All-Tribune First Team Offense

Name                     School        Yr.   Pos.  Comment

Kyle Allen       Desert Mountain   Jr.    QB    Armed with best WR in Andrews, 72 completion pct. for 3,119 yards and 36 TD yielded five-win increase from 2011 season

Matt Guida        Queen Creek     Jr.    RB     Tribune POY was AZ’s unofficial leading rusher (2,829) with 13.9 yards per carry and 31 TD for Div. III champions

Mauriece Lee   Marcos de Niza   Sr.    RB    1,547 yards (10.3 YPC) and 21 TD incl. 286 vs. Chaparral in playoffs; added 24 rec. for 223 yards and 3 TD

Mark Andrews   Desert Mountain Jr.  WR    Top WR at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and POY candidate overcame diabetes, double-teams to lead state with 1,494 yards and 21 TD on 81 rec

Nate Phillips            Basha          Sr.  WR    76 rec. for 1,223 yards and 15 TD had biggest games vs. quality defenses; solid kick returner

Paul Elvira       Marcos de Niza    Sr.  WR     No. 2 behind Andrews in state in yards (1,410) and avg. 23.9 yards per catch; headed to U of A

Kenny Lacy    Mountain Pointe   Sr.   OL     All-Arizona at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds; UCLA commit playing in Semper-Fi game

Casey Tucker       Hamilton         Jr.   OL     Dominant at 6-foot-6, 280 pounds next to senior Patrick Joseph up front for Div. I champions

Natrell Curtis   Mountain Pointe  Jr.  OL     6-foot-3, 295 pounds with 10 Div. I offers and counting; Anchor on OL and DL for Div. I runners-up

Billy Nichols       Pinnacle            Sr.  OL     6-foot-5, 255 pounds, all-state anchor of O-line that led to 4,700 yards offense; headed to Harvard

Cody King        Desert Ridge      Sr.  OL     6-2, 225 pounds was consensus all-state and arguably best center in AZ

Matt Haggerty   Seton Catholic  Sr.  ATH   1st team all-Div IV by AZFCA; 1,007 yards rec. w/ 19 TD; 7 INT on defense; 36 yards per punt and 20+ yards per return for Div. IV champs

Sam McReynolds   Chaparral     Sr.   K      School-record 11-14 FG made, 22 touchbacks on kickoffs

Ryan Neel          Horizon            Sr.  KR    Averaged 18.1 yards per punt return, 34.2 per kick return; 5 TD



All-Tribune First Team Defense

Name                            School        Yr.   Pos.  Comment

Lorenzo Melvin         Desert Vista     Sr.    DL    Relentless motor led to 70 tackles (9 tackles for loss), 9 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles

Qualen Cunningham    Hamilton       Jr.     DL    Rangy, athletic defensive end the next in litany of top Hamilton D-lineman

Drew Burgesser      Williams Field    Sr.    DL    22 tackles for loss, 12 1/2 sacks for Div. III semifinalists

Drake Danielson      Queen Creek    Sr.    DL    Made seemingly every tackle on D-Line for Div. IV champions; 10 sacks

Santana Sterling        Hamilton        Sr.    LB    A leader in middle and part of stellar junior class for Div. I champs

Jake Roh                  Chaparral        Sr.    LB    Heart and soul of rebuilt Firebirds; 72 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 INT, 2 blocked FG at LB; 805 yards and 13 TD receiving

Robert Relf                Brophy           Sr.    LB    Three-sport stud and consensus AZFCA Top 25 saw time in all three areas of defense on field; committed to Florida Atlantic

Jalen Brown       Mountain Pointe    Jr.    DB    AZ Gatorade Player of Year has 10 Div. I offers after 5 INT and school records at WR (67 catches for 1,235 yards, 18 TD)

Cole Luke                 Hamilton         Sr.   DB     Two-time All-Tribune first-teamer headed to Notre Dame; dangerous punt returner

Priest Willis         Marcos de Niza    Sr.   DB     Arguably No. 1 college prospect in state didn’t have huge numbers because offenses avoided him

Anthony Hovorka     Desert Ridge  Sr.   DB     102 tackles, 5 forced fumbles and 4 INT was leader of stingy defense for Div. I semifinalists

Nathan Ellingsen  Scottsdale Christian  Sr.   P   2nd in state with 44.84 yards per punt, including 80-yarder; 2 INT, 4 passes defended at DB

Sean Schweichler     Williams Field  Sr.  PR     8 punt returns for 332 yards and three returned for TD; rushed for 1,517 yards and 34 total TD

Player of the year: Matt Guida, Queen Creek

Coach of the year: Joe Germaine, Queen Creek: Nearly consensus pick among EV coaches found right staff and built Queen Creek into a Division III power in three years.



