Considering Mountain Pointe used a family-like atmosphere as one of its building blocks to a championship season, it isn’t surprising to see many of the seniors moving onto the next level by heading to the same program.
The Pride senior class has 15 football players heading off to various colleges and universities in and out of state after Wednesday’s national signing day.
But not before leaving an indelible mark on the program and filling each other’s memory banks with championship ceremonies, rings and great stories to tell at their 25th class reunion.
“They will be my boys forever,” Mitchell Fraboni said. “Some of us will still be playing with each other, and others will have memories while we meet new people and make new experiences.”
Fraboni is one of few players who don’t have an official location just yet. He is hoping to get his test scores up and head to the Air Force as a long snapper. If it doesn’t come to fruition, he will head to Pima Community College to join five other teammates as wide receiver/cornerback Timmy Hernandez, strong safety Trey Lauer, safety Markell Simmons, fullback Deontay Townsend and defensive end Charlie Trevino will all be heading to Tucson to begin their junior college careers.
All-state linebacker Wesley Payne is also unsure of his eventual destination, but plans on visiting Glendale Community College where teammate Kyle Spight is headed.
“I know I will find the right place and from that moment on it is about getting to a Division I college,” Payne said. “I’ve matured. I didn’t take grades serious when I was younger and I have to pay for it now. I will do whatever it takes to make it work because I’m not going to let it happen again.”
Two other players who found the same home for their college choices are linebacker Isaiah Jones and quarterback Antonio Hinojosa as the tandem head off to Black Hills State, a Division II program, in Spearfish, S.D., this fall.
“We talked about it and if one of us was going to go both of us were going to go,” Jones said of his roommate. “It’s a great feeling. After my junior year, I didn’t know if this was possible.”
Hinojosa, who owns just about every school passing record, was happy to find a home after being disappointed in the lack of attention as he was labeled as too small by recruiters from bigger programs.
“Black Hills took a chance on me and I can’t wait to show what I can do,” he said. “This is just something else to drive me to succeed.”
Senior kicker Ryan Sheehan is headed to Colorado Mesa, a Division II program in Grand Junction, Colo., after a record-breaking career for the Pride.
That leaves the Big Four as Jalen Brown (Oregon), Natrell Curtis (Oklahoma), Dominique Fenstermacher (UNLV) and Emmanuel Butler (Northern Arizona) head off to Division I programs.
“It’s a special group,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “They are good people and good students who left their imprint on Mountain Pointe football.”
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