It’s time for two-a-days, a continuing series, examining each region in Arizona for the 2019 high school football season.
5A San Tan Region
The teams: Gilbert Campo Verde, Queen Creek Casteel, Gilbert, Gilbert Higley, Maricopa, Gilbert Williams Field.
The favorite: Williams Field. It has the biggest and potentially the best offensive line in Arizona with 6-8, 300-pound Andrew Garcia, 6-5, 300-pound Cooper Darling and 6-8, 305-pound Noah Nelson.
The challenger: Higley. Great new synthetic turf has these speedy Knights on fast track to get to the Open Division.
The sleeper: Casteel. It lost several players in transfer moves, but there is a lot of talent, especially along the defensive line that hardly makes it a rebuilding season.
The star: Higley senior defensive end Jason Harris. Long and strong and ready to chase down quarterbacks.
The date: Nov. 1, Williams Field plays at rival Higley for what could be for region title an an Open Division spot.
5A Northwest Region
The teams: Glendale Apollo, Peoria Centennial, Glendale Ironwood, Glendale Raymond S. Kellis, Phoenix Sunnyslope, Peoria Sunrise Mountain.
The favorite: Centennial. This is dynasty that could capture the Open title after taking three of the past four 5A crowns.
The challenger: Sunnyslope. Dynamic passing combo of twins Nico and David Haen has the Vikings believing this is their year to make a deep playoff run.
The sleeper: Sunrise Mountain. Don’t believe for a second the Mustangs are in the midst of a rebuild under coach Steve Decker.
The star: Centennial senior strong safety/running back Jaydin Young. He has all the skills to change the game on both sides of the ball.
The date: Sept. 6, a national spotlight will be on Centennial, where the Coyotes take on two-time defending national champion Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.
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