24-7Football.com 2013 Mid-Season All-State Team
QB- Anthony Hernandez - Desert Edge
This was no easy pick. Josh Eckley has been great, so has Luke Rubenzer. Others that could be in the mix, Dalton Sneed, Kyle Allen, Zach Werlinger, Andy Cota, Antonio Honojosa and Emanuel Gant. But Hernandez leads the state in yards, QB rating and TDs. Hard to go wrong with this pick.
RBs- Scottie Jordan - Phoenix Christian & Weston Barlow - Queen Creek
I was at the game when Jordan rushed for almost 400 yards and obviously was impressed, he currently leads the state in rushing. No one expected Barlow to have this kind of year, especially since he was expected to back up Matt Guida. Guida's injury has given him a chance and he has run away with it, going for over 200 yards in each of his three starts. Other players having great years are Luke Quinn from Horizon, Dedrick Young at Centennial, or Jalen Johnson, Chris Salsberry, Jake Vartanian, Paul Lucas or Brandon Hatfield.
WRs- Elijah Marks - Desert Edge & Cameron Denson - Salpointe
Marks and Denson are 1-2 in the state in yards. Marks is one of the nation's leaders and has surpassed 1,000 yards already. Others I considered were Massiah Smith, J.T. Nettleton, Terry Juniel, Matt Munsil, Kaelin Deboskie, Darius Aguirre, Clark Brown, Jalen Brown and Mark Andrews.
TE- Matt Bushman - Sabino
There are some great TEs this year but Bushman is 3rd in the state in overall yards and has 10 TDs, hard to argue against that productivity. Trevor Wood and Nick Colson were others I thought about.
OLs- Casey Tucker - Hamilton, Keenan Walker - Chaparral, Quinn Bailey - Higley, Andrew Mike - Sabino & Kamryn Bennett - Centennial
There are some great OLs this year. I could put a number of other names in there and the talent level would be just as high. Austin Hall, Troy Kowalski, Layth Friekh, Natrell Curtis, Jon Sekona or Bryce Holland all easily could be in there.
DLs- Caleb Peart - Hamilton, Brian Calhoun - Deer Valley, Cody Carrel - Westview, & Qualen Cunningham
These guys can get after the quarterback. I really like John Jackson, Cruz Flores, Jalen Jelks as well but the numbers of the four I picked were just better.
LBs- Wesley Payne - Mt. Pointe, Jake Casteel - Salpointe & Santana Sterling - Hamilton
Payne is one of the best players I have seen this year, Casteel is one of the state's leaders in tackles and sacks and Sterling is as good as it gets in the middle. Love what Zach Neill from Liberty has done. Ismael Murphy-Richardson and Lane Veach are very good on the edge and Taylor Powell, Andrew Rodriguez and Billy McEowen are going to be great ones next year.
DBs- J.R. Hunt - Chandler, Aaron Diggs - Millennium, Jordan Schlueter - Notre Dame & A.J. Greathouse - Hamilton
Chip White is having a good year. Pick any of the studs out of Hamilton's secondary, Wes Sutton is playing well, three of the best DBs I have listed as athletes/returner or even put Denson in the group. We have said it before, 2013 is a special group of players.
All-Purpose- Tyler Whiley - Chaparral & Jalen Brown - Mt. Pointe
So hard to pick just one so I picked both.
Returner- Christian Kirk - Saguaro
Punter- T.J. Widner - Valley Christian
Kicker- Noe Pereles - Mesa
Coach- Norris Vaughan - Mt. Pointe
I thought hard about Kris Heavner at Horizon, Damon Pieri from Sunnyslope or even Dennis Bene, Jeff Bowen or Rich Wellbrock but Vaughan's Pride have lined up and beaten Bishop Gorman, Chandler and Hamilton.