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Longtime football assistant Tim Rutt is expected to become Gilbert's new football coach, according to three sources with knowledge of the situation.
Tory Brooks makes an adjustment for Ken Rutt.
Gilbert coach Tim Rutt yells out instructions during the game against the Mesquite Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at Gilbert high school. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
Basha's Brandon Rutt drives Westview's ball carrier to the ground, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 at Basha. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
Gilbert coach Tim Rutt talks on a headset while taking on Skyline, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Gilbert. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]
Gilbert coach Tim Rutt talks to his team while taking on Skyline, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Gilbert. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]
Scottsdale Christian basketball members Tim Maiden (left), Chris Osborn and Seth Rutt hold the trophy for fellow senior Nkem Ojougboh as he kisses it following their second win in two years of the 2A basketball state championship.
Westview's Dordell Provchy barely gets off a pass as Basha's Steven Westbrook and Brandon Rutt wrap him up, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 at Basha. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
Basha's Steven Westbrook and Brandon Rutt set their sights on Westview's quarterback Kordell Provchy, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 at Basha. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
Outlook: When Tim Rutt arrived as Gilbert’s new football coach in February, he saw a demoralized group. The Tigers had just dealt with the highly-publicized and controversial firing of Leland Rodgers and were onto their third coach in three years. The participation numbers were small and morale was low.
The opening game of the season in any sport is often sloppy and filled with mistakes. That was the case on Friday in Mesquite’s 10-3 win over host-Gilbert in the Wildcats' debut as a Division II school under new coach Jim Jones.
By Tuesday night, both Gilbert and Mesquite high schools were expected to have finalized their respective football coaches in Tim Rutt (Gilbert) and Jim Jones (Mesquite).
Behind a new quarterback, a powerful rushing game, and a strong defense, Gilbert was able to pick up its first victory of the season on Friday, defeating Dobson 31-13.
September has not been one to remember for either team, but this could be Gilbert’s chance to get in the ‘W’ column. Both teams have struggled mightily every which way so far this season, but it’s been tumultuous around Gilbert moreso as new coach Tim Rutt tries his hand at running a program and turning the Tigers around. It’s been rough offensively, as the Tigers have yet to put up double digits in any of its four losses to start the season. After losses to Mesa and Poston Butte, the Mustangs eked out a win over Glendale Raymond S. Kellis two weeks ago, and an easy shutout over Phoenix Maryvale. Dobson has a bit more spring in the step after the past two weeks, but Gilbert is desperate, and the Tigers’ finally get a win as they brace for a b-r-u-t-a-l second half of their schedule...
Prediction: Gilbert 17, Dobson 14
-- Mark Heller
Outlook: Last season was an interesting one for Basha. The Bears finished up 7-4 and lost in the first round of the playoffs, but were very competitive against the state’s elite teams. A few different bounces could have resulted in a couple more wins and a longer run in the postseason. This year’s team has the look of a top-10 squad once again.
The Bears will travel out of state for the first time in their history to face off with a top-5 Nevada team in Green Valley. Mountain Pointe defeated Bishop Gorman — Nevada’s best team — last week, and Tucson Salpointe had its way against Liberty, so Basha will look to make it 3-0 against Nevada opponents. The offense should be good out of the gate, as quarterback Zach Werlinger and running back Rajhan Meriwether have the talent and experience to lead the way. Brandon Rutt is the leader on defense, but that’s where the Bears have more question marks. Green Valley’s offense is its strength, as dual-threat quarterback Christian Lopez and wide receiver Markus Varner could be tough to contain. This one has all the makings of a shootout, and even though both teams have talented players, I’ll go with the Arizona team based on the previous week’s results.
Prediction: Basha 35, Green Valley 31
-- Kyle Odegard
Why not start the season against a rival? Though with vastly different reasons behind the changes, both schools are beginning significant transformations to the programs this year in an effort to return to prominence. Mesquite hired longtime coach Jim Jones and is now in Division II. Gilbert hired longtime assistant (Hamilton and Basha) Tim Rutt after it fired Leland Rogers after one season and has tried to instill a more disciplinary approach. Both schools are mostly starting from scratch, but especially Gilbert which has to break in a new group of offensive skill position players around RB/DB Erik Hironaka, with Tyler Stephenson the new QB after transferring from Chaparral, and Alex Gerstner who transferred from Chandler. Mesquite has a solid defense (especially the secondary with Juan Giraldo and Jordan Robinson) but has a mostly new group offensively outside Paul Perry and Payton Haslam, but Gilbert’s offensive line figures to be a strength. The journey for both begins, but Gilbert’s size and depth might make the difference during the hot August nights.
Prediction: Gilbert 20, Mesquite 13
Arizona High School Football Coaches Association Big 25 Team (regardless of classification), as voted by Arizona high school football coaches:
KB Toys will be setting up shop in a few East Valley Sears stores this month.
Basha did its part to control its own playoff destiny by beating Gilbert, 40-14 on Friday.
Thanks to a career-long field goal by Austin Carver and a defense which put pressure on Perry quarterback Alec Monte all night, visiting Gilbert ruined the Pumas' homecoming night with a 9-0 win in a Division I, Section I matchup on Friday.
Campo Verde continued its successful start to the 2013 season with a 31-8 win over Gilbert on Thursday night at Campo Verde. The Coyotes (4-0) led 17-0 at halftime and except for the third quarter controlled the game on both sides of the ball.
Mesa district athletic director Steve Hogen graduated high school in 1977, and his football experience surely mirrored many others from that time period.
Here is the Division I Section 1 All-Section football team as voted by the section's football coaches:
Here is the 2013 Chandler All-District football team, as voted by the school district's football coaches: