Originally Published: August 17, 2018 6:01 a.m.
Bears open 2018 season at Estrella Foothills
PRESCOTT VALLEY — Bradshaw Mountain’s football team has been raring to go for Week 1 of the 2018 season since last winter.
GAMEDAY PREVIEW WEEK 1
Bradshaw Mountain Bears at Estrella Foothills Wolves
Date: Friday, Aug. 17, 7 p.m.
Courier Coverage: Follow sports writer Doug Cook on Twitter at @dougout_dc for updates on Friday night’s game.
Coaches: Bradshaw Mountain — Chuck Moller (2nd Year); Estrella Foothills — Derek Wahlstrom (2nd Year)
Records: Bradshaw Mountain (0-0, 0-0 Grand Canyon); Estrella Foothills (0-0, 0-0 Southwest)
Last Week: Friday night’s game is the first for both teams.
Last Meeting: Estrella Foothills 20, Bradshaw Mountain 16 (Sept. 1, 2017, in Goodyear)
The Setting: Estrella Foothills went 3-2 at home in 2017, losing to Higley and Youngker. The Wolves finished 6-4 overall and failed to qualify for the 4A playoffs with a No. 20 ranking.
Players to Watch: Bradshaw Mountain — QB Austin Gonzales, FS/P Luke Huenemeyer, FB Anthony Mata, ILB Noah Shaver; Estrella Foothills — QB Regan Jenkins; WR Mykah Glenn.
Weather Forecast: 98 degrees at kickoff, 8 mph WSW, Sunset at 7:13 p.m.
A primary reason is that the Bears kick off the campaign at Estrella Foothills at 7 tonight in Goodyear.
The Wolves are an opponent that Bradshaw Mountain succumbed to by a narrow margin in Week 2 last September, 20-16. In that 4A clash, also in Goodyear, the Bears’ defense shut out the Wolves in the second half after the visitors had trailed, 20-7, at halftime.
For the contest, Bradshaw Mountain committed three turnovers, botched a field goal toward the end of the first half, and committed 11 penalties. However, the Bears still had a chance to win late in the fourth quarter.
Neither team qualified for the 4A state playoffs last year. Estrella Foothills finished the season at 6-4 overall and 2-2 in the Southwest region. The Bears rallied from a rough 0-5 start to end the fall at 4-6, 4-1 in the Grand Canyon region.
“We have a good feel for what they show,” second-year Bradshaw Mountain coach Chuck Moller said on Thursday of Estrella Foothills’ pass-heavy offense.
Moller added that if the Bears’ defense contains Wolves senior quarterback Regan Jenkins on sprint-outs and blankets his stable of wide receivers, Bradshaw Mountain should have the edge.
The Bears enter tonight’s game fully healthy, and Moller credits that to his coaching staff improving the boys’ strength and conditioning program in the off-season.
“We’re right on schedule, and I like where we are conditioning-wise,” Moller said. “We’re much more prepared mentally – offensively, defensively and on special teams – than we were a year ago.”
Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.
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