Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Preview: 2nd Year SW Team -- Scottsdale Christian Eagles

...................................Jose Garcia/The Arizona Republic........................................
...................................Scottsdale Christian coach Jeff Fox......................................

by Sam Good - Aug. 11, 2008 12:36 AM
Special for The Republic
Experience, unity, unselfish.

Those were the three words head coach Jeff Fox used to describe his Phoenix Scottsdale Christian football team.

And following a first round departure from the 2007 Class 2A playoffs, the Eagles will try to use those attributes to repeat as 2A Central Region champions and to fuel a deeper run in the 2008 playoffs.
Scottsdale Christian will have eight returning starters on offense and seven on defense, and perhaps the player with the most impact will be Michael Munsil.

Munsil, a 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior lineman plays both ways and was an all-state selection last season. He led the state with 112 tackles and recorded three sacks.

"(Munsil) is our top kid coming back," Fox said. "We're going to have a really good line this year and Michael will be the leader of that. He is a big numbers producer and always seems to be in the right place at the right time."

And on the offensive side of the ball, Munsil's biggest task will be protecting senior quarterback Jacob Storrer.

Storrer started all 10 games for Scottsdale Christian last year and threw for 557 yards along with more than 1,000 rushing yards.

Fox said having a returning quarterback to command the offense will be one of the key factors if the Eagles want to improve on last season.

"It's a tremendous asset to have a senior quarterback with so much experience," Fox said. "It's pretty rare to find a high school team that can have great success without that.

"The type of kid (Storrer) is, he has a great work ethic, he's a two-sport athlete, loves to compete, and he's done a great job to prepare himself for his senior year. We're going to rely on him even more this year and I know he's ready for that."

In 2007, Scottsdale Christian relied heavily on its run game, and Fox said Eagles fans can look for the same thing in 2008.

Last year, senior running back Ryan Tully anchored the rushing attack with 1,353 yards, but he has graduated and the Eagles will have to find that production else where.

Storrer will still be a rushing threat, Fox said, and senior Jeff Matney, who was used as a situational quarterback in 2007, will move into the backfield and is expected to be the featured tailback this year.

Also, senior Taylor Barnes, who was an all-region kickoff and punt returner in 2006, is back on the team after taking 2007 off to focus on baseball, and will take some reps in the backfield too.

Barnes, who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash is the fastest player on the team.

"Taylor is a game breaker," Fox said. "He has that extra gear and is usually the fastest guy on the field. He'll give us one more option offensively and it's the little things like having that fast guy out there that can hopefully push us over the edge."

The bar is set high for the 2008 Eagles, Fox said, but he has no doubt that the team will have another stellar season.

"These guys all get along so well, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to win," Fox said. "Our goal is to win the region again and get farther in the playoffs than we did last year. And with this group of guys I think we have a real good shot of accomplishing those things."

Scottsdale Christian Eagles

Region: Class 2A Central

Coach: Jeff Fox

Last Season: 8-2, lost to Bisbee in first round of Class 2A playoffs.

Top returners: Michael Munsil, 6-1, 240, Sr., OL/DL; Jacob Storrer, 5-9, 175, Sr., QB; Jeff Matney, 5-8, 190, Sr., RB; Paul Jurewicz, 6-5, 245, Jr., TE.

2008 outlook: After a first round playoff loss a season ago, the Eagles hope to make a deep run into this year's playoffs. The Eagles are an experienced team but find themselves in a tough region and repeating as league champions could prove difficult.

Scottsdale Christian 2008 schedule

All games 7 p.m. unless noted

Sept. 5- at Tonopah Valley

Sept. 12- vs. Phoenix Arizona Lutheran

Sept. 19- vs. Joseph City

Sept. 26- vs. Tombstone

Oct. 3- at Queen Creek Canyon State Academy*

Oct. 10- vs. Phoenix Northwest Christian*

Oct. 17- at Camp Verde*

Oct. 24- vs. Phoenix North Pointe Prep*

Oct. 31- at Chandler Valley Christian*

*- Region game

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