All-Tribune Second Team Offense

Name                    School          Yr.   Pos.   Comment

Ryan Finley      Paradise Valley    Sr.    QB     Capped record career by leading AZ in comp. (270) and yards (3,442) with 35 TD; 4.5 GPA and headed to Boise State

J.J. Husar          Desert Ridge      Sr.     RB     Avg. 10.1 yards per carry and 14 TD in 8 games before season-ending ACL injury

Garette Craig   Mountain Pointe  Sr.    RB     1,563 yards rushing (8.6 YPC) and 16 TD, plus 35 catches for 530 yards for Div. I runners-up

Drake Pierre     Red Mountain     Sr.    WR     71 rec., 1,148 yds.; recruited by Air Force and Ivy League schools and has Div. II offers; RM career leader in rec. and yards

Christian Kirk      Saguaro           So.   WR     Headed toward being top future prospect in state; 1,005 yards rec. (23.3 YPC), 16 total TD; 26.3 yards per punt return, 4 INT on defense

Grant Martinez    Notre Dame     Sr.    TE       ASU commit had 43 rec., 561 yards, 9 TD

Tyler Shank         Chandler         Sr.     OL      6-foot-4, 290-pound motor was catalyst in protecting QB Darell Garretson

Patrick Johnson   Paradise Valley Sr.   OL      6-4, 285-pounder headed to Idaho after three-year starter and team captain

Devin Brunetti      Saguaro        Sr.    OL      ACFA All-Div. III choice in front of lethal offense

Austin Hall            Brophy          Jr.     OL      6-foot-5, 295-pound guard a first-team AZFCA selection with nearly every Pac-12 school in pursuit

Patrick Joseph     Hamilton        Sr.    OL      6-foot-3, 280-pounds and team’s emotional leader committed to Army

Luke Rubenzer    Saguaro         Jr.   ATH      A nightmare to defend: .687 completion pct., 36 TD, 6 INT; 1,184 rushing yards and 10 TD

Luis Bustillos    Mountain View  Jr.     K       7 of 11 field goals made; 20 touchbacks in 57 kickoffs

Erick Belcher     Campo Verde    Jr.   KR      Led state with 38.7 yard return average, returned 2 for TD



All-Tribune Second Team Defense

Name                          School            Yr.   Pos.   Comment

Byron Bourgogne          Higley            Sr.     DL     Main bright spot on Knights with 11 sacks; also excellent punter

Grant Thompson       Highland            Jr.      DL     Registered 75 tackles, 10.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries

Parker Zellers          Notre Dame        Sr.     DL     49 tackles, 8 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles while double-teamed on nearly every down.

Greg Labenz           Seton Catholic    Sr.     LB      Heart of defense led Sentinels in tackles (116) and sacks (8); shined in playoffs for Div. IV champions

Wesley Payne       Mountain Pointe    Jr.     LB     School-record in tackles, seven passes defended, 2 INT, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries

Andrew Curtis            Brophy             Sr.     LB    Three-year starter owns school record with 176 career solo tackles and played snaps on offense; headed to Florida Atlantic

Luke Tafurri             Notre Dame        Sr.     LB    Two-way starter and heart of the Saints had 80 tackles, 5 sacks and 4 INT; 800 yards rushing and 11 TD

Mike Graff              Queen Creek       Sr.    DB    65 tackles and his 9 INT tied for second in AZ; Also returned punts and had 19 rec. for 374 yards and 5 TD;

Levi Sterling              Hamilton          Jr.     DB    All-Divison and All-Section cornerback was at times best DB on field even with Cole Luke

Nick Farina             Desert Vista       Sr.    DB     Team captain and top-notch safety had 80 tackles and 6 INT; headed to South Dakota State

Caleb Nicoll         Mountain View      Sr.     DB    7 INT (2 returned for TD), 55 tackles, two fumble recoveries and named Mesa city defensive POY

Garrett Seilheimer    Chaparral        Sr.     P      Averaged 41.3 yards per punt, landed five inside 20

