Zero Week football storylines

August 16, 2017 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

There are plenty of nuggets of information to digest before the 2017 Arizona high school football season officially kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m.  

With 260-plus schools in the state, we will likely miss some of the big Zero Week storylines. But please chime in on anything else we should watch out for.

Our Andy Morales will be covering Thursday’s Sunnyside-Nogales game.    

Zero Week football storylines

Red Mountain vs. Chandler. Red Mountain will learn early if it’s ready to compete against 6A title favorite Chandler and a 6A title contender. Red Mountain will throw a new QB and head coach at the Chandler Wolves.

Desert Edge vs. Centennial. Two of the 5A powers go at it. Which o-line and run attack will control the game?

Perry vs. Desert Vista. 2016 state semifinalist Perry is the favorite, but Desert Vista’s new QB, Derek Kline, and tight end/captain James Stagg likely beg to differ. 

Notre Dame vs. Shadow Ridge. Coming off probation, what type of opening game statement does Notre Dame make?

Cesar Chavez vs. Queen Creek. Queen Creek’s successful football program has been a model of consistency. Will Chavez’s potent running attack of last year continue to shine? The Manuel Alcantar coaching era begins at Chavez Friday. 

Westview vs. Basha. Rich Wellbrock can’t exactly leave the West Valley just yet. The former Desert Edge coach's first home game as Basha’s coach will happen next week. 

Saguaro vs. Catalina Foothills. A rematch of last year’s 4A title game. 

Chaparral vs. Desert Mountain. How does Chaparral’s young team and its stable of running backs respond without Jack Miller against a team with Kurt Warner as its offensive coordinator?

Hamilton vs. Boulder Creek. What statement does Hamilton make in its first game against Boulder Creek and WR Tristan DeAngelo after an offseason filled with turmoil?

Thatcher vs. Willcox. How will 2A defending champ Thatcher perform in its 2017 opener? No word yet on whether Thatcher’s new QB, Jack Kortson, who transferred from Willcox in the offseason, will play. 

Show Low vs. Round Valley. 3A perennial favorite Show Low will unveil a new coach against 2A force Round Valley. The game will be played at Round Valley’s Ensphere, the first doomed high school football stadium in the U.S.

Alchesay vs. Phoenix Christian. Multi-state championship coach Brian Cole makes his coaching debut with Phoenix Christian, a 2017 2A front runner. Alchesay features Tyreck Cosay (1,803 rushing yards, 34 Tds last year). 

Camelback vs. Fairfax. Camelback, where Jesse Parker won his first state state championship in 1974, will honor Parker before the game. Family members of Parker are expected to attend. Parker’s memorial will be held on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Mesa Mountain View.  

Buckeye in Hawaii. Buckeye travels to Hawaii to play the Kailua Surfriders. 

St. Mary’s vs. Salpointe. The two schools have played off and on against each other since 1954. Their matchup is billed as the Ed Daugherty Classic, named after the legend who coached at both schools. 

Bagdad vs. Valley Union. Preseason Sollenberger Report No. 1 Bagdad opens its 1A title defense against preseason No. 3 Valley Union. 

Brophy vs. Pinnacle. The Sollenberger Classic. A rematch of 2016 Sollenberger game. Fifth meeting between the schools in the past three seasons.  

                                                                       (Boulder Creek wide receiver Tristan DeAngelo. Photo by Mark Jones/