Chandler schools’ Friday night collisions
As is usually the case there is a slew of competitive and/or interesting East Valley high school football games on Friday night: Chaparral at Desert Mountain, Mesquite at Gilbert, Corona del Sol at Highland, Tempe hosting Coronado in the wake of its controversy with Saguaro, Canyon del Oro at Williams Field and Mesa Prep at Chandler Prep in Division VI.
Reality, however, says most eyes, cars and bodies will be clustered along two spots of Arizona Ave. in Chandler.
On the north side of the Loop-202 is Basha at Chandler: Two intra-district with disdains for another in certain athletic-related quadrants (though not across the board by any stretch), who’ve lost and inherited kids to one another; Who lost lots of talent from 2011 and still have lots of talent in 2012; who have state championship aspirations and might have enough talent to get there; whose flaws still leave us with a question or two as to whether each will get to Thanksgiving weekend; whose schedule (until now) has left both teams with plenty of wonderment as to where they fit in the proverbial pecking order at this point in the season.
On the south side of the Loop-202 is Desert Ridge at Hamilton: Two teams which look nothing like the 2010 versions that played for the state championship (won by Hamilton) or that met last year (won by Hamilton in both regular season and playoffs).
The Huskies’ struggling offense and 0-2 start to this season (three consecutive losses overall) wasn’t qualified by playing a very good Mountain Pointe team followed by a good California team in Ireland. Many (foolishly) wrote off the Huskies in favor of the Ahwatukee schools and other Chandler schools.
Desert Ridge throttled Highland last week, probably along with Mountain View the Jaguars’ toughest competition to date, and the Hawks acknowledged after that game they didn’t show up. This means Hamilton will be two notches above anything Tarek Morrison, JJ Husar and the Jaguars’ running game has seen defensively thus far.
Are Chandler and Basha for real? Can Desert Ridge run on Hamilton and snap this skid? Will moving Cole Luke to offense wind up being the pivotal point in Hamilton’s season?
Will we know significantly more about each school after this week? Or are statements related to these outcomes too premature given it’s early September?
All are questions which can only be answered subjectively by the team, fans and followers, but so many questions is what points us to Arizona as this week’s awesome Avenue.