Devon Allen              Brophy             Sr.    PR    18 yards per return; 749 yards receiving and 10 TD despite double teams and injuries; top college prospect


Honorable Mention

Apache Junction: Hunter Hallford, Jr., LB/OL; Jon McCune, Sr., WR/DB;

Arcadia: Will Allen, Sr., TE/DL; Steven Moala, Sr., RB; Collin Paleck, Jr., RB/DB; Brendan Turelli, Sr., OL/DL;

Basha: Ricky Fuess, Sr., DL; Dalton Krum, Sr., DB; Rajhan Meriwether, Jr., RB; Ronnie Querry, Sr., WR; Ivan Sanchez, Jr., OL; Zach Werlinger, Jr., QB;

Brophy: Tyler Bruggman, Sr., QB; Clarence Clark, Sr., WR; Marche Dennard, Sr., RB; Charlie Renfree, Sr., OL;

Cactus Shadows: Matt Hartlen, Sr., WR; Bryce Kinsler, Sr., QB; Andrew Stephens, Sr., DL; Mike Thompson, Sr., DL;

Campo Verde: Dylan Chambal, Sr., OL/DL; Josh McDowell, Sr., DB; Tyler Mills, Sr., DL; Austin Scarlett, Sr., DL; Mitch Siebenaler, Sr., LB;

Chandler: Patrick Baldenegro, Sr., TE; Darell Garretson, Sr., QB; J.R. Hunt, Jr., DB; Mitch McCulley, Jr., WR; Dominic Nappe, Sr., DL; Wesley Sutton, Jr., DB; Dionte Sykes, Jr., WR;

Chaparral: Alex Arnold, Sr., DB; Emerson Carrethers, Jr., RB; Jordin Hamilton, Sr., WR/DB; Brad Schencker, Sr., QB; Alex Ziomek, Sr., OL/LB;

Combs: Doug Osborne, Jr., DB; Leroy Valentine, Sr., WR;

Corona del Sol: James Contes, Sr., RB; Jacob Riedell, Jr., LB; Sam Radford, Sr., OL; Aaron Simons, Sr., OL;

Coronado: Jesse Chavez, Sr., OL/DL; Greg Johnson, Sr., RB; LeAndre Schell, Jr., DB;

Desert Mountain: Thomas Chiarello, Sr., OL/DL; Joe Duran, Sr., LB; Greg Frasco, Jr., LB; Pat Tallman, Sr., OL/DL; Steven Campbell, Sr., LB;

Desert Ridge: Nick Allen, Sr., OL/DL; Tarek Morrison, Jr., QB; Mike Munsch, Sr., OL; Charlie Murphy, Sr., DL; Nathaniel Rodriguez, Sr., LB;

Desert Vista: Dylan Fischer, Sr., OL/DL; Kaleb Germinaro, Sr., WR/DB; Jarek Hilgers, Sr., RB/LB; Zack Tamburo, Sr., OL; Mitch Wehrli, Sr., OL/DL;

Dobson: Nate Halley, Sr., DB; Kyle Lee, Sr., OL; Shaun Sebatta, Jr., OL;

Gilbert: Stephen Bundy, Sr., OL/DL; Conner Helvig, Sr., QB; Eric Hironaka, Jr., RB/LB;

Gilbert Christian: Saile Daimwood, Jr., WR/DB; Trey Gass, Sr., QB/DB/P;

Hamilton: Frankie Felix, Sr., RB; Ethan Hendricks, Sr., DL; Juwan Jones, Jr., DB; Caleb Peart, So., DL; Daniel Wichman, Sr., K;

Highland: Hunter Clancy, Sr,, DB; Grant Gale, Jr., DL; Bill Johnson, Sr., WR; Mike Kerr, Sr. OL/LB; Tre Tyler, Jr., LB;

Higley: Quinn Bailey, Jr., OL/DL; Thomas Bush, Sr., RB; Logan Johns, Jr., LB/RB; Mythias Young, Sr., QB;

Horizon: Parker Chapin, Sr., DL; Charlie Quinn, Sr., RB/DB; Kristian Salinas, Jr., WR/LB; Jordan Swayzee, Sr., DB;

Marcos de Niza: Richie Becerra, Sr., OL; Derek Craig, Sr., LB; Josh Eckley, Sr., QB; Dominique Fenstermacher, Jr., WR/DB; Khadeem Stewart, Sr., DB;

