The last time the Desert Vista coaching staff picked a junior over a senior to begin the year behind center Hunter Rodriguez rewarded them with 23 wins and a state championship.

Cade Van Raaphorst will have two years to show what he can do as Hinds told the AFN on Tuesday evening that the junior won the job over Desert Ridge senior transfer Brendon Smith and sophomore Alex Farina.

Van Raaphorst is a name Valley sports name has known for years as his father led Arizona State to its only Rose Bowl victory in 1987 and is the Sun Devils color commentator on the radio.

The younger Van Raaphorst was the junior varsity starter last year and has made a name for himself in lacrosse as he earned a partial scholarship to Duke.

Check out Friday’s AFN for a more in-depth look at the decision to go with Van Raaphorst.

Hinds said earlier in the day that the new scoreboard is expected to be up and functioning at the end of the month. The old one was damaged, along with the tennis courts and baseball field, during a storm on July 15.

The Thunder’s first home game is Sept 6 against North.

The season opens in San Diego as part of the Brothers in Arms showcase against Mission Hills at Cathedral Catholic on Aug. 31. 

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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