Chandler gets initial nod; Queen Creek cracks top 10
8 months ago Jason P. Skoda 0
Some coaches love to talk off the record.
They open up, talk more freely and oftentimes show off more personality. You get a glimpse into their real thoughts instead of getting clichés. Depending on the relationship between coach and reporter there is still an agenda, and some still have a skewed perspective.
When it goes well the wall gets knocked down and everything that follows gets to the real truth on certain subjects.
That kind of relationship is the impetus behind the idea of doing an anonymous coaches’ poll for 6A football.
Let’s give the coaches a platform to honestly rank the top teams in Arizona’s biggest football conference without backlash and give a thought or two on certain teams or players.
The initial preseason ballot has 11 of the 37 coaches weighing in with hopes of growing each week. The poll is pretty simple. Coaches turn in their top 10 with first-place votes getting 10 points and 10th place votes earning one point.
The top team isn’t a surprise as nationally-ranked Chandler is the heavy favorite to win its third-straight title and fourth in five years, garnering 109 points out of a possible 110, as coach Shaun Aguano continues to shape the state’s top talent into a team.
The Wolves received 10 of the 11 first-place votes and will probably stay their all year behind quarterback Jacob Conover, linebacker Zach Bowers, transfer defensive lineman Matthew Pola-Mao, and a ton of other talent.
After that it is pretty wide open with last year’s runner-up Perry at No. 2 with 82 points; followed by Pinnacle (73 points), Hamilton (67, including one first-place vote) and Mountain Pointe (65) to form the top five.
Locally, Queen Creek’s first foray into the big-school division won’t overwhelm the Bulldogs, according to the coaches. They were ranked as high as fifth and were mentioned on eight of the 11 ballots to earn the No. 8 position to start the year.
One coach said, “Queen Creek showed they could handle it last year when they beat Hamilton at Hamilton. Hamilton was down, but Queen Creek took it to them. They’ll be fine.”
Queen Creek wasn’t the only team in the top 10 that will be making the jump from 5A to make the top 10 as Liberty came in seventh and Chaparral ninth.
One coach had a little fun with it by dropping in a 10th place vote for Saguaro, followed by an “Oh, wait they’re 4A.” See, give them some leeway and they show some personality.
Another said a darkhorse to lookout for was Boulder Creek, which was named on two ballots.
“Boulder Creek is my sleeper,” the coach wrote. “Basically, everybody back from a solid team last year. They played very hard last year, and if they grew as a team in the off-season then they will surprise people.”
It will be interesting to see how it all changes after this week’s set of games.
So, without further ado, here is the initial 6A Coaches Poll:
6A Football Rankings (11 coaches participating)
- Chandler (10 1st place votes) 109
- Perry 89
- Pinnacle 73
- Hamilton (1) 67
- Mtn Pointe 64
- Red Mtn 49
- Liberty 27
- Queen Creek 24
- Chaparral 21
- Highland 20
Others receiving votes: Desert Vista 17, Desert Ridge 16, Skyline 11, Mesa Mountain View 7, Cesar Chavez 5, Sandra Day O’Connor 4, Boulder Creek 3, Saguaro 1 (Actually 4A).