The 2009 season for the Mountain Pointe junior varsity football team was one for the ages. The team was a symbol of perfection, completing only the second undefeated season in the school’s history. The Pride finished 10-0 and dominated almost every opponent they played, with the season’s highlights including a 62-0 opening week win at Vista Grande, a 35-32 thriller over rival Desert Vista, and a dominant performance over Brophy Prep.
The offense was led by quarterback Jacub Lough, who improved every week of the season and became a solid team leader. The backfield of Dillan Johnson, Darren Anderson and DeSean Griffin spearheaded a running attack that was nearly unstoppable, with Johnson leading the way with 22 touchdowns in just eight games played. The offensive line, anchored by Nick Guerena, became a dominant force by the end of the season and was the main reason why the Pride’s running attack was able to average well over 200 yards and 40 points per game.
The defense was led by middle linebacker Chris Handgis, who was the team’s leading tackler and unquestioned leader. Jay Kowal, Mark Fraboni and Nick Griffin became the core of the defense that allowed only 12 points per game. Griffin also had three defensive touchdowns. Patrolling the defensive backfield were Mike Wagner and Luis Sharpe, who combined with Desean Griffin, Johnson and Anderson for 11 interceptions on the season.
Head coach Brandon Buck and assistants Shannon Radford, Karl Kiefer and Peter Salazar faced a few challenges along the way, losing a handful of their starters to the varsity team as the season progressed. But there was no panic, as the team was deep enough to offset the losses and continue its winning ways. It was a season to remember, and it is sure to have a lasting effect on the football program for seasons to come.
– Submitted by the MPHS junior varsity football team.