Zone Read: Off and Running

Arizona Sports News online

Well…that sure was fun. A week of Arizona high school football is in the books and we’re just getting started. 

Plenty to so let’s strap it up and get to it as we check the formations for Week One.

Viper Strike…Last spring I got my first glimpse of Logan Gingg in person during a visit to Verrado. Word around the camp fire was Gingg probably wasn’t used enough last season under the previous coaching regime.

Sure, he led the Vipers in carries (100) and yards (631) in 2018 but when you figure what he did against South Mountain last week…in one game, you can’t help but wonder why he wasn’t utilized more.

“I didn’t realize I had so many yards,” Gingg said to the “Zone Read.” “Never did I think the total number would be over 300. My line was creating great holes. All throughout the game I felt that I wasn’t even being touched until the second or third level. They have worked extremely hard all off-season.”

He is referencing bigs Blake Gamez, who I introduced you to this off-season, Garrett Locke, Jager Stigsell, Harjot Mander and Andrew Sharp.

I’m happy for first-year head coach Shawn Copeland. A class act and one of the best young leaders of men in the Valley.

Waiting His Turn…Even with the increasing number of transfers, high school football is still very much a team game and often, the selfless are rewarded if they wait their turn and seize the opportunity when given. 

Brophy quarterback Matt Winter fits that description. The senior didn’t throw a single varsity pass until last Friday night at Phoenix College.

Not only did the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder play, he played well, as the Broncos took down a deep and experienced Liberty team 9-6.

“He faced some adversity here [at Brophy] and stuck it out,” head coach Jason Jewell said to the “Zone Read.” “He played well in his first start…most importantly, we didn’t turn the ball over offensively. He helped us control the football and win the time of possession.”

Winter’s stats won’t jump off the page (17-25, 157 yards and a touchdown) but you’d expect his confidence to grow going through the experience of playing a west Valley power like Liberty and finding success.

Still hard to believe some of the local “high school football experts” don’t have BCP ranked after Week 0.

Like they say, it’s never where you start but where you finish.

Next In Line…The Ricedorff name and excellent quarterback play have become synonymous with one another in Arizona. 

Under the tutelage of father Randy Ricedorff,  Rathen and Rhett put up big numbers and posted even bigger wins at Show Low High School in northeast Arizona. Now the family airshow has made its way to the southeast Valley.

Randy Ricedorff has already won 17 games in just over two seasons at American Leadership Academy – Gilbert and started 2019 with a bang blowing out Gilbert Christian 40-10 behind a strong defense and the next-in-line behind center in son, Jack Ricedorff.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior, who also plays volleyball at ALAG, is entering his second full season as the Eagles’ starter. A big step in his development this fall will be cutting down on the 13 interceptions he threw in 2018.

It’s a safe bet the family reminds of him of this frequently. 

After all, the Ricedorff’s don’t know any different.

Growing Up Fast…We saw a pretty rare occurence take place last weekend in the southeast Valley: Higley getting blown out. Eddy Zubey has slowly built the program from the bottom up when he took over before the 2011 season. The Knights had gone a combined 31-8 over the past three seasons and established themselves as one of the top programs in the state.

Higley’s 55-16 blowout loss to Alemany (CA) on Saturday may be more attributed to youth, than actual skill on the roster. Gone are mainstays and Power 5 players Ty Robinson and Spencer Brasch, as well as now NAU Lumberjack Coleman Owen and a host of others like Jaxen Gibbons, Logan Maxwell and Austin Godfrey.

“We knew Alemany was going to be tough,” Zubey explained to the “Zone Read.” “It was the first varsity game for some of our players and it showed. We had too many before the snap penalties and on defense we couldn’t get off the field.”

Alemany converted five of six fourth-down conversions and 60% of their third-down attempts.

“We are looking forward to getting out there Friday and playing another good opponent in Horizon,” he said.

Last year’s game in Flagstaff was a good one. 

I don’t expect that script to change this week in north Scottsdale.