McClintock: Xavier Gomez, Sr., QB/DB; Sam Jones, Sr., RB; Devin Strickland, Sr., OL/DL; Jorge Valles, Sr., LB/RB;

Mesa: Samiuela Taueli, So., OL/DL; Eugene McIlhenny, Sr., RB/LB; Robert Schrock, Jr., OL/DL; Veilomani Tonga, Sr., OL/DL;

Mesquite: Juan Giraldo, Jr., DB; Nick Lopez, Jr., OL; Adam Stewart, Sr., WR; Aaron Tukuafu, Sr., OL;

Mountain Pointe: Jimmy Holtrop, Sr., DB; Antonio Hinojosa, Jr., QB; Landry Payne, Sr., DB; Kyle Spith, Jr., OL; Travonn White, Sr., DB;

Mountain View: Weston Birtcher, Sr., RB/LB; Clark Brown, Jr., WR; John Clark, Jr., QB; Chase Funk, Sr., P; Max Nelson, Sr., OL/DL; Isaac Strong, Sr., OL/DL;

Notre Dame: Bailey Jones, Sr., WR/DB; Matt Roth, Jr., OL/DL; Aaron Seiple, Sr., OL/DL; Maurice White, Sr., WR/DB;

Paradise Valley: Jordan Brown, Jr., WR; Tanner Flesher, Sr., OL/LB; Joey Gatewood, Sr., WR; Devon Graffis, Sr., LB;

Perry: Logan Arredondo, Jr., OL/LB; Reggie Blader, Sr., RB/DB; Tony Contreras, Sr., OL/DL; Trye Hatch, Sr., TE/LB; Kenny Lewis, Sr., RB/DB; Taelon Parson, Sr., QB/DB;

Pinnacle: Matt Dietz, Sr., LB; Josh Hoekstra, Jr., RB; Michael Lizanich, Sr., OL/LS; Cole Neubauer, Jr., LB; Michael Sanders, Sr., QB; Evan Tompkins, Sr., RB/DB;

Poston Butte: Kris Davis, Sr., WR; Antonio Garcia, Jr., LB; Cameron Owens, Sr., DB/WR;

Queen Creek: Carson Jones, Sr., QB; Luis Moreno, Sr., DB; OL/DL; Dalton Tebbs, Sr., OL/DL; Gabe Vasquez, Sr., WR/DB; Dean Wenger, Sr., LB; Chris Ervin, Sr., OL/LB; Tyler Johnson, Sr., DB;

Red Mountain: L.J. Bradford, Sr., DB; Aeron Carr, Sr., RB/WR; Justin Fitzgerald, Sr., DB; Colin Marquez, Sr., OL; John O’Neal, Sr., LB; Mason Thorman, Sr., QB;

San Tan Foothills: Semone Brown, So., RB/DB; Mark Peters, Sr., LB;

Saguaro: Gena Adams, Sr., RB; Aaron Borg, Sr., LB; Kevin Kuk, Sr., DL; Kash Robinson, Sr., RB/LB;

Scottsdale Christian: Chaz Dudley, Sr., RB/DB; Luke O’Neill, Sr., QB; Bryan Stephens, Sr., OL/DL; Christian Tyler, Sr., WR/DB; Grant Uphaus, Sr., OL/LB;

Scottsdale Prep: Greyson Boyll, Jr., RB/WR/DB; Matt Munsil, Jr., WR/LB; Nick Smith, So., QB; Alex Wenderlich, Sr., OL/DL;

Seton Catholic: Ryan Bresnahan, Sr., QB; Dan Garlid, Sr., WR/K; David Gesicki, Sr., QB; Matt Hart, Sr., OL; Matt Pawlowski, Sr., DL;

Skyline: Francisco Avitia, Jr., RB/LB; Damari Barrientos, Sr., WR/DB; Mike Bradley, Sr., OL; Zach Turpin, Sr., K;

St. Mary’s: Ray Casillas, Sr., LB; Gabe Losada, So., QB; Lester Smith, Sr., RB; Lukas Treffers, Sr., WR/DB;

Tempe: Sebastian Watkins, Jr., WR; Talib Id-Deen, Sr., FB/DL; Emanuel Gant, So., QB; Massiah Smith, Jr., WR/DB; Nojeem Adebule, Jr., LB; Devonte Gray, Sr., DL;

Tempe Prep: Anthony Brittain, Sr., LB; Levi Hartzler, Sr., RB/LB; Eddy LeBeau, Sr., OL/DL; Gaspar Tonnesen, Sr., P;

Valley Christian: Justin Maples, Sr., OL; Tyler St. James, WR/DL; Luke Widner, Sr., OL/DL;

Westwood: Hayden Clark, Sr. RB/LB; Ty Dale, Sr., WR/DB; Raekwon Robinson, Sr., RB/DB;

Williams Field: Cole Forsgren, Sr., WR; Riley Gaumnitz, Jr., OL; Preston Johnson, Sr., DL; Jacob Montoya, Sr., OL; Skyler Wengert, Sr., LB.


