Prep teams put national spotlight on Arizona football

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                </div>  It never hurts to get a little national recognition at the high school level that also helps the state of Arizona raise its profile and maybe convince a few […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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It never hurts to get a little national recognition at the high school level that also helps the state of Arizona raise its profile and maybe convince a few more college recruiters to look to the desert for help filling out their rosters.

Football was the sport of choice recently, when two state champions were given post-season honors.

Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson took its turn last week on the MaxPreps Football Tour of Champions, when its 2013 team was honored with a place among the nation’s top 50 teams selected by the CBSsports.com website that provides news and information about prep sports.  Prior to the stop at Salpointe, the TOC was in Phoenix to present the award to Mountain Pointe High School.

Both schools are state champions, Mountain Pointe in Division I and Salpointe in Division II, and both are ranked nationally – two criteria for being eligible for the award.  Mountain Pointe finished the 2013 season ranked No. 7 and the Lancers were No. 30.

Fifty school across the country are honored with the award, which is presented annually in conjunction with the Arizona Army National Guard.  A computer program called the Freeman Rankings is used to determine team rankings.  It takes into consideration an array of factors that include number of wins, strength of schedule, margin of victory, and quality of the wins.

More than 16,000 teams are ranked by the system to come up with the final 50.

Both Mountain Pointe and Salpointe went undefeated – and the state football titles were the first ever for each school.

Mountain Pointe beat Arizona-power Hamilton High School twice, once during the regular season and the second time for the championship.  The Huskies were included on the 2012 Tour of Champions following a season when they started 0-2 and went on to win the Division I state title.

Hamilton has won seven state titles in the last 10 years, but this season it was Mountain Pointe’s turn.  The Pride had scored 576 points in a season of domination before rolling over Hamilton in the championship game, 42-19.

Salpointe Catholic opened the 2013 season by beating Nevada’s Liberty High School in the Sollenberger Classic, which kicks off the high school season in Arizona.  In the Classic’s other game, Mountain Pointe also got their 14-0 season off to a good start by upsetting national power, Bishop Gorman High School.

The Lancers also put a dominating team on the field this year, outscoring their opponents 697-10 before beating Chaparral High in the state title game, 46-26.  Salpointe took a 26-6 halftime lead and never looked back, holding a team that has won the state title three times in the last five years to -14 yards rushing.

A number of Guard members were on hand for each of the school’s presentation ceremonies and the Guard’s commander, Sgt. Major Michael Sojourner, capped off a 35-year military career with the Salpointe presentation. His retirement followed just 10 days later.