The County Line
10 months ago Andrew Luberda 0
Welcome back to The County Line, my blog on news and notes surrounding the athletic programs we cover at CountyLinePreps.com.
Today is the day – T.G.I.G. Thank God it’s Gameday!
In this short, Gameday edition, a road trip with the Arizona Varsity crew, the Week One schedule for CLP teams and what games we’ll be at, and the three final Bucket List guys are named.
Let’s walk the line…
Chargers Roady – Benjamin Franklin, my preseason pick to win the 3A state title, opens its season with a neutral site “home” game more than 200 miles from Charger Stadium in Queen Creek. As of the writing of TCL, two and perhaps three members of the ArizonaVarsity.com crew are joining me on a road trip to the Round Valley Ensphere (Dome) in Eagar. Chilly and Cody T. Cameron are committed, and we are awaiting confirmation from “The Boss,” Ralph Amsden.
These three, along with Chris Eaton (@gridironarizona) and Kevin Derryberry (@KDBVoice) released their weekly Top-10 rankings, which had the Chargers ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll.
It’s not about where the Chargers start in the rankings, it’s where they finish in the final poll.
— ArizonaVarsity.com 🏈🏈🏈🏈 (@AZHSFB) August 15, 2018
Week One Schedule – Here it is:
I’ll be at Queen Creek with Corey Cross and Caela Fox will be in Coolidge. Make sure you follow us for score and game updates. If you happen to be at any of the other games, I always appreciate you tagging me with updates and photos.
My 2018 Bucket List (Cont’d) – 12 down and the final three to go.
My list includes players, in no particular order, that may or may not make other’s rankings or lists. Simply, they are players I want to see in person before the end of the upcoming season.
I’ve identified players for this year’s list, but I’m going to release the names a little different than past years. The changes include increasing the number of players named to 15. Additionally, I’m going to release the players, three at a time, in The County Line, before the complete list appears on CountyLinePreps.com
I suggest you be on the lookout for these players under the Friday Night Lights:
Brandon McMahan (Sr), Offensive Line/Linebacker – San Tan Foothills High School (5’9, 225 pounds)
McMahan was a two-way starter a year ago and will be again this year.
The senior earned several postseason honors in 2017 and should again in 2018.
One Sabercats assistant coach recently told me that McMahan will be a beast at middle linebacker in 2018.
I wouldn’t expect anything less after he finished with 91 tackles a year ago, which was tops on the team. Of the 91 tackles, 58 were solo stops, eight were tackles-for-loss, and one was a sack.
McMahan also had a pick, caused two fumbles, and blocked a field goal.
Speaking of field goals, McMahan is the Cats’ placekicker and punter too.
He converted 53-of-60 PAT and 1-of-2 field goal attempts. His average punt traveled 42 yards.
If you want to see a player who does it all, McMahan is your guy.
Brock LaPoint (Sr), Offensive/Defensive Tackle – San Tan Foothills High School (6’3, 260 pounds)
LaPoint is another returning starter from a year ago, and like his partner McMahan, he picked up a plethora of postseason recognition after last season.
He has the talent, size and academics to attract college scouts, and he likely will throughout his final high school season.
While LaPoint played on defense last year, he made his mark as the Cats’ dominant left tackle on offense. He did finish with 25 tackles in 2017, including five tackles-for-loss.
If you want to see one of the best offensive linemen in the 3A Central Region, head to a STFHS game and look for this guy.
Isaiah Navarro (Jr), Center/Defensive Lineman – Poston Butte High School (5’11, 240 pounds)
Navarro is arguably one of the Broncos’ toughest returning players, and one of their most versatile.
Like several of his teammates, Navarro will be a two-way starter in 2018 and could line up at more than one position on the defensive side of the ball.
As a sophomore, starting along the offensive line, where he excelled and learned to be a leader. His experience and leadership among the linemen will be important as that group is responsible for protecting first-year varsity starting quarterback Dalton Holley.
Poston Butte head coach Dain Thompson: “Isaiah is the leader of the offensive lineman. He’s a tough player with a great motor. (He’s) one of our best defensive lineman, and he may even stand up and play linebacker in certain situations