Back in 2007 Charlie Ragle took over a Chaparral football program that had seen great success under the direction of Ron Esterbrook. Fast forward to 2012 and under Ragle, the Firbirds are coming off three consecutive state championships.
But with Ragle departing Chaparral for a position on Rich Rodriguez’s staff with the University of Arizona, a new era of Firebird football begins behind the leadership of Dave Huffine.
“Ragle has meant so much to the program and has really expanded on what Ron Esterbrook did,” explained Coach Huffine out at spring practice. “When we came in 2007, there was a lot of changes, not only to the football team but also the facilities, the structure he put together. It was a winning culture.”
Huffine has been apart of the Chaparral coaching staff since Ragle become head coach in 2007. He has now been promoted from being the Chaparral offensive coordinator to Head Coach this off-season.
“Ragle was such a giant figure here on campus but I think the transition has been very good,” Huffine added. “We kept a lot of the same staff that we have had over the last few years. We are excited, the kids are excited and we are looking forward to the year.”
Just like at Arizona State for spring practice, one of the biggest story lines surrounding the Firebirds during spring practice has been the quarterback position. There is a three way race between in-coming seniors Brad Boskie and Brad Schencker and in-coming sophomore Sean Paul Brophy who will have giant shoes to fill with Connor Brewer graduating and taking his quarterback skills to the University of Texas next season.
“They all bring a little something different to the table, the are all hard workers and they all know the position is open, explained Huffine. “It is not necessarily going to be he guy that can throw the best ball, who throws with the hardest arm strength, it is going to be the guy who has the best leadership qualities who can lead the team into the endzone.”
One thing will not change with Chaparral football under Huffine. The high expectation to win.
“There has always been an expectation that is high, a high level of football. And that is not going to change,” mentioned Huffine.
Despite losing a lot of great seniors, many great seniors will step into the limelight, such as wide receiver Jake Roh, who had 17 touchdowns as a junior. The Firebirds are still going to be a force to be reckoned with and without a doubt will be a team to beat coming off another state title.
For more Arizona High School football, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.