The Spartans of Scottsdale Prep Academy play eight man football.
Judging by the way they’re destroying their opponents, it must feel like they’re playing video game football on the easy setting, considering how many points they score each week.
Scottsdale Prep is the highest scoring high school football team in the country, averaging nearly 70 points per game through seven games.
The Spartans are undefeated and are tied with Joy Christian atop the VI Section III (8 man) standings.
A big reason for their success and their scoring this year is due to the incredible play of junior wide receiver/defensive back Matt Munsil.
Munsil leads all wide receivers in the state in both receiving yards (971) and touchdowns (20).
Nationally, Munsil’s 20 touchdowns has him at the top of the heap among wide receivers, while his 971 yards ranks him 14th, both of which are extremely impressive.
Scottsdale Prep head coach Will Munsil – who is also Matt’s brother – says Munsil brings an “intensity and physicality” to the game, which he says is very “necessary.”
“If your best athletes are also your most physical and intense players, that helps you a lot,” Munsil said.
One of the big changes Coach Munsil’s seen in Munsil is in his leadership role, which Coach Munsil says Munsil’s readily taken on this season, being that he’s made it to upperclassman status.
“He’s been the team leader as a freshman and sophomore, but it’s a different story when you’re a junior or senior,” Munsil said. “Being a team leader is something he’s taken very seriously this year.”
Coach Munsil says as Munsil’s taken on the leadership responsibilities, he’s also let his voice be made known among his teammates as well.
“In his past, he’s been more of an example leader, but this year especially, he’s been more of a vocal leader,” Munsil said. “He’ taken it upon himself to be one of the guys who leads by voice as well as by action.”
You might be wondering: “How can two brothers, one the head coach, one a player, co-exist on a team?” Munsil says it’s “a unique experience” having his older sibling as his head coach.
“It’s really a fun thing,” Munsil said. “It’s fun to go home after a practice or after a game and be able to talk to my brother about the game and what the defense was doing, what we’re doing.”
“Not many players get to experience what we’re doing,” Munsil said.
Coach Munsil says he’s coached his younger brother in some form of sport for at least four years. He says it makes for great family time.
“It’s a cool way for us to get closer,” Munsil said. “Being ten years apart, we wouldn’t know each other all that well if it wasn’t for the coaching, but it really has been something that’s brought us closer together.”
What makes Munsil such a lethal weapon on the football field? Ask his quarterback Nick Smith, who has 29 touchdown passes this season. Knowing Munsil’s ready to catch the ball at any second, Smith says, is a huge relief for him.
“Having Matt out there gives me kind of a security blanket, so I know when things go bad, I can always just give him the ball and it usually works out for a pretty good result,” Smith said.
Smith says he and Munsil are pretty close friends. He says they hang out a lot, spending time at each other’s houses.
That kind of bonding off the field can only bear good fruit when they’re on the field, which it has so far this year.
Munsil’s partner at wide receiver, Ethan Wright, is benefiting from the double teams that Munsil gets every game. Wright has 16 touchdowns so far on the season. He says he feels that double team effect as well, which allows Munsil to thrive in the offense too.
“Sometimes when I’m on fire and doing stuff, and they double team me and Matt gets that chance too, it kind of differs like that with different opponents too,” Wright said.
Wright says he patterns the physical part of his game after Munsil, and how he jams the defensive backs off the snap.
“I work to do that too a lot of times, and it gets me open a lot,” Wright said.
Coach Munsil says some next level schools have shown some “basic interest” in Munsil, but nothing substantial yet.
“He plays at a small school, that’s the truth of it, and we gotta overcome that if he wants to play at the next level,” Munsil said.
If Munsil is to advance to the next level and continue to play football, Coach Munsil says there’s one thing he needs to work on before that time comes.
“For him, and he knows this, it’s speed, speed, speed,” Munsil said. “As a not particularly tall wide receiver (6’0″/185), he’s gonna have to get faster, and that’s what he’s working on and he’s made great strides in that just this season.”
Munsil – who wants to major in political science – knows exactly what kind of school he wants to attend when his time at Scottsdale Prep is up.
“I’m looking for a high academic school, maybe not as high [a] level of football, but high academics where I really feel like I can improve myself both in school and on the field,” Munsil said.
“Wherever God leads me is where I go,” Munsil said. “I don’t have any control over what I do, it’s really where I’m led.”