Heading into his freshman season next year, most likely at Salpointe, one of Tucson’s most promising young talents on the football field — quarterback/athlete Jaxson Banhie — fulfilled one of his goals of making the Tucson Youth Football’s 14U All-Star Team recently.
Another goal, playing in the 8th Grade National All-Star Game at Orlando during the week of the Pro Bowl next month, did not materialize because of a broken bone in his left hand suffered last week in the national championship game against New Jersey at Orlando.
RELATED: Four TYF 14U All-Stars chosen for 8th Grade All-Star Game at Orlando on Jan. 26, 2020.
Banhie (pronounced Bahn-yay) will require surgery on his hand and will be out of action for about three months. His father Didier Banhie mentioned to me that Jaxson took the inability to participate in the 8th Grade All-Star Game very hard because of his competitive nature.
Jaxson, who led the Sahuarita 49ers to the title game of the TYF city championships, will have plenty of opportunities over the course of his high school career to show his skill set. Some associated with TYF have gone so far as to say Jaxson is Tucson’s next Ka’Deem Carey or Bijan Robinsonbecause of his strength, athleticism and speed. That’s a loaded statement.
“I got to know Bijan when (Salpointe) played against Cat Foot (Catalina Foothills),” Jaxson said. “My friend’s dad works at Cat Foot, so I got to meet him there, and yeah, he’s a pretty cool guy. I idolize him. I look up to him.
“He’s obviously very humble and he is also very good at the same time. So, yeah, I look up to that.”
Although Jaxson played quarterback for the 49ers during the season, he transitioned to running back for the 14U All-Stars because Cameron Hackworth — another Salpointe-bound player — was slotted as the starting quarterback by coach Bam McRae.
Banhie, who has a team-first mentality, also plays safety. He is multi-talented and coachable. He kept a close eye on Salpointe’s 10-1 football team this year and mentioned he learned more about football watching Dennis Bene‘s team.
“I like to watch them and see what they do, see how the quarterback plays, see how Bijan plays, see how Lathan (Ransom) plays,” Banhie said. “To see a team like that, play how they play and have fun at the same time, I aspire to be on a team like that, being able to have that much fun and still being able to win by the big amounts that they did.”
Banhie, who attends Mansfield Middle School, should be healed from his hand injury and ready for summer workouts and weight-training sessions and potential 7-on-7 play this summer heading into next fall with the Lancers.
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.