The long-awaited Arizona high school football season is finally here. On Friday night, two of the state’s top programs in Centennial and Hamilton will matchup on GameTime Arizona.
For both teams, getting to October 2 has been a long time coming. The season has been shrouded in uncertainty for much of the summer due to COVID-19 concerns.
“This has been the longest offseason ever,” Hamilton head coach Michael Zdebski said. “You start to get a positive, and then someone throws a negative at you. We told everybody, you have to keep your blinders on and stay away from the negative on the side. Look at what the positive is and what can we do, not what we can’t do.”
Centennial and Hamilton faced off in the first round of the 2019 Open Division playoffs. The Huskies got the win, 28-19 to advance. This season both programs return with rosters boasting some of Arizona high school football’s top talent.
Check out the players to watch ahead of Friday’s matchup. Kick-off is at 7pm PT/10pm ET on YurView AZ and yurview.com/live.
Players to Watch
Jr. QB Nicco Marchiol, 6’2” 220 – Hamilton
Marchiol is one of six transfers to Hamilton from Colorado. As a sophomore at Regis Jesuit, he had 2,552 passing yards, 333 rushing yards and 38 total touchdowns.
The 6’2″ junior is a four-star quarterback with offers from 24 Division I schools, including LSU, Florida State, Florida, USC, Michigan, and Arizona State. He released his top eight schools in mid-September.
Jeremiah 29:11🎚 blessed and humbled for all the schools that have recruited me up until this point. These will be the top 8 schools I will be focusing on. 🔴RECRUITMENT STILL 100% OPEN🔴 pic.twitter.com/gUgy7o6T96
— Nicco Marchiol (@MarchiolNicco) September 15, 2020
“Nicco can make throws like nobody I’ve been fortunate enough to coach,” Zdebski said. “And I’ve coached a number of P5 kids and some kids that have made it to the league. He has all that. He has that internal drive as well.”
Sr. OT Caiden Miles 6’4″ 300 – Centennial
Miles is a three star tackle, rated as the No. 23 overall prospect in Arizona by 247Sports.
The 6’4″ 300 pound lineman is a three-year starter for the Coyotes. He committed to UNLV in May.
Thank you to all the programs and coaches that offered me. After a Rebel phone call with @CoachCNorcross I am proud to say I am committed to UNLV. None of this would be possible without @Cehsfootball @CoachComes @CoachThiele @RonTBAOL. Let's go Rebels! pic.twitter.com/CaKYtLQfRV
— Caiden Miles (@MilesCaiden) May 29, 2020
Centennial head coach Richard Taylor said Miles has one of the strongest work ethics in the Coyote program and is developing every day as a leader.
So. CB Cole Martin, 5’10” 175 – Hamilton
Martin had two DI offers before he even started high school. He now tallies 20 offers, including Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Kansas, and Arizona State.
As a freshman, Martin totaled 38 tackles, 27 solo. He averaged 3.2 tackles per game and had five pass deflections.
— PRIMETIME 🦅 (@colemartin21) September 24, 2020
“He’s a dependable kid and a responsible kid,” Zdebski said. “That’s why he really blew up this year in terms of the recruiting with the number of P5 offers that he’s obtained.”
Beyond the gridiron, Martin is excelling in the classroom, as well.
“Cole is just a shade under a 4.0 student,” Zdebski said. “Academically, he has that part to go with it. He’s a total package dude.”
Sr. DE/TE DJ Gleash, 6’4″ 210 – Centennial
Gleash was named the 5A Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2019. He had 14.5 sacks the second most in the division and 31 tackles on the year.
The 6’4” athlete will play on both sides of the ball for the Coyotes this season, Taylor said.
“I’m not sure he’ll come off the field,” Taylor said. “He has one of the top five motors that I’ve coached. This kid goes.”
Extremely blessed to say I’ve received my first d1 offer to Valparaiso University #21NGTHEBELL @valpoufootball @Cehsfootball @CodyTCameron @JUSTCHILLY @gridironarizona @AZHSFB pic.twitter.com/jIIzVbBuaE
— DJ Gleash (@GleashDj) May 18, 2020
Gleash had a standout moment in 2019 when he caught Mater Dei quarterback, Bryce Young from the backside. Young was rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by 247Sports and now plays at Alabama.
The GameTime Arizona season kicks off with two of the state’s top programs: #13 Centennial Coyotes vs. #5 Hamilton Huskies – Friday, October 2nd at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm CT.