Two quarterback competitions at East Sky Region schools were resolved this week.
At Tempe High, Zach Guizar, who was primarily a cornerback last season, edged fellow senior Mario Saya for the starting job.
Guizar takes over for the graduated Pedro Rubio, who attempted all but one of Tempe’s passes last season and threw for 917 yards and rushed for 553.
Coach John Rodriguez said he picked Guizar because he believes the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder can be a similar dual threat.
“We need his athleticism now,” Rodriguez said.
Queen Creek, meanwhile, is taking a less traditional approach.
“We’re going to have a twoheaded snake,” coach Curt Le-Blanc said.
Returning starter Richie Edwards, who threw for 1,197 yards, 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions his junior year, will split time with Adam Brzeczek, also a senior.
“We’re going to utilize both kids at various times,” LeBlanc said. “We have a couple of different offensive packages based upon the personnel. We’re going to fluctuate those throughout the game.”
Broncos coach Scooter Molander said Beau Maggi will start at quarterback against Chandler Hamilton, but “more than likely” Sam Quinif will also see snaps.
Both played against Las Vegas Bishop Gorman in the seasonopening victory two weeks ago. Both had mixed results. Quinif was 8-for-11 for 80 yards. Maggi went 6-for-10 for 39 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Though he didn’t see action playing behind Bryan Berens in the past, Quinif was listed at the position last year. Maggi wasn’t.
“Ideally, you want to settle on one guy, and the only way to improve is to not only get reps in practice, but get game repetitions,” Molander said. “We know Sam is ready to go as a returner and he understands the offense.”
It’s been a rugged start to the season for the Thunder, who play their first game tonight at Gilbert. But there’s hope coming.
Thunder coach Dan Hinds said senior running back Marcus Washington (stress fracture) could be cleared by his doctor next week to resume football activities.
He’s out for tonight’s game but could return as early as next Friday against Mesa, or more likely the following week vs. Chandler.
Washington is a Division I prospect who rushed for 415 yards (7.8 per carry) and four touchdowns last season.
A group featuring Devon Kennard and Anders Battle will likely divvy up the carries tonight.
The only major injury the Wolves have suffered thus far came during the summer when kicker Sammy White blew out a knee playing soccer. White is out for the year. The Wolves will open the season with punter Kyle Trella also handling place-kicking duties. “He’s … really improved,” coach Jim Ewan said.
Former Scottsdale Horizon and new Paradise Valley quarterback Kevin Spain has been cleared to play football this season for the Trojans. Spain, a junior, did not change homes after last season, but the Paradise Valley school district appealed for a transfer hardship with the AIA and it was approved.
- Staff writers Mark Heller, Les Willsey and Kyle Odegard contributed to this report.