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Friday Night Lights: Mountain Pointe

This week brings us to Arizona to check out the football there.

Welcome to another installment of Friday Night Lights. Every Friday from now until November, we will be posting an interview with a different high school coach. This series will highlight different high school programs around the country, with an attempted focus on high schools that are recruited by Mountain West Conference schools. The hope is that through this journey we all understand a bit about what goes into coaching at the high school level, what teams do similar and different from one another, and also learn more about the teams that recruits are coming from each year.

This week takes us to our third state so far, Arizona. Specifically, Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee AZ. If you’re like me and don’t know where this is, I’ll save you a Google search. It is right outside of Phoenix. For this interview, we talked with

How would you describe the culture or identify of your program? What do you think might make you unique compared to other schools?

Our identity would be best described as a hard-nosed football program that has student-athletes from a number of different backgrounds that come together at Mountain Pointe and have same common goals: Push themselves in classroom, weight room and on field. 80% of our team is bussed to Mountain Pointe, which makes some unique challenges.

What styles of offense and defense do you play?

We are modifying the Wing-T that has been run over the past couple of years on offense in hopes that it will allow our athletes to get ball in space more regularly.

Defensively we will run a 4-2-5, 3-4 and a 4-3 look depending on opponent as well as our personnel.

What are some specific ways your program develops players or helps them improve from freshman to senior year?

Biggest area would be the advances that our athletes make in the weight room. Our strength coach, Jeff Decker, does an outstanding job , both pushing our kids as well as maximizing their strength and flexibility.

What’s something about your team/program that not many people know about?

In 2013, Mountain Pointe broke Bishop Gorman’s consecutive home winning streak and our stadium is named after Arizona High School Coaching Legend Karl Kiefer, who attained his 300th victory in his final coaching stop at Mountain Pointe.

How do you as a team balance the current high school season with players being recruited by colleges or how might you help a high school recruit with that process?

We help our athletes every step of the process and allow flexibility. We want them to take every opportunity to take ACT / SAT and make sure they do. We also sit down with our athletes early on in their high school career and let them know of how the process works, how we help and how they can help.

Who are some of the prominent players from your school who have gone to D1 programs and where have they gone?

  • Isaiah Pola-Mao - USC
  • Eddie Rivas - NAU
  • Kenny Churchwell - UCLA
  • Shomari Hayes - Louisiana Lafeytte
  • Donte Lindsey - UMASS
  • Brandyn Leonard - New Mexico State
  • Jack Smith - ASU
  • Nick Carman - Utah
  • Davis Perrot - Washington State
  • Jaydon Brooks - Navy
  • Emmanuel Butler - NAU
  • Dominque Fenstermacher - UNLV
  • JR Plote - South Dakota State
  • Izzy Marshall - ASU
  • Alex Lewis - Colorado
  • Thomas Warren - New Mexico State
  • Mitchell Fraboni - ASU
  • Tyrek Cross - Hampton

Who are some of your top players this year getting D1 looks or offers?

  • Lacarea Pleasant Johnson - WR/DB
  • Anthony Dedrick - TE/DL
  • Rashion Hodge - LB
  • Jatu Gipson - DB
  • Alex Vogel - OL

Want your team to be part of a future Friday Night Lights series? Contact @Mike_SBN or @MWCConnection on Twitter.