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Youth


Chandler gets ready for some football High school football preview


by Kevin Rolfe


Though triple-digit temperatures may linger for a few more months, hundreds of students are already preparing for fall sports programs. Football, with some of the longest running rivalries in the city, will see some changes this year.


This season, the four Chandler Unifi ed High Schools will be operating under a different organization for football. The Fiesta Region is dissolved. Now, there are six divisions, each with three sections. The schools are still grouped by enrollment, but there are some problems.


Steve Belles says it will all come down to Power Points, based on strength of schedule and victories, among other parameters.


“It will all shake out in the playoffs, but it’s really a farce,” says Belles of the new groupings. The teams with the top Power Points will make the playoffs, eventually determining the State Champion. None of it affects the way Belles is preparing his team for the season. Belles’ teams have won state championships each of the last three years. He fully expects to compete for one again this year, despite having some question marks at offensive line and linebacker.


Huskies defend title


The Huskies will have fi ve new starters on the offensive line. They are young, but talented. Their job will be to protect the new starting quarterback, senior Blake Kemp. Kemp is a little bigger than last year’s starter, Kyren Poe, but brings the same skill set to the position. Belles says Kemp will be running a similar offense as he has in the past.


Kemp will have wide receiver / wing back Kendall Taylor to throw to. Also helping the offense this year will be Frankie Felix in his fi rst year as a Husky. On defense, the Huskies return just three starters from last year’s championship team. While the linebacking crew is also young, Belles is looking forward to a great year from his secondary and especially from the defensive line led by Reggie Daniels. “This might be the best defense we’ve had since I’ve been at Hamilton,” notes Belles. That’s strong praise considering the talented units Belles has put on the fi eld since arriving at Hamilton in 2006, winning four out of the last fi ve State Championships. Hamilton’s full football schedule is available on the Husky website. Some games to look forward to are Sept. 30 against cross-town rival Chandler High, and for the fi rst time in the regular season, Basha High and Hamilton will meet on Oct. 20.


STSN photo


DRILLS: Hamilton High School football players run drills during practice.


Hamilton, Basha and Chandler are all in Division 1, Section 2 along with 10 other schools. There are three Tucson schools in that section that don’t play a single team from that section. Hamilton High Coach


STSN photo


STATE CHAMPS AGAIN? Hamilton High Coach Steve Belles, right, expects his team will be in the running for the top championship position again this year.


Wolves welcome new head coach Travel up Arizona Avenue about four miles and


you’ll fi nd the oldest high school in town, Chandler High. The Wolves have been very competitive the last few years, but haven’t made the jump to a state


See Football Page 58


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August 6 - 19, 2011


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