Week Six High School Notes & Nuggets

Arizona Sports News online

We’re experiencing great fall weather and even better high school football with some teams really starting to hit their stride moving closer to the playoffs. We’re off and running this week so let’s get to it.

Center of Attention…It’s no secret games are won and lost up front in all levels of football. Shaun Aguano’s Chandler Wolves have been churning out quality big guys for years. One player who is playing at a high level this season is senior center Caleb Medina. “Caleb has matured in his leadership skills and his understanding of the game,” Wolves head coach Shaun Aguano said to Sports360AZ.com. “He is the leader on the offensive line…putting his teammates in the right positions to be successful.” The 6-foot-4, 310-pound captain has helped pave the way for a unit with incredible balance.

Through seven games Chandler is averaging 248 yards rushing and 243 passing. The Wolves love to attack the middle of defenses with their run game behind T.J. Green (955 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns). Medina’s ability to anchor the middle and create creases has been key. Stopping the run will be the number one priority for unbeaten Perry this week.

Just For Kicks …Williams Field kicker and Alabama commit Brandon Ruiz gets most of the spotlight in the far East Valley and rightfully so but there’s another kicking Zendejas making a name for himself. Perry senior Cristian Zendejas, who holds offers from Adams State and Arizona Christian, is a 8-8 on field goals (including two 47-yarders) and a perfect 28-28 on PAT’s.

His dad, former ASU kicker Luis Zendejas, is Senior Director, Community Relations for the Arizona Cardinals. Pops was an All-American with the Sun Devils and played for the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and later the Arizona Rattlers.

Vandy is Dandy…It’s been a bit of a bumpy year for Coronado who is sitting at 2-4 and has yet to win a home game. The defense has struggled but the Dons quarterback play hasn’t. Senior Jay Vanderjagt has picked up where he left off last fall completing 63% of his throws for 1650 and 18 touchdowns. “Great kid,” Dons head coach Mike Olson told Sports360AZ.com citing “leadership and decision-making” as the areas “Vandy” has improved the most since last season. He has interest from Oregon State, Princeton, Montana and a handful of other Division II and Division III schools.

It’s A Whole New Ballgame…Got word from my colleague Andrew Luberda that Hayden High School is taking a proactive approach to strengthening their playoff resume. The 1A school in tiny Winkelman (about 100 miles southeast of Phoenix) will make the jump up from eight-man to 11-man football October 14th when they host 2A San Manuel to improve their power points after North Phoenix Prep cancelled their program before the season started. The Lobos, who needed an extra game, have won four in a row under head coach John Estrada. What’s even more staggering is Hayden has only 15 players. San Manuel has yet to win a game this season.

The (S)need For Speed…Last week I talked about one former Arizona high school star making his starting debut at the next level. I’d say former Horizon Husky Dalton Sneed’s 280 total yards and two touchdowns in UNLV’s 45-20 blowout of Fresno State was pretty nice. So was this…

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.