Want to reminisce about the days of Vern Friedli at Amphi, Richard Sanchez and his son Philo at Sunnyside and Dustin Peace coaching Ka’Deem Carey at CDO in state title games?
Fox Sports Arizona will fulfill that desire with replays of state championship games involving those three Southern Arizona programs. A total of 10 games will be televised beginning Oct