Roh turning into Player of the Year candidate at Chaparral

Roh turning into Player of the Year candidate at Chaparral

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Roh turning into Player of the Year candidate at Chaparral

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It may depend on how far three-time defending state champion Scottsdale Chaparral can go in the Division II football playoffs, but senior receiver/linebacker Jake Roh has emerged as a Big Schools Player of the Year candidate.

There may not be another player in Arizona who has had the impact he has had on both sides of the ball the second half of the season.

During Chaparral’s five-game winning streak, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Roh has caught 11 touchdown passes, including three in last week’s 55-20 win over Phoenix Horizon. Roh had nine catches for 174 yards in the game.

On defense, playing outside linebacker, Roh has three interceptions, eight pass deflections and 46 tackles. Against Horizon, he had four solo tackles, three for losses.

He has scored three touchdowns in each of Chaparral’s past three games, including an interception return for a score against Phoenix Shadow Mountain.

"He’s just been a beast, a catalyst on both offense and defense," coach Dave Huffine said. "You talk about kids who are Player of the Year candidates, this kid is doing it so well on offense and defense. No one means more to a team than what Jake Roh means to us. He’ll play D-end and rush the passer. On offense, we put him in at a slot, at tight end and wide receiver. He creates mismatches."

Huffine said Boise State recently has shown great interest, wanting him to make a recruiting trip up there. Washington State offered a scholarship during a trip there this season. He also has been offered recently by Nevada. Roh’s brother Craig was a star defensive end at Chaparral and a top defender at Michigan. He is being recruited on both sides of the ball. Colleges like him at either strong safety or outside linebacker on defense.

"There are some school taking a hard look at him," Huffine said. "Some feel he’s kind of a ‘tweener. They don’t know if he’s a good enough outside receiver or big enough tight end. With those genes that run in his family, what his brother is doing at Michigan, he’s got an ulimited amount of football in his future. He’s a heck of a football player."

Roh’s leadership has been key down the stretch for a young team that had to replace its offensive line from last year and key skill position players.

Senior quarterback Brad Schencker, in his first year, is starting to provide stability at that position after Chaparral had it so well the past three seasons with Connor Brewer leading the offense. The line has been a work in progress all year. But three close losses to three top teams (Tucson Salpointe, Tempe Marcos de Niza and Scottsdale Desert Mountain) the first half of the season should make Chaparral a difficult matchup for anybody at state.

Chaparral will see how far it has come Thursday when it plays at rival Scottsdale Saguaro (7-2), which has put up incredible offensive numbers all season behind the Big Three of QB Luke Rubenzer, WR Christian Kirk and RB Gena Adams.

For now, it’s up to Roh and veteran defensive backs Alex Arnold and Tim Murphy to show the rest of the Chaparral players what champions are made of.

"They have rings on their fingers," Huffine said. "They’re leading the way right now. They’re showing the young kids what it is like at the end of the year, playing your best football, believing in themselves."

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