Memorable moments from the 2012 season

Huskies bite back: From an 0-2 start to a state title. The proverbial sky was falling as Hamilton’s offensive woes in August set the Arizona football world on its side. The Huskies, however, righted themselves with a dominant defense, solid special teams and just enough points, and won out en route to a seventh state championship in the past decade with a 31-16 victory over Mountain Pointe (which beat Hamilton in Week 1). The title was coach Steve Belles’ fifth at Hamilton which ties him with Jesse Parker for most all-time among big school coaches in state history.

Seton scores: After succumbing to the White Mountain powerhouses in its recent past, Seton Catholic broke through for its first state title since 1997. The Sentinels successfully navigated injuries to their offensive line and backfield, most notably when QB Ryan Bresnahan suffered a broken hand in a loss to Tempe Prep. David Gesicki stepped in for the final two-thirds of the regular season and was terrific. A QB shuffle ensued between the two guys, but the kids and Seton coach Rex Bowser pulled off such a fickle feat without major discord in the team. The Sentinels wound up riding Bresnahan and their defense to wins against Cottonwood Mingus, Show Low and Blue Ridge to capture the Div. IV championship.

State championship safety: Queen Creek and Desert Edge were deadlocked at 7-7 as the fourth quarter of the Division III state championship game ticked down inside the final minute, and overtime seemed imminent. However, a high snap flew over Desert Edge punter Chris Brown’s head and into the end zone. Brown picked it up, spun and looked to kick, but Tucker Workman tackled him for a safety. The Bulldogs recovered the onside kick for the 9-7 victory, a 14-0 season and the school’s first state championship.

Forfeit flap: Revitalized Tempe headed to Saguaro with a 2-0 record for an early-season showdown, but it was soon clear the Sabercats were on a different level. The Sabercats dominated the game, and things got chippy. Three Buffaloes players suffered major injuries, a Saguaro player and a Tempe assistant coach were ejected, and penalty flags flew consistently. The Tempe coaches were so convinced Saguaro was delivering cheap shots that the Buffaloes left at halftime. The Buffaloes forfeited and were warned by the Arizona Interscholastic Association for leaving early. Saguaro was not punished.

Ill-timed injuries: For Desert Ridge and Brophy, the 2012 will forever remain a big question mark. The Jaguars lost star running back J.J. Husar for the year to a torn ACL against Mesa in Week 8. At first the team thought the injury was minor and he would return in time for the quarterfinals, but an MRI revealed the structural damage. Then, in the state quarterfinals, quarterback Tarek Morrison went down with an ACL tear of his own. The Jaguars fought valiantly in the semifinals but lost to Hamilton. Brophy running back Marche Dennard suffered a sprained ankle and was used sparingly the rest of the postseason. Wide receiver Devon Allen sprained his ankle against the Wolves and was also hobbled. Brophy squeaked past Red Mountain in the quarterfinals but didn’t have enough offense in a semifinal loss to Mountain Pointe.

Upset cities: As usual, the season wasn’t without upsets and frantic finishes. Paradise Valley beat Saguaro in Week 1 on the game’s final drive, the same night Mountain Pointe got a late turnover to beat Hamilton. Red Mountain won a shootout with Brophy to put the Lions on the map, but Mountain View stifled Red Mountain’s passing attack and blocked a kick to help force overtime, then beat the Lions on an overtime field goal. Highland endured injuries galore but knocked off potent Desert Mountain en route to a playoff appearance. Tempe High put everyone on notice during the Buffaloes’ 6-win, turnaround season with a 28-27 win over Poston Butte. In Div. V Tempe Prep handed Seton its only loss of the season, and later used its defense and a blocked kick to beat No. 1 Phoenix Northwest Christian late in the regular season en route to the Div. V semifinals.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.