When Mikey Keene steps into the huddle on August 23rd against national power Liberty (NV) there will be no sense of panic or deer-in-the headlights look as he calls the first play for the three-time defending 6A Champion Chandler Wolves.
The junior has spent the past two seasons watching and learning from one of the most successful to ever play the position in Jacob Conover.
“Jake was great keeping his poise all the time,” Keene said to Sports360AZ.com. “I just learned that whatever goes on or what happens, just keep your poise and everything’s going to work out for you.”
Keene saw limited action at the varsity level in 2018 but first-year head coach Rick Garretson is confident the 5-foot-9, 160-pounder is ready to step in and perform at the highest level this fall.
Hopped over to Chandler this afternoon to watch some Spring Ball. Class of 2021 QB @MikeyKeene1 looked fantastic. Great throwing motion, throws really well on the run. Can’t wait to watch this young man develop and grow in the next two seasons @FTBL_Boosters @GarretsonRick pic.twitter.com/eCUARIR7Vt
— Cody Cameron (@CodyTCameron) May 3, 2019
“[He understands] what’s required from a quarterback at Chandler,” Garretson explained to Sports360AZ.com. “We’re excited to see what he’s going to do.”
One thing he already does incredibly well is throw the ball on the move. Keene’s combination of quick feet and a big arm make him difficult for defenses to both prepare for and contain.
“In Pop Warner the o-lines aren’t the best in the world,” he said with a smile. “So I had to get used to it pretty quick or I’d be hurting after the games.”
Rest assured the Wolves front seven, combined with a stable of game-breaking running backs, are the perfect blend for a first-year starting quarterback but Garretson knows Keene’s work ethic and leadership skills are already in place.
“He’s a kid that benches 275, he’s a 4.6 student,” he said. “He’s an intelligent kid…he’s just a born leader.”
At a school that has produced several Division I quarterbacks, it appears the more things change, the more they stay the same at Chandler.