Here we go. In just 48 days, the University of Arizona will take on BYU on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. We will be honoring and listing 50 of the greatest high school football players from the state of Arizona (not just Southern Arizona) who went on to play for the Wildcats from today until kickoff.
This list honors high school achievements only. Some went on to have great careers with Arizona and in the pros but many did not. Some still hold Arizona high school records like our first honoree, Ted Bland.
This list is not a countdown from No. 50 to No. 1. That would be a nearly impossible task. Again, it’s not a list of the 50 greatest players with the greatest impact at Arizona. That list is for another day.
Day 48: Scooter Sprotte, Blue Ridge 1995: Arizona 1995-99
Some say Scooter Sprotte would not be recruited by the University of Arizona (or any other Pac-12 school) today. 5 feet 11 and 205 pounds. A running back/linebacker from the White Mountains. Not from a 5A school, not from a 4A school but a school with only 600 students.
It doesn’t matter if he was the Arizona Player of the Year, as he was in 1994 when he led Lakeside Blue Ridge to a 13-0 season and a 3A state championship. 2,961 yards rushing and 38 touchdowns? No, from a small school.
His 2,961 yards rushing included 243 yards against the powerful Sunnyside Blue Devils of the time. Wouldn’t matter.
His 2,961 yards single-season rushing total was the state record for all divisions at the time. Amphitheater standout Mario Bates had 2,740 in 1990. Marcus Thomas (Tolleson) rushed for an incredible 3,573 yards in 2002. Still, Sprotte holds the 3A record to this day. His 38 touchdown total is also a state record for 3A.
After playing tailback and fullback at Arizona in 1995 and 1996, Sprotte moved over to linebacker for Dick Tomey and was the starting OLB in 1998. Yes, that team.
12-1 with a win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl and a No. 4 National Ranking.
Before there was a Scooby Wright, there was a Scooter Sprotte.
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com