A tough schedule in the first six games slowed Jim Rattay’s run to 300 career wins.
But the Laveen Cesar Chavez coach can get there Friday night with a win to end the season against Goodyear Millennium (5-4), which wants to make sure it locks up a Division I playoff spot.
Millennium comes into the game seeded 14th.
Cesar Chavez (3-6), seeded 21st, lost its first six games, five against teams ranked among the top 10 by azcentral sports.
Rattay, who began his high school coaching career in Ohio, leading Elyria Catholic to a state championship his first year in 1976, isn’t making this game about himself.
“This is about the seniors,” Rattay said.
“They were given a difficult path and they’ve persevered. For some, this will be the last time they put on the pads.”
Rattay, who has won seven state championships in 38 years as a head coach, was reminded about how important relationships are beyond the football field two weeks ago when he attended the funeral of Florence coach Stephen McKane, who was an all-state center and linebacker for Rattay on his 1992 state championship team at Mesa.
“It was an opportunity to reconnect with a lot of players who played at Mesa High School,” said Rattay, who began his Arizona coaching career in the 1980s at Mesa High.
Phoenix Sunnyslope can cap its first unbeaten regular-season since 2001 with a win over Phoenix St. Mary’s, which happens to be Sunnyslope coach Damon Pieri’s alma mater.
But it’s not a given the Vikings will finish 10-0 with all of the injuries accumulated in last week’s game against Phoenix Carl Hayden.
Pieri says junior running back Tim Fryson, the team’s go-to guy, is out with a pulled hamstring.
The other running back, Joey Smith, tore his anterior cruciate ligament. Strong safety Jack Faust broke his fibula.
There are other starters questionable for the game, Pieri said.
There may be more responsibilities hoisted on the shoulders of 6-foot-9 quarterback Michael Humphrey, who committed to Stanford to play basketball on Wednesday. Humphrey has yet to throw an interception.
“He does not get rattled and is very confident in what he does,” Pieri said.
“I think all the players really look up to him because he is not cocky and blends right in with the team, despite his size and all the basketball recruiting hoopla. Just a real normal kid.”
Phoenix Mountain Pointe receiver/defensive back Jalen Brown and offensive guard Natrell Curtis, and Scottsdale Desert Mountain quarterback Kyle Allen and receiver Mark Andrews received their U.S. Army All-American Bowl jerseys in ceremonies at the schools this week. A U.S. Army High School Football All-American representative said this is the most Arizona players given jerseys to play in the history of the bowl, which is the longest running for high school all-star games.
Mountain Pointe’s Norris Vaughan has been chosen to coach in the Jan. 4 game in San Antonio at the Alamodome.
Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep long snapper Nick Reinhardt last week received his Under Armour All-American Game jersey.
Chandler Hamilton’s Steve Belles was chosen to coach in the Under Armour game in St. Petersburg, Fla., in January.