High school football two-a-days: Division III, Sections IV and III

High school football two-a-days: Division III, Sections IV and III

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High school football two-a-days: Division III, Sections IV and III

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Laveen Cesar Chavez football player Pavone Myers at the school's gym on July 13, 2015.

Laveen Cesar Chavez football player Pavone Myers at the school’s gym on July 13, 2015.

Leading up to the high school football season on Aug. 21, each day we’ll look at two divisions and sections.

Division III, Section IV

The teams: Phoenix Alhambra, Phoenix Central, Phoenix Carl Hayden, Phoenix Maryvale, Phoenix North, Phoenix South Mountain, Phoenix Trevor Browne, Phoenix Camelback, Laveen Cesar Chavez, Laveen Betty Fairfax.

The favorite: Cesar Chavez. Moving down from Division I, where it wasn’t terrible, the Champions are ready to be, well, champions.

The contender: North. Coach Bernie Busken, in his second year, has gotten the school excited about football.

The dark horse: Alhambra. Longtime coach Frank Lautt always does a tremendous job, no matter the numbers.

MORE TWO-A-DAYS: Div. VI and V | Div. IV and Div. III, Section IX | Div. III and Sections VIII and VII | Div. III, Section VI | Div. III, Section V

The players: Javier Mesa, Cesar Chavez, DT/OL, 6-4, 291, So.; Taylor Skaff, Cesar Chavez, OL/DL, 6-2, 320, Jr.; Pavone Myers, Cesar Chavez, RB/SS, 5-11, 190, Sr.; Kenny Sutton, Cesar Chavez, DB/WR, 6-0, 170, Sr.; Prince Gbeadah, North, RB/LB, 6-1, 210, Sr.; Torey Blevins, North, QB, 6-3, 185, Sr.; Chris Gabrielson, North, WR/DB, 5-9, 170, Sr.; Garrison Walker, South Mountain, WR/FS, 5-10, 165, Sr.; Jesus Velazquez, Alhambra, WR, 5-8, 160, Sr.; Fernando Lopez, Trevor Browne, TE/LB, 6-2, 225, Sr.; Gabriel Vasquez, Fairfax, WR/FS, 5-11, 160, Sr.; James Miller, Camelback, LB, 5-11, 200, Sr.

The intrigue: Cesar Chavez coach Jim Rattay and North coach Bernie Busken have combined for 10 state football championships. … Another name for this section could be the Phoenix Union High School District Section. All 10 district schools are in this section. … Cesar Chavez, North and Maryvale all moved down  two divisions. … Trevor Browne has its third coach in three years. … Cesar Chavez’s strength is its line. It won almost every Big Man competition it entered this  summer. … North doubled the number of players out for football in Busken’s second year. … South Mountain has won only one game since going 3-7 in 2010. … Lakel Davis, Alhambra’s top rusher after five games last season, has returned after he left midway through last season, moving to the state of Washington.

PHOTOS: Arizona high school preseason practice – 2015

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Division III, Section III

The teams: Phoenix Shadow Mountain, Phoenix North Canyon, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows, Scottsdale Notre Dame, Phoenix Goldwater, Paradise Valley.

The favorite: Paradise Valley. Dynamic duo of QB Daniel Bridge-Gadd and WR Jacob Brown should keep the Trojans on top.

The contender: Notre Dame. Move down from Division II makes Saints an immediate contender not only for section but state.

The dark horse: Shadow Mountain. Athletic and well-coached.

RELATED: More high school coverage from Richard Obert

The players: Jake Welsheimer, Shadow Mountain, WR, 5-10, 173, Sr.; Darion Spottsville, Shadow Mountain, QB, 6-3, 180, Jr.; Destin Nasr, Shadow Mountain, DB, 5-7, 155, Sr.; John Okwoli, North Canyon, WR/DB, 6-2, 190, Sr.; Austin Jackson, North Canyon, OL, 6-6, 270, Jr.;  Davan Norris, Cactus Shadows, QB/FS, 6-2, 185, Sr.; Troy Ralson, Cactus Shadows, LB, 6-0, 210, Sr.; Tyler Taffuri, Notre Dame, LB, 6-1, 225, Sr.; Cam Yowell, Notre Dame, QB, 6-1, 175, Jr.; Jeffry Kindorf, Notre Dame, WR/LB, 6-4, 205, Sr.; Alex Centa, Goldwater, WR, 6-2, 205, Sr.; Demarco Jackson, Goldwater, WR, 5-9, 165, Sr.; Daniel Bridge-Gadd, Paradise Valley, QB, 6-3, 205, Sr.; Jacob Brown, Paradise Valley, WR/DB, 6-0, 190, Sr.; Michael Maloney, Cactus Shadows, SS/WR, 5-11, 190, Sr.

The intrigue: North Canyon went 0-10 last season in Division I, but the move down two levels should make it competitive with two of the state’s more dynamic players returning in WR John Okwoli and OL Austin Jackson … Two Arizona Rattlers defenders, lineman Anttaj Hawthorne and linebacker Tyre Glasper, are part of North Canyon Rattlers coach Cornelius Bowick’s staff. .. Notre Dame coach Mark Nolan led Regis Jesuit in the Denver area the past six seasons. A defensive-minded coach, Nolan could have the best defense in the section with LB Tyler Taffuri, DE Kyle Soelle and FS Connor Graham leading the way. … Shadow Mountain should improve from a 3-7 season with the passing duo of QB Darion Spottsville and WR Jake Welsheimer back after they combined on 14 TDs in 2014. … Goldwater graduated nine of 11 defensive starters but have two of the section’s top defenders in linebacker Sam Michel (led the state in tackles for 10 weeks) and free safety Alex Centa (great hitter, instincts). … Paradise Valley QB Daniel Bridge-Gadd threw 19 of his 27 TD passes last season to Jacob Brown. Paradise Valley reached the Division II quarterfinals last season. … This will be coach Michael Hudnutt’s deepest team at Cactus Shadows with only two sophomores on the roster.

Reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.

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