Les Willsey
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Last year Mesa High believed its defense gave it a punchers chance of knocking off Hamilton for the 5A-I football title. The Jackrabbits were worthy for a half and then fell by the wayside. On Monday afternoon -- a year later -- Desert Ridge felt its offense gave it a shot to upend the Huskies. Good try. Very good try. Just not quite enough.
Football Les Willsey December 13, 2010

The overall winning streak rests at 39. Hamilton\'s goal Monday is first, a third consecutive 5A-I state title. That would mean win No. 40 in a row would come as a byproduct. The team that stands in the Huskies\' way, Desert Ridge, has a modest streak of its own going with eight consective wins. The Jaguars pit their dynamic offense against the Huskies\' rock solid defense in the 2010 5A-I championship game. Kickoff is at 4:10 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Football Les Willsey December 12, 2010

North seems to know how to beat Red Mountain this season.Get behind big early. Lull the Mountain Lions asleep and pick the right time to pounce. It worked for the second time in three weeks Friday night as the Mustangs overcame a 12-point deficit early in the third period to post a 66-61 win over host Red Mountain in a 5A-I boys basketball game.

Cole Thurston is not usually the leading scorer for Dobson. He was not again on Thursday night, but the damage he did early was enough to keep visiting Chandler at bay all night. Thurston sank five 3-point shots in the first half -- three in the first period -- to spur a 12-2 run to open the game that led Dobson to a 100-78 triumph over Chandler.
Stories Les Willsey December 9, 2010

One thing can be counted on with Jeremy Hathcock coaching Desert Ridge is the Jaguars give the opposition something(s) to ponder offensively. Most of Hathcock\\\'s five-year tenure at Desert Ridge, offense revolved around an aerial display. This year it has been closer to half-and-half. Whatever the Jaguars choose, it is fine with the array of talented skill players at Hathcock\\\'s disposal.

Hamilton High is a few days away from playing in its eighth state championship football game in 12 years. In that span the Huskies are 5-2 and very close to chiming in at a perfect 7-0. One huge reason behind that success, and why Hamilton is bidding for a 5A-I threepeat at University of Phoenix Stadium on Monday afternoon against Desert Ridge, is defense.
Football Les Willsey December 8, 2010

The pressure is off a bit but the competition will be fierce today through Saturday at the annual Diablo Soccer Tournament at the Tempe Sports Complex. Twenty boys teams and 16 girls teams lineup for at least three games and as many as six. Games do not\\\'t count in the power-point rankings so that does not play with the minds of coaches, but teams want to prevail just the same as it gives an early indication of where the power may be, particularly in 5A-I.

Two-way Saguaro lineman Cyrus Hobbi was spent. Nagging physical aliments and fatigue had him collapsing often in the final minutes of Saturday\'s 4A-I football championship game with Canyon del Oro. But when time had expired do-everything quarterback Teddy Ruben had enough energy to play another 48 minutes. The diminutive Saguaro signal caller jumped and spun with joy knowing he and his teammates had snared a hard-fought, come-from-behind 41-34 victory over defending champ CDO at Sun Devil Stadium.

The sixth and final year of crowning a 4A-I football champion in the state is here. Two teams that have etched their names as champions four of five years previous get to finish out the era. Canyon del Oro, the defending champ, and Saguaro, which has won three of the five titles contested in the division since it was formed in 2005, meet Saturday afternoon at 3 at Sun Devil Stadium for the right to take home the final trophy.
Football Les Willsey December 3, 2010

Teams want to be playing their best football heading down the stretch. If winning streaks mean anything, that is exactly what Desert Ridge and Desert Vista high schools are doing at present. Desert Ridge (9-3), the No. 10 seed, takes on Desert Vista (10-2) Friday night at 7 at Mesquite High in one of the 5A-I semifinal games. The winner advances to face the Hamilton-Mountain Pointe winner on Dec. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Football Les Willsey December 2, 2010

A lot of people wanted to see what Mountain Pointe could do against Hamilton last season. That matchup never materialized as the Pride fell to Mesa High in the semifinals. The teams are on the same side of the bracket this year and have won two games so fare in very different ways as they meet in the 5A-I semifinals Friday at 7 p.m. at Chandler High.
Stories Les Willsey December 2, 2010

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