Zone Read: Chilly Unplugged

Arizona Sports News online

His brand has become iconic in Arizona high school football for more than a decade, but it’s the work he puts in to help promote the student-athletes, and the game we all love, that sets Just Chilly apart.

“Zone Read” sat down with’s content creator, recruiting insider, influencer, and brand ambassador for AZHS football to preview his massive “Flight Club” 7-on-7 tourmanent and Big Man event, what first drew him to prep sports, how he sees prep football growing in Arizona, and much more.

Flight Club is happening this Saturday, June 25th. Hit “Zone Read” with those details. “Man, we’re takin’ off! Here’s the deal. This year we’re going at night – midnight madness. 6:00PM to midnight at Copper Sky Fields in Maricopa. I’ve got some of the best quarterbacks in the state, and in the country, coming through. We are going to light this thing up!”

How did the idea for this concept first come about? “During the pandemic, the kids were struggling. A lot of them DM’ed me. They were asking me how they could get some [reps] in, if it was possible. Long story short, I found a park that wasn’t being used. I reached out to some parents. I originally did this with 11-man teams because we had to deal with some of the situations regarding numbers. I lined up the field and it was all good until some of the neighbors started complaining. But that was some of my Tempe residents that showed love and brought water for the kids.”

This weekend will, technically, be the third year of the event. How long does it take to plan something like this? “I usually get going on it like 2-3 weeks after the season ends. I start making my calls. Everyone always wonder how they get an early bid. My Open [Division] teams and high level quarterbacks get the early bids.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who covers high school football in Arizona with more passion than you. When and how did it all start? “I worked for a local radio station back in 2009 and they asked me pick up a philanthropy. I decided I wanted to give back to the youth and high school sports. I started bringing the kids into the studio and things like that. I worked closely with Hamilton because they were the dominant school at the time. I swung over to Chandler. I used to bring [in studio] the Kendyl Taylor’s, the Cole Luke’s, the Malcolm Holland’s. Arizona Avenue was famous at the time because the rivalry was so big. Bryce Perkins, Chase Lucas all made an appearance in my studio and I had a lot of fun. It was the first interview for a lot of those guys.”

You’ve always been all about the kids. What makes that so special for you?  “Just giving kids the opportunity because it’s great to be out there and have them feel the fame a little bit because it takes a village. We all have to help raise these kids because the parents can’t do it by themselves, the coaches can’t do it by themselves. I’m grateful that parents and coaches trust me to do these events to help me support their kids. I’ve gone from interviewing kids and helping them to get stars to now NIL’ing them. Shout out to Grayson Stovall and Isaia Glass. Two of my first guys. This is breaking – Trenton Bourguet and Coben Bourguet will be my co-Grand Marshall’s for Flight Club!”

What’s your favorite part about covering a game on a fall Friday night here in Arizona? “The raw emotion of covering some of these kids. Whether they’re super animated or poker faced. Just trying to figure out how a kid’s temperament matches their play and things like that. My second degree is in education and I just love the opportunity to work with these guys.”

Do you ever see the balance of in-state power shifting away from the big school, blue blood programs? “At some point it has to shift a little bit and it’s really all about community growth. If we don’t have the pandemic, maybe Cesar Chavez is a team we’re talking about being on the rise with all that talent that they had because, if you really go through that roster that they had going into the pandemic, man…a lot of teams were lucky…because Cesar Chavez was ready. It’s going to happen because communities are going to grow and places are going to populate. It has to move and grow. Somewhere else will become the strength.”

Is the increased numbers in Arizona a problem, simply just a part of AZHS football, or a combination of both? “Man, free agency, player movement…as much as I hate it, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if we hate it or love it. We are going to have to embrace it because it is a thing. Families deserve the opportunity to look for the best opportunity. I know everybody wants to go back to having kids play in a certain district or whatever but, if a district isn’t good at math. They don’t have good math teachers, for whatever reason, and your kid is one of the best math students in his eighth grade class, you are not going to force him to go into that district. You’re going to find a place to cater to your kid’s academic abilities. We have to relate to athletics in some capacity like that.”

Is Arizona a Top 10 state for high school football and, if it isn’t, are we creeping up to that level? “It has to be nine, 10, or 11. Honestly, I’d argue Arizona is like sixth or seventh. I’d probably lost that argument but I’d be willing to argue it. We have two of the top quarterback in 2024, without question (Chandler’s Dylan Raiola and Basha’s Demond Williams, Jr.). We probably have five players that could be in the Top 20 or Top 30 quarterbacks in 2024. Our ’24 class is going to be super special and our ’23 class will be a little bit underrated, especially coming off the pandemic. I think we’re there. I think we’re there competing to be in the Top 10 or right on the cusp.”

This state has produced so many elite level prep quarterbacks. Do you see that trend continuing? “I think Arizona is going to continue to be a hot bed for quarterbacks. I was just watching [Saguaro’s] Devon Dampier compete against some of the top quarterbacks in the country and he was doing his thing, holding his own. I would argue he was playing just as well as any of them. [Mountain Ridge’s] Brendan Anderson is also phenomenal from the ’23 class. I think people are going to have to start respecting Arizona high school football a lot more.”