Williams Field Black Hawks
Division III, Section I
Coach: Steve Campbell
Last year’s record: 8-3, lost to Thunderbird in the first round of the Division III playoffs.
Returning offensive starters: 6, including running back Sean Schweichler, who had 499 yards rushing, 163 yards receiving and 15 total touchdowns last year.
Returning defensive starters: 6, including defensive lineman Drew Burgesser, who had 54 tackles and seven and a half sacks last year.
Aug. 24 vs. Maricopa; Aug. 31 vs. Combs; Sept. 7 at Campo Verde; Sept. 14 vs. Canyon Del Oro; Sept. 21 at Amphitheater; Sept. 28 vs. Higley; Oct. 4 at Apache Junction; Oct. 12 at Vista Grande; Oct. 19 vs. Poston Butte; Oct. 26 at Queen Creek.
Sept. 14 vs. Canyon del Oro: The Dorados are a traditional southern Arizona power and they defeated the Black Hawks 40-21 last season in Tucson. Williams Field gets this year’s game at home and wants to return the favor.
Sept. 28 vs. Higley: Last year’s rivalry game was anything but one. Williams Field jumped out to a 42-0 halftime lead and the outcome was never in doubt. To add insult to injury, Higley quarterback Eric Kump tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the contest and was lost for the year. The Black Hawks have gone 3-0 against the Knights in their history and will look to stay perfect.
Oct. 26 at Queen Creek: These two teams meet again in the regular season finale, and it could be another hotly contested affair. The Bulldogs squeaked out a 22-20 victory to end last season and both teams are stocked with talent again. These are the cream of the crop among Division III schools in the area and it should be another showdown.
It’s hard to believe an 8-3 season, a playoff berth and a loss to the defending state champion is the most unsuccessful year in any program’s history, but such is life at Williams Field.
The Black Hawks have stormed out of the gate with great success in three varsity seasons, and are trying to return to the state championship chatter after getting beaten by Thunderbird in the first round of the Division III postseason in 2011.
Williams Field’s biggest loss will be the graduation of Alex Howard, who ran for 1,840 yards and 27 touchdowns a season ago and is now at San Diego State. However, Sean Schweichler is ready to assume the star role and there are enough complementary pieces to give the offense a balanced look.
Schweichler is a versatile weapon, as he rushed for 499 yards, led the team in yards per catch and was a dynamite kick returner as a junior. A knee injury forced him out of the Black Hawks’ final two games – both losses – but he is healthy and should make an impact
“We need to keep him as healthy as we can and use him wisely,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said.
Junior Jed Fagg alternated at quarterback with Garrett Forsgren a season ago. He was 20-of-41 for 373 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions and is battling Cole Patterson for the starting nod.
The Black Hawks return their top two receivers in Jordan Johnson (27 catches for 477 yards, 4 TD) and Cole Forsgren (10 catches, 200 yards, 4 TD) and Campbell expects to throw more after running the ball 71 percent of the time a year ago.
“We think we should be able to balance it a little bit better,” he said.
The defense is anchored by a pair of stalwarts in Skyler Wengert and Drew Burgesser. Wengert enters his third year as a starting linebacker and was second on the team in tackles a season ago with 75. Burgesser had 54 tackles and a team-high seven and a half sacks in 2011 and leads a solid defensive line. Campbell has also been happy with the progress of his secondary and Williams Field seems to have the type of roster to be in the Division III mix once again this year.