Preseason Preview: CAA Football Kicks Off

After months of uncertainty High School Football is finally here. CAA Football kicks off their 2020 season on October 2020 football season15th at 6 PM with our opening game, Highland Prep vs Southwest Leadership Academy at Barrios Unidos Park. Our preseason preview spotlights all ten teams that will be going head-to-head this Fall.


Southwest Leadership Academy

Head Coach, Eric Thomas, has been a football coach for 10 years. Together with Assistant Coach, Jarod Pidgeon, they believe they have a good size at the lines of scrimmage. Their plan this year is to be as physical as possible.

“We are a physical team. We try to use our size and strength to move people around this year,” they commented.

Their Top 3 Offensive players this season are Jayro Aguilar, Raymond Silva and Aivari Gooden.  The Top 3 Defensive players to watch are Jayro Aguilar, Aivari Gooden and Se’on Wilburn.  Actions speak louder than coaches. Give it all you’ve got, gents!


Imagine Prep Superstition

Jeremy Brigham (who has been coaching football for 12 years), and his Assistant Coach, Damian Davis say, “2019 Panther Football graduated six senior starters on offense and six senior starters on defense. The 2020 Panther Football is a young team and has thirteen players tenth grade and under but shares a deep love of the game of football.”

We’re looking forward to seeing what this year’s Top 3 Offensive and Defensive players Aiden Bridge, Shayne Watson and Nick Miller will bring to the field!


Skyline Prep High School 

Head coach, Jamarei Bryant, who has been a football coach for 13 years and Assistant Coach James Chest are leading the Skyline Prep team this year. “This year’s Bengals football team is young but tough. They are fast learners, great athletes, hard workers, and incredible students. We look forward to a fun and exciting football season,” they said.

Their Top 3 Offensive players this year are Calvin McGruder, Chris Herron and Jayon Ganious, while their Top 3 Defensive are Adam Cervantes, Michael Williams and Jamari Scott.  Good luck boys!


Heritage Academy Mesa

Head Coach, Jose Portilla has been a football coach for the past 9 years. While talking about his team, Coach Portilla said, “overcoming adversity is no accident. It is a combination of hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, learning and most of all love of what you are doing.  His Assistant Coaches this season are Spencer Bowers, Colton Reese and Sam Johnstun.

Their top players to watch this season are Kia Wilkinson, Mason Prock and Cooper Ross in offense and Brandon Nelson, Ethan Householder and Zachary Morin in defense. 4th and inches; do they have what it takes?


Imagine Prep Surprise

After 35 years of coaching football, Head Coach Kip Pollay and his Assistant Coach James Mould are hoping to lead their team to victory this season! “Last year we had four people who had played high school football. This year all but one starter returns and we picked up a solid freshmen class. I feel we will compete for sure,” they said.

They selected Nolan Casaccio, Will Allen and Samuel Cabral as their Top 3 Offensive players this year and Nathan Perkins, Dawson Cowan and Riley Casaccio as their Top 3 Defensive players.  It’s not how you start, but how you finish.  We’re expecting great things from these guys this season!


Imagine Prep Coolidge 

Coach Dushawn Austin, football coach for over 25 years and Assistant Coach Dave Wagner have a very “young and hungry” team this year.  Their Top 3 picks for Offensive players in no particular order are Evan Namingha, Treion Walker, Izaiah Martinez and a 4th, Dyago Saavadra, while their Top 3 Defensive player line up is Nicolas Valencia, Josue Ayala and James Jefferies.  New year, new team, one dream!


Madison Highland Prep

 “With a lot of returning players from last year’s 9-1 team and being able to build on the success of that team will make this season very exciting to watch”, said Head Coach, Bruce Fuller (football coach for the past 6 years).  After 3 steady years with Daniel Loza leading the team, Madison Highland Prep will be under new leadership this season with KJ Cartwright at the helm.  “He is an exciting player to watch and we expect some great moments out of him and the team this season”, said Assistant coaches, Brian Bielinski as Offensive Coordinator, Jonathan Kidd as Defensive Coordinator and Scott Amy as Line Coach.  “Like every other year, our goal is to be in the state finals when the dust settles, but we have a long road in a short time so we will see”.

This years’ Top 3 Offensive players are KJ Cartwright (QB), Jonny Guerrero (TE) and Justin Coblyn (OL), while the chosen Top 3 Defensive players are Izaac Gonzales (LB), Josh Sakkas (NT) and KJ Cartwright (FS).

Look for Heat football to stay hot this season!


Heritage Academy Maricopa

With their brand new football field being used almost everyday to build up the football program out of nothing, Head Coach Daniel Ramirez said, “Having the field, getting the helmets, getting the uniforms, it’s feeling real like it’s going to happen.”

For now, a lot of the players on the team are new to the sport. He said at the end of the day, it’s all about blocking and tackling, no matter how many guys are out on the field.

There’s also only one senior on the team, so Ramirez is more optimistic about the long-term future of the program. As for this season, there simply is no way to tell how the games are going to go. He likes the athleticism he’s seeing from a lot of the players, but it’s unclear how that will translate once a game whistle blows.

No matter what, taking that first step on the football field is a big enough accomplishment for this new school. They hope it’s the beginning of something big. Read more


Harvest Prep Yuma

The Eagles are ready to go to the next level this season! While talking about his team, Head Coach Ian Guevara says, “I expect a lot of our kids to step up to the plate. Even though they are new they have the talent and intelligence to fill the roles expected of them.”  Harvest Prep has a solid group of veterans returning this season who Coach Guevara expects to step up and lead the team.  In particular, keep an eye on Seth Guevara (RB/OLB) and Alexis Ochoa (QB/DE).

“What this team lacks in numbers, it definitely makes up for in heart and talent,” continues Guevara.  Harvest Prep is returning to the field and they’re ready to protect their nest this year.


Highland Prep 

Highland Preps first year coach, Shane Stephenson is excited about this year’s team. With all of the players from last year’s team returning, experience will be a big factor for improving on last year’s win total.  The Honey Badgers are here for the win!


And we’re off! Here’s to a great season for all of our teams! Don’t forget to check our schedule for all upcoming games and tag us on Facebook,  Instagram and Twitter @azcaa_athletics.


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