Brasch, Cruz headline Doherty Award Performance Medallions recipients

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club has announced the recipients of the Ed Doherty Award Week 7 Performance Medallions, which include two Queen Creek area athletes. Six players are recognized for outstanding play during their respective games on Friday, Oct. 5: Higley High School senior Spencer Brash; Scottsdale Chaparral High School junior Tommy Christakos; Chandler […]

Chemistry, speed and strength: Queen Creek defense shines through recent success

There are heaps of cliches and adages one may use to describe the necessity of a football team’s defense, but regardless of how it’s put, Queen Creek High School is using its defense well. Through seven games, the Bulldogs have allowed an average of 24 points per game and in their six wins, they haven’t […]

Casteel football players to compete in Blue-Grey All-American Bowl

Two members of the Casteel High School football team will participate in this year’s Blue-Grey All-American Bowl later this year. Seniors Gunner Cruz and Cameron Brown will play in this game Monday, Dec. 17 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Their nominations were announced in August. The event will feature top senior […]

Queen Creek football players make Ed Doherty Award watchlist

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club has released its 2018 Ed Doherty Award week 3 watch list for the Arizona high school football season and three Queen Creek athletes made the cut. Forty-seven players from 33 high schools across the state were awarded nominee medallions based on their performances during the first three weeks of […]

Benjamin Franklin relies on heavy rushing attack to control game, achieve success

At Benjamin Franklin High School, it’s not about what looks pretty on the football field, it’s about what gets the job done. The Chargers found success last season by simply running the football. They ran the ball 594 time for 3,722 yards compared to 117 passing attempts, resulting in an 11-2 overall record and a […]

Queen Creek coach Travis Schureman, football team gear up for 6A run

Through the past eight years, the Queen Creek High School football team has made a name for itself among various levels in Arizona, but this season the Bulldogs will take their talents to the highest level. As a result of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s recent realignment through 2020, Queen Creek made the jump from 5A […]

First senior class takes field for Casteel, jumps to 5A

While there wasn’t much change concerning the team’s roster, the Casteel High School football team still went through a summer of change. Casteel is a 7-12 grade school that opened in 2015 and until this year, had not had a senior class. As a result, the school didn’t play varsity until 2016 where a group […]

Queen Creek football to host parent meeting

The Queen Creek High School football team is hosting a parents meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the Queen Creek High School cafeteria. The team is inviting parents of both returning and new players, according to a press release. Parents will have the chance to meet the Head Coach Travis Schureman and his […]

Moro resigns from Poston Butte

Paul Moro, nearly the winningest coach in Arizona history, has resigned from Poston Butte High School, 32375 N Gantzel Road, San Tan Valley. Mr. Moro won 13 state titles at Pinetop-Lakeside’s Blue Ridge High School before coming to the Valley 2 years ago.

The Poston Butte football team went 0-10 during the 2015 season and did not make the post season. During the 2014 season, the team went 7-4, losing to Cienega in the first round of the playoffs.

Rivalry is three way for some Queen Creek high schools

Rivalry is as much a part of football as pep rallies before the game. But for some Queen Creek schools, they don’t have one traditional rival, they have at least two, sometimes more.

The first time Queen Creek played Higley High School was the 2004-5 season and the rivalry has stuck. During those years, Higley and Queen Creek were both single high school districts.

“Higley has been a rival with Queen Creek for a lot of years and it has just continued,” Queen Creek coach Travis Schureman said. “Part of it was that it was the closest school to Queen Creek for a long time.”

Higley’s Eddy Zubey is in his fifth season as head coach.

“It started from what I know, when the school opened and they started playing varsity football,” Zubey said. “Higley’s varsity team has only beaten Queen Creek’s varsity one time in the 12 years of its existence.”

Even though Queen Creek has dominated the varsity games against Higley, there is still a rivalry, Zubey said.

“Our players grow up with these kids, they go to the same church, they play youth sports together,” he said.

While Higley may not have beaten Queen Creek at the varsity level in some time, they have won games against the freshman and junior varsity teams. This is the first team that are all Zubey’s players. And Higley played Queen Creek on Sept. 25.

“This is our best opportunity to beat those guys (Queen Creek) while I have been head coach,” Zubey said during an interview the week of the game.
Then Williams Field opened in 2008.

“I would say Queen Creek has been a little more balanced of a series,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said.

Williams Field played Queen Creek on Sept. 18, bringing the series to a three game tie.

“They won the first couple then we won one then we beat them in regular season and they beat us in the regular season,” Campbell said of Queen Creek.

Queen Creek and Williams Field started playing each other in the 2011-12 season. Queen Creek won that game 22-20.

“For the most part all of the games have been really close,” Campbell said.

Schureman said his team looks forward to playing Williams Field.

“We play a similar type of football,” Schureman said.

When Queen Creek and Williams Field started playing each other the games were always at the end of the season to see who was going to be section champions, Campbell said.

“They ended up not in our section now,” Campbell said. “But I don’t think it took anything away from the rivalry and how much it meant in last week’s game.

During the 2013-14 season, Queen Creek and Williams Field played twice. Williams Field won the regular season game, and Queen Creek won the semi-final playoff game.

Wide receiver Justis Stokes makes a run for Williams Field. Williams Field won the game 17-14 over Queen Creek. (Courtesy of Gwendolyn Flake)
Wide receiver Justis Stokes makes a run for Williams Field. Williams Field won the game 17-14 over Queen Creek. (Courtesy of Gwendolyn Flake)

“It seems like we’re always playing those guys,” Schureman said.

Higley has never beaten Williams Field at the varsity level.

“It’s a goal of ours every year,” Zubey said. “Just as beating Queen Creek is a goal of our football program.”

Higley and Williams Field are only three miles apart. Higley will play Williams Field at home on Oct. 2.

But competitiveness isn’t the only thing that factors in to the rivalries, Campbell said.

“We have families that are divided,” Zubey said. “We have brothers and or sisters going to Higley and their brother and or sister goes to Williams Field, for various reasons.”

Now that the Arizona Interscholastic Association has changed the divisions, the schools are playing schools they have never played before but are closer proximity than their historical rivals.

“As we change conferences, this year we played Campo Verde, which is two miles away and we played Gilbert, which is right down the street,” Campbell said. “It’s the same kind of thing, a lot of our kids grew up and played each other.”

Campbell said the conference changes were not getting rid of the rivalry but actually adding more.

“If you look at attendance when we are playing these teams, we have had great attendance at every game so far,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he felt the increase in attendance was due to the schedule changes of playing closer schools.

“Just because there is an interest side to it, that there are so many schools so close together, that a lot of people on the campuses know each other.” Campbell said. “They played youth football together or travel baseball, there’s just a lot of cross over.”

Queen Creek is the farthest rivalry school.

“The ironic part is that out of all those schools Queen Creek is one of the furthest schools and our kids have very little cross over with Queen Creek,” Campbell said “But because competitiveness of our games and what has been on the line, it has created the rivalry.”

Schureman said it adds to the high school experience.

“It’s just great for high school football to have a rival,” Schureman said. “It’s what you play high school football for, these are the things that kids will remember for the rest of their lives.”

News Services Assistant Arianna Grainey can be reached at 623-445-2717, via e-mail at agrainey@newszap.com or on twitter at
ariannagrainey.