2016 High School Football Notes & Nuggets

There are no more games but still plenty of news around the state regarding high school football. Here are a few things which caught over the past week both on and off the field.

Practice Makes Perfect…Former Paradise Valley High star quarterback Daniel Bridge-Gadd made good use of his practice time this year for the Pac-12 Champion Washington Huskies who are preparing for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Peach Bowl. Bridge-Gadd was named the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.

“My first season at UW was amazing,” Bridge-Gadd said to Sports360AZ.com. “I’m glad I could help out the team in any way and…I’m looking forward to bigger roles in the future.”

On the other side of the ball former Saguaro star and four-star recruit Byron Murphy was named the Huskies’ Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year.

“He’s got tremendous ball skills,” head coach Chris Petersen told Sports360AZ.com at Pac-12 Media Days of Murphy. “I really think he could play either side of the football.”

Rolling Out the Red Carpet…It’s no surprise Rich Rodriguez, Charlie Ragle and the coaching staff at Arizona are going above and beyond in their recruiting efforts coming off a 3-9 season. The Wildcats are trying to get top local recruits Austin Jackson and Isaiah Pola-Mao to visit Tucson according to our own Jason Jewel. The ‘Cats were one of the first schools to offer the Mountain Pointe two-way star Pola-Mao. Both players visited ASU last weekend and Pola-Mao, a four-star prospect, is known to have the Sun Devils at or near the top of his list.

Murphy’s Law…It wasn’t exactly the weekend homecoming Trent Murphy was hoping for as the Cardinals held off the Redskins Sunday afternoon in Glendale but the former Brophy star is tied for 11th in the NFL in sacks (eight) and is in the top 10 in forced fumbles. Younger brother Connor is a freshman defensive end at USC preparing for their Rose Bowl showdown against Penn State.

The Murphy’s are no strangers to athletic success or unique training for their children. Always nice to see Valley prep stars like Trent and Agua Fria’s Everson Griffin thriving at the highest level.

Just a Stone’s Throw Away?…It sounds like Saguaro running back Stone Matthews is going to be continuing his playing career in the Valley. The ultra-tough, heart-and-soul of Jason Mohns’ offense the past couple years is leaning towards Mesa Community College. The Thunderbirds went 9-2 and finished #5 in the NJCAA polls this past season.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of D-3, D-2 coaches,” Matthews said to Sports360AZ.com. “[But] I want to go to MCC and play ball and then go D-1 from there.”

Matthews, an avid outdoorsman who wants to pursue a degree in fire science, rushed for over 4200 yards and 55 touchdowns the past two seasons for the Sabercats. Few players at the high school level take their work in practice and the weight room as serious as “Stoney.”

Sometimes These Jokes Just Tell Themselves…This was so well-played by Rhett Rodriguez. My guess is the coach didn’t complain about the cooking either…