Chandler Hamilton hit the football jackpot in December when it captured another 5A Division I title. On Wednesday, six members of the championship team signed letters of intent to play at the NCAA Division I or Division II level.
Wide receivers Kerry Taylor and Trey Peacock, safety Glenn Love, linebacker Colin Parker and quarterback Brad Gruner signed with Division I programs. Defensive lineman Chris Schaan signed on in Division II. A little chocolate syrup heaped on ice cream in a banner first year for coach Steve Belles.
“Never had this many kids sign in one year,” Belles said. “Not even close. It’s one of those years where things worked out for a lot of kids.”
Taylor and Parker are staying home. They signed with ASU. Both committed before the football season. They are the only local high school players headed to a state school.
Taylor and Parker will be seeing teammate Glenn Love soon enough in the Pac-10 at UCLA. Peacock is going far, far away to Princeton. Gruner, one state to the east at New Mexico. Schaan, the Huskies’ sack leader last season, is headed to the University of North Dakota.
Taylor and Peacock were a nice 1-2 receiving punch for Gruner to throw to last fall. Love was a force in the secondary a year after missing most of his junior year with an injury. Parker, son of former Sun Devil standout Anthony Parker, showed enough his sophomore and junior years to earn a scholarship but had to watch his teammates this year when knee surgery late in the 2005 season had to be redone just days before the 2006 season opener.
Several of Hamilton’s Fiesta Region foes also are sending players to the next level. Chandler two-way lineman Cameron Jordan is on his way to the Pac-10 and Cal, where the Bears will use him on defense. Gilbert Highland tight end/defensive end Nuku Latu signed with Colorado State. Mesa Desert Ridge quarterback Clay Busch will compete at Fordham, a Division I-AA school.
Other notable East Valley Division I signings include Phoenix Brophy’s Blake Behrens (Colorado), Andrew Serrano (Brown) and Shane Peterlin (Dartmouth). Scottsdale Saguaro’s Shane Anderson will play for Nevada, as will Paradise Valley lineman Steve Haley.
Apache Junction has two players headed to Division II schools in Dalton Hoch (Adams State, Colo.) and Zack Tournageau (Minnesota-Moorhead).