Gilbert Christian Knights
Division VI, Section III
Coach: Larry Cain
Last year’s record: 5-3, did not qualify for the Division VI postseason.
Returning offensive starters: 6, including running back Saile Daimwood, who had 378 rushing yards, 142 receiving yards and 12 total TD last season.
Returning defensive starters: 6, including defensive end Corbin Young, who had 34 tackles and two and a half sacks last season.
Aug. 24 vs. Salt River; Aug. 31 at Veritas Prep; Sept. 7 vs. Superior; Sept. 14 at Valley Lutheran; Sept. 21 at Scottsdale Prep; Sept. 28 vs. Chandler Prep; Oct. 5 at Cibecue; Oct. 12 vs. Ash Fork.
Sept. 7 vs. Superior: Gilbert Christian was blown out in last year’s matchup, but did move the ball effectively on offense. If it limits turnovers in this season’s contest it should be a closer outcome.
Sept. 14 at Valley Lutheran: Gilbert Christian had a 12-point halftime lead in last year’s matchup but couldn’t hold on.
Sept. 21 at Scottsdale Prep: The Knights didn’t have the firepower to hang last year, but Scottsdale Prep loses star quarterback Aidan Wright. Gilbert Christian should still be the underdog in this contest.
While it’s not at the same level as its vaunted boys basketball program, the Gilbert Christian football team did have a successful foray into varsity football in 2011.
The Knights went 5-3 in Division VI and have a majority of returners this season. The team will have to deal with the loss of coach Jeff Cook and his son, star running back/linebacker Nolan, who moved to the White Mountains because of Jeff Cook’s job.
Assistant Larry Cain takes over, and while the change was last-minute, he said there haven’t been any issues.
Saile Daimwood is expected to see touches at a variety of positions on the field and should lead the Knights in several offensive categories. Trae Still will fill in for Cook at running back and will be another option.
Cain said the team has put a heavy emphasis on conditioning this season because the roster only consists of 15 players. Many starters will have to play both ways and will get few snaps off.
The team’s goal is to qualify for the postseason after falling short a year ago.