From the Cheap Seats

For all the hype and water cooler attention fantasy football gets these days, I thought it best to pick a fantasy football team of my own and share it with our readers.

Since everyone and their mother picks professional players from the NFL in fantasy football, I thought it would be fun to buck tradition and pick amateur football players this season from our biggest three schools in the Verde Valley.


The talent pool is deep, to say the least, with Camp Verde, Sedona Red Rock and Mingus Union high schools football squads ready to begin the 2010 season.


We’ll use a basic fantasy football statistical format to keep stats for these young stars, which was my basis in picking these particular players.

For my starters, senior quarterback Nick Alred leads the way. Alred had a fantastic junior year with 75 completions for over 1,200 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. His legs were useful as well, with 123 carries for 827 yards and seven touchdowns in Bob Young’s option offense.

Senior teammate Juan Gonzalez starts for me at runningback. Gonzalez had 101 carries for 757 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009. Gonzalez wasn’t much of an option in the flat however, catching only five passes last season but those numbers should improve in 2010.

In Camp Verde, junior playmaker Kody Rayburn gets the nod at my other runningback position. Rayburn wasn’t much of a factor in 2009 but is sure to have a standout season in 2010 after he gained five inches and 30 pounds over the summer.

At wide receiver, Sedona junior Bradley Cox is going to have a stellar year in Scorpions purple. In 2009, Cox caught 16 balls for 277 yards and one touchdown, but with new Head Coach Rick Walsworth at the helm, Cox will be a run option on sweep plays, as well as catch passes in the flat, making him a can’t miss pick for my team.

Junior Deshon Tripp had only 18 catches for 258 yards last season but should be more of a focus this season in Camp Verde with Ty Wantland and Donovan Kilby having graduated.

At my third wide receiver position, senior Carson Sandoval should have a solid season for Mingus.

At tight end, senior Mingus teammate Nate Westcott should have plenty of opportunity to catch a few passes from Alred this season.
For my kicker, Sedona junior Jack Johnson will get all the reps this season since I didn’t pick a back-up.

As for my defense, I would have to go with the Marauders on this one. The boys in red and grey were one of the top defenses in the 4A-II conference last season, if not the state, with more than 35 sacks, 13 interceptions and over 1,100 tackles.

Speaking of defense, not many avid fantasy football players get a chance to pick defensive players but I thought, why the heck not?

At defensive back, I must go with Gonzalez for Mingus, who is one of the more ligit safeties in Arizona high school football. Gonzalez had 140 tackles, 10 sacks and three interceptions to lead the defense for the Marauders in 2009. Gonzalez is a surefire All-State selection come December.

At linebacker, I will go with senior Tanner Rezzonico, who should have a great season for Camp Verde in 2010. Rezzonico had 75 tackles and one sack in 2009.

On the defensive line, junior Jordan Pickett looks to have a good season for Sedona, clogging up the middle and making tackles.

On my bench, there were several players pushing for a starting job beginning with Mingus linebacker Matt Chavez. Chavez had 80 tackles, 9.5 sacks and three passes defended in 2009.

Johnson, for Sedona, is an easy pick for the back-up quarterback on my team while Camp Verde wide out Jake Spleiss and tight end Chris Zellner should have solid seasons for the Cowboys.

Camp Verde would be my selection for the back-up defense and Sedona newcomer Ashor Samano will fill in nicely at runningback if Gonzalez or Rayburn gets injured.

Samano is a junior transfer from Chicago and is already one of the best players for Sedona this season.
Below is my roster of players explained in this article and an explanation of the statistical point system for 2010.

If interested in giving me your own fantasy football team for our local high schools, send me an e-mail and I’ll take a look. At the end of the season, I’ll print the results of the top fantasy football team.


High School Fantasy Football Roster


QB    Nick Alred    Senior    Mingus Union
RB    Juan Gonzalez    Senior    Mingus Union
RB    Kody Rayburn    Junior    Camp Verde
WR    Bradley Cox    Junior    Sedona Red Rock
WR    Deshon Tripp    Junior    Camp Verde
WR    Carson Sandoval    Senior    Mingus Union
TE    Nate Westcott    Senior    Mingus Union
K    Jack Johnson    Junior    Sedona Red Rock
DEF    Mingus Union
DB    Juan Gonzalez    Senior    Mingus Union
LB    Tanner Rezzonico    Senior    Camp Verde
DL    Jordan Pickett    Junior    Sedona Red Rock


QB    Jack Johnson    Junior    Sedona Red Rock
RB    Ashor Samano    Junior    Sedona Red Rock
WR    Jake Spleiss    Junior    Camp Verde
TE    Chris Zellner    Junior    Camp Verde
DEF    Camp Verde
DP    Matt Chavez    Senior    Mingus Union

Statistical categories

Passing:    20 yards passing    1 point
Completions    1 point
Touchdowns    6 points
Interceptions    -2 points
Rushing:    10 yards rushing    1 point
Touchdowns    6 points
Fumbles lost    -2 points
Receiving:    10 yards receiving    1 point
Catches    1 point
Touchdowns    6 points
Kicking:    Extra points    1 point
Field Goal [1-19 yards]    3 points
Field Goal [20-29 yards]    3 points
Field Goal [30-39 yards]    4 points
Field Goal [40-49 yards]    5 points
Field Goal [50+ yards]    6 points
Defense:    Tackles    1 point
Take aways    1 point
Touchdowns    6 points
Individual Defense:    Tackles    1 point
Interceptions    1 point
Sacks    1 point
Passes defensed    1 point