What do you get when you combine two former ASU students with two former Arizona students?
Harmony? Teamwork? Bonding? Playoff-caliber production?
What in the name of Frank Kush is going on at Marana?
Head coach Louie Ramirez, an ASU grad who coached with the Sun Devils as a graduate assistant, has on his staff two former Arizona players — linemen Kyle Quinn and David Catalano — and former ASU defensive lineman standout Vince Amey (who also coached the Wildcats’ defensive line under former coach Rich Rodriguez).
No. 9 Marana, with prolific passing quarterback Trenton Bourguet, takes on No. 8 Cienega (8-2) at Vail tonight at 7 in a first round game of the 5A state playoffs.
The Bobcats, who beat Marana 44-28 last month at home, have on their team the quick and athletic Terrell Hayward, who can run the ball, catch it and return it as one of the best in the state.
Before Marana (7-3) practiced on Wednesday, Ramirez and his coaching staff sat down with me for separate interviews to discuss the playoffs, their unique coexistence as a staff and matters pertaining to their careers and lives.
Marana coach Louie Ramirez, who has coached the Tigers to the Class 5A state playoffs in his first season, was a graduate assistant before Marana hired last offseason. He said he reached out to all of his staff to join him and is fortunate they agreed and came together.
David Catalano, former CDO, San Jose State and Arizona lineman, is a counselor at Marana who helps coach the football team. He played with the Spartans under current Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre, whose team plays Arizona tonight at Arizona Stadium. He transferred to Arizona as a graduate assistant but injuries kept him finishing strong as a center for the Wildcats in 2015. He credits much of his development in football to MacIntyre.
Vince Amey, former ASU defensive tackle standout and Arizona defensive line coach, is now coaching Marana’s defense. He soon will be the defensive line coach of Alliance of American Football’s team in San Diego.
Former Arizona center Kyle Quinn, who was Nick Foles’ center when they played with the Wildcats. He is also the husband of former CDO and Arizona softball pitcher standout Kenzie Fowler.
No. 9 Marana (7-3) at No. 8 Cienega (8-2), 7 p.m.
No. 11 Flowing Wells (8-2) at No. 6 Millennium (8-2), 7 p.m.
No. 12 Ironwood Ridge (6-4) at No. 5 Higley (7-3), 7 p.m.
No. 16 Apache Junction (7-3) at No. 1 Salpointe (10-0), 7 p.m.
No. 12 Glendale (9-1) at No. 5 Sahuaro (8-2), 7 p.m.
No. 10 Canyon del Oro (7-3) at No. 7 Cactus (7-3), 7 p.m.
No. 14 Walden Grove (8-2) at No. 3 Desert Edge (7-3), 7 p.m.
No. 11 Blue Ridge (6-4) at No. 6 Sabino (8-2), 7 p.m.
No, 13 Pusch Ridge (5-5) at No. 4 Page (9-1), 7 p.m.
No. 9 Benson (6-4) at No. 8 Alchesay (9-1), 7p.m.
No. 10 Willcox (7-3) at No. 7 St. Johns (7-3), 7 p.m.