Pinnacle junior QB will make good use of big, physical receivers, twins Hayden and Hogan Hatten
Quarterback Spencer Rattler is flanked by the Hatten twins – big, physical receivers Hayden and Hogan on the Phoenix Pinnacle High School football team.
Together, this trio of juniors believes the time is now to take the Pioneers to the next level, one never seen before, not even when Brian Lewerke was leading the team with his arm and legs in 2013 and ’14.
“All of us are really captains now,” Rattler said. “We’re a lot more confident this year. Definitely, I feel like we should be in the running for the championship. That’s our main goal.”
Pinnacle, which opened in 2000, has never reached the state final in football.
Even during its best years when current Michigan State quarterback Lewerke was leading the way, Pinnacle never got beyond the quarterfinals at the biggest level.
Coach Dana Zupke, who has been the only head football coach in Pinnacle history, believes Rattler can be the guy to lead a program breakthrough.
Rattler, who picked up offers from Arizona State and UCLA after his freshman season, has grown in size, stature and recruiting interest.
If the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder wasn’t already oozing with confidence, he gained even more during a spring in which he picked up offers from Alabama and Notre Dame, making him the most sought-after 2019 football prospect in Arizona.
“We’re pretty blessed we have our leadership,” Zupke said. “He also is being intentional about cultivating a better relationship with all of his teammates and owning the team a little bit more.”
During 7-on-7 passing competitions this month, Rattler has been more vocal and demonstrative.
He wants to win after Pinnacle went 5-6 and 6-6 in his first two years as the starting quarterback.
Rattler is part of a talented junior class at Pinnacle that includes not only the Hatten twins, but running back Kaleb Covington. Rattler can’t wait to get everybody going. He believes Covington and the Hattens are going to have huge seasons.
Hayden and Hogan are both outgoing, natural leaders. But they are different athletes. Hayden is 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, a wide receiver with glue fingers. Hogan is 6-3, 220, more of a linebacker who will also pose as a matchup problem at tight end and H-back.
“They’re both very athletic,” Zupke said. “They body up really well. They’re really ideal for a guy like Spencer because he knows where he can put it. Those guys can go up and get it.”
Rattler, who has thrown for 5,274 yards and 48 touchdowns in his first two season, said he is visiting USC on Thursday and Oklahoma on June 19.
Other than that, the summer focus is on getting the Pioneers believing it’s their time to turn the corner and challenge for a 6A Conference crown.
The twins can’t wait to make this a memorable season with Rattler. They’ve been on the same teams since the sixth grade.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us,” Hayden said. “The chemistry is always going to be there since we’ve always been playing ball together.”
Said Hogan: “It’s so nice to know the ball is always going to be there.”
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