Les Willsey
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

With a shift in emphasis to the running game late this season due to an injury to quarterback Parker Rasmussen, Desert Ridge ran headlong into Chandler High in the first round of the 5A-I playoffs Friday night and ended up running all the way to the second round. The Jaguars spread-run offense cranked out 462 yards rushing and the defense made a goal-line stand in the final 40 seconds to preserve a 38-35 upset win over the host Wolves.
Stories Les Willsey November 12, 2010

The 5A-II state football playoffs are similar to 5A-I in that there is a prohibitive favorite in defending champion and top-seed Chaparral. Beyond that the 5A-II opening-round games do not look anything like their 5A-I counterparts. The matchups ffigure to run like clockwork according to the seeds with perhaps the usual exceptions in a 9-8 or 10-7 matchup. And rather than one rematch of a regular-season meeting, there are four of eight in the initial battles for 2010 5A-II supremacy.

The 5A-I state football playoffs offers some suspense in the early going. Perhaps more so than in recent years so fans should rejoice in that aspect. Hamilton (5A-I) is the prohibitive favorite to be sure with an unbeaten record and defending state-champion status. And it is a bit of an odd year when Mesa Mountain View and Brophy are double-digit rather than single-digit seeds and qualify with .500 records.

It is hard to imagine when teams play 40 matches in the same conference that they did not meet at least once during the season. That was the case with perennial 5A-I contender Desert Vista and on-coming Desert Ridge Thursday night in the state girls volleyball quarterfinals. Desert Vista was not a region champ, but paid its dues in the Fiesta Region with the likes of state tournament qualifiers Xavier, Hamilton and Red Mountain. That experience and an adjustment midway through the match helped in rallying from two games down as the No. 4 seeded Thunder recorded a 24-26, 19-25, 25-12, 25-18, 15-12 win over the No. 12 Jaguars.

Skyline High football has endured a miserable year. Its 0-10 record tells that story. With one game left in the 2010 season, the Coyotes hope to salve the wound of a winless season and its past 17 overall. That final chance comes Friday night at home against Casa Grande, who like Skyline, was winless until the Cougars took home a 21-19 win over Alhambra last week.
Football Les Willsey November 4, 2010

State swimming and diving championships. All at one site. All the same day. And forgive the pun, but the competition is not watered down. With state meets now consolidated into two for boys and girls (Division I and Division II) down from five in recent years, the race for individual titles will be as keen as it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s been in a long, long time.
Swimming Les Willsey November 3, 2010

2707 articles by Les Willsey