Saguaro football will be debuting a group of new players who have earned their transfer eligibility in this week’s matchup with nationally ranked Sierra Canyon out of California.
The Sabercats have five or six players who will be eligible to take the field for the first time in a Saguaro uniform on Friday night.
“They have a little bit of an advantage with all these transfers that they’re getting,” Sierra Canyon head coach Jon Ellinghouse said. “We haven’t seen these guys on film. We’re searching YouTube and Hudl to see highlights of their skill base but we just don’t know how they’re going to be used in their scheme.”
Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns knows the addition of these transfers who are big time players poses a challenge for their opponents these next couple weeks and especially this week.
“We’ve got some nice weapons,” Mohns said. “Some things that we can throw at teams that we haven’t shown yet this year and some different things for them to have to prepare for.”
Deric English, a junior wide receiver transfer from Mountain Ridge is a player that Mohns expects to play a big role for the Sabercats moving forward this season.
“Deric outside at wide receiver is different than the guys that we’ve had so far this season,” Mohns said. “We’ve got some really nice weapons with Junius Marsh and Jaci Dickerson, (but) to add a big play receiver like Deric I think will create some mismatch problems.”
English is a four-star recruit rated as the No. 5 overall player in the 2023 class in Arizona by 247Sports.
— Deric English (@DericEnglish22) May 14, 2021
The wide receiver has offers from Oregon, Washington, Utah, ASU, Arizona, Florida State, and Michigan State among others.
Another offensive weapon that will be eligible on Friday night is junior running back Zaccheus Cooper who transferred from Liberty.
Cooper is a three-star recruit that is rated as the No. 2 running back and the No. 28 overall player in Arizona in the 2023 class.
“Zaccheus Cooper is an extremely talented back,” Mohns said. “He’s a physical back. I think adding him in to the mix with what we’ve already got from Jaedon Matthews and Bryan Bogardus is going to be a great addition.”
— Zaccheus Cooper (@zaccheus_1723) January 9, 2021
At quarterback junior Devon Dampier, a transfer from Pinnacle, will be available.
Dampier has offers from Arizona and NAU. He is rated as the No. 2 QB and No. 25 overall player in Arizona in the 2023 class by 247Sports.
“Devon brings a totally different element in the read option and the play making ability he has,” Mohns said. “On top of what Ridge (Docekal) has done already, which he’s had a phenomenal senior year and gotten better.”
Docekal will get the start for Saguaro on Friday night, but Mohns said they will also be working in Dampier to the scheme.
“You add a guy like Devon into the mix who is a phenomenal quarterback in his own right, totally different in my opinion than Ridge,” Mohns said. “They’re just different styles. I think as long as we can balance and manage it right, it gives us a huge advantage and allows us to attack defenses in a lot of different ways.”
Defensively, the Sabercats add junior linebacker John Butler, a transfer from Cesar Chavez.
“John Butler getting thrown into the mix in the linebacking corps is a real help for us,” Mohns said. “Cannen Siegel, one of our returning starters, hurt his knee and is out for the season. Miles Crutchley, who was our other returning inside linebacker, got hurt early and has been out, he just got cleared for this week.
“That’s been an area where we’ve been a little young and inexperienced, so getting some leadership back with Miles and adding John Butler to the mix will be a big help.”
— LIMITZ™️ (@lmzworld_) September 29, 2021
Butler is rated as the No. 20 overall player in the 2023 class in Arizona and is the No. 3 linebacker in the state in that class according to 247Sports.
He has an offer from Arizona.
The Sabercats will also have senior linebacker Alejandro Echavarria, a transfer from Chaparral, available on Friday.
PREPPING FOR SIERRA CANYON
Sierra Canyon is ranked as the No. 6 team in California and the No. 65 team in the nation.
The Trailblazers enter this matchup with a 4-3 record, but their three losses came to three nationally ranked teams: No. 14 Corona Centennial, No. 8 Servite and No. 46 Mission Viejo.
“Sierra Canyon is a top team in the state of California,” Mohns said. “They’ve been so for the last couple of years and are only getting better. They play big boy football out there in Southern California. They’re a big, athletic, physical, well-coached football team.
“It’s nice to play a team like that out of state because we’re not competing for the same gold ball, we’re not competing for the same kids or anything like that so it makes it a good environment to go out, get a great game, great competition, get better, learn about your team and where you’re at in that point in the season and move forward.”
The Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (4-3) battle the Saguaro Sabercats (4-1) in our GameTime Arizona featured matchup – Friday, Oct. 15 at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm CT.