Thunder defensive back Will Barfield (2) attempts to intercept the ball from Bobcats wide receiver Cody Carpenter (31) during the football game between Desert Vista Thunder and Cienega Bobcats at Desert Vista on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

It’s an odd football week.

Mountain Pointe is off because it never could find an opponent for Week 9, while Desert Vista is playing Corona del Sol on Thursday night as the Cox 7 Game of the Week.

It’s means a free Friday and trip to the state fair for this guy so he can get even fatter.

But before I down that deep fried bacon wrapped Snickers bar here a few of the storylines from the week from each program.

Desert Vista

* The Thunder are starting to get healthy.

Senior tight end Jordan Rezac (hip surgery) returned to action last week, senior cornerback Will Barfield (thumb) is expected back against Corona and junior quarterback Cade van Raaphorst (MCL) is in line to be back next week to close out the year against Brophy.

* The Thunder, should they beat the Aztecs, probably a need a win in Week 10 against the Broncos to secure a postseason berth for the fourth straight season.

Desert Vista (4-4) began the week at No. 13 in the power rankings and have a pretty good cushion (4.3420 to 2.5607) over 16th-seeded Skyline.

The fact that Division I is down to 29 teams this year means a team like Brophy (2-6) at 17th and No. 11 Red Mountain (3-5) are in position to make the postseason despite poor records.

* Sophomore quarterback Alex Farina has improved in the three weeks he was forced into action. It will make 2014 interesting with both van Raaphorst and Farina returning.

“You and everyone else wants to know,” Thunder coach Dan Hinds said. “We have too much going on this year to think about next year.”

* The Thunder’s Jalen Jelks was drafted on Saturday for the West Coast Bowl. Jelks was taken ninth overall among the first 50 taken. The next 50 will be selected this week.

The West Coast Bowl is scheduled to be played on January 26, 2014 at Redondo (Calif.) Union High School Stadium.

The West Coast Bowl draft worked like this: Two west coast coaches actually drafted players from a pool of 200 nominated high school football players. The two coaches are David Dunn, recent San Diego CIF coach of the year and head coach of Lincoln High School, and Manuel Douglass, head coach of four-time CIF Los Angeles City Section champion Narbonne High.

Mountain Pointe

Three players from the Pride were selected for the Muscle Milk Catalyst program this week. The players haven’t been officially announced yet, but as one of the members of the selection committee I can confirm three players from Mountain Pointe will be part of it.

On December 14th and 15th, Muscle Milk is teaming up with Sullivan Proformance and the Fischer Institute to offer high school football players a game-changing experience.

Over two days, selected high school athletes will get an opportunity to work with top trainers and coaches in the field of speed, strength, therapy, nutrition, and recruitment.

The Athletes, who are juniors and had to be nominated by their own coaching staff to be considered, will also learn key technical advantages to separate themselves from the competition- something that most players pay thousands of dollars to receive the same.

* Pride players Natrell Curtis and Jalen Brown will be presented with their U.S. Army All-American Bowl jerseys on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the school.

The game is being played Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

* Mountain Pointe didn’t have practice on Monday and won’t on Friday, but conditioned during seventh hour.

Pride coach Norris Vaughan said the practice Tuesday through Thursday will be at the usual tempo, but will concentrate on individual work more than team work since the game plan for Week 10 opponent Dobson isn’t in place yet.

* The Pride have clinched the Division I, Section IV Sectional title at 3-0 with each team having at least one loss and Mountain Pointe holding the tie breaker over DV and Brophy, who enter the week at 1-1 in sectional play.

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

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