull out this game, it has a chance of starting 4-0. This will be the first indication of how well the spread offense Matt Lewis employed at Saguaro translates with the Chargers.
Oct. 14 at Marcos de Niza: The Padres have increased their talent level through open enrollment and transfers, at times taking players who should have been at McClintock (most notably last year’s star running back, Anthony Shivers). One of the quickest ways for the Chargers to rebuild is to be competitive in this game.
Oct. 28 at Perry: McClintock could be on the playoff bubble as the season finale beckons. This is the last of a tough three-game stretch to finish the season, and if the Chargers can win it, it bodes well.
McClintock sputtered to a 2-8 finish last season, but there is renewed optimism at the school under new coach Matt Lewis.
Saguaro’s former offensive coordinator brings over a spread offense that gave opposing teams fits the past four seasons. Lewis likes going no-huddle, which really tests a defense’s stamina and discipline.
There won’t be the same elite athletes running the ball as at Saguaro, but Lewis likes the team’s overall depth.
Junior Xavier Gomez will be the starting quarterback, and Lewis said Gomez has a similar grasp of the offense as Teddy Ruben did as a junior for Saguaro. Ruben went on to become the Tribune’s Player of the Year as a senior last year, leading the Sabercats to the 4A Division I state championship.
Billy Suell and Josh Aberle will be the team’s main running backs. Suell, a senior, has a good ability to find running lanes, and Aberle is a home run threat. Bryce Posten will likely be the go-to wide receiver.
McClintock’s starting linebackers, including all-region selections Semir Andelija and Keegan Allen, will play defense-only, which should keep them fresh. Posten and Joe Wells are the starting cornerbacks, and Lewis said he won’t shy away from letting those two match up one-on-one with wide receivers.
The line play should be decent on both sides, but Lewis said an injury or two at those spots could really give the team trouble.
The first four games of the season are winnable, although McClintock finishes with Chaparral, Marcos de Niza, Notre Dame and Perry within its final six contests.