A Phoenix Brophy season hammered by injuries and inexperience turned positive for a change this week.
Senior linebacker Adam Holzmeister practiced in full pads with the Broncos this week and is expected to play in tonight’s rivalry matchup with Phoenix St. Mary’s.
A two-year starter and All-Desert Valley Region player, Holzmeister originally had his arm broken when he tried to brace himself after falling victim to a late hit against Las Vegas Bishop Gorman in the season-opening Barry Sollenberger Classic. He had surgery a couple of weeks ago and has been in a cast since.
He’ll still wear protection, but after two weeks of sideline work and conditioning, was cleared to resume all football-related activities.
“That’s a beautiful thing,” Brophy coach Scooter Molander said of having a key defender back in the fold.
A victory over Phoenix Shadow Mountain last week gave the Chargers four wins this season, the same number it had last year to squeeze into the 4A-I state playoffs.
McClintock was 3-6 heading into the season finale, then beat Apache Junction to get in as the No. 15 seed. McClintock then pulled the upset of the playoffs by beating No. 2 seed Glendale Cactus in the first round.
Coach Mike Gibbons is stressing a win today, because if the team beats Cave Creek Cactus Shadows, it virtually guarantees a playoff berth.
“I don’t want to go into Week 10 needing a win again,” Gibbons said. “I’d rather be focusing on improving our seeding.”
The Knights are expected to be without their top rusher for tonight’s 1A playoff opener against Scottsdale Salt River. Sophomore Tom McDonald was knocked out of last week’s regular-season finale with a back injury and is listed as unlikely.
CORONA DEL SOL
Aztecs coach Gary Venturo was named the Cardinals high school coach of the week following his team’s 35-27 victory against Chandler last Friday, the team’s seventh consecutive win to start the season.
Saints junior tight end Sean Morrow will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Saturday’s 15-13 victory over Marin Catholic (Calif.).
Morrow has two receptions for 62 yards this season.
One stat that is overwhelming for the Toros and explains a lot of their success this season comes in the turnover department.
So far, in Mountain View’s seven games, the Toros have 23 takeaways and five giveaways.
Staff writers Matt Paulson, Kyle Odegard and Les Willsey contributed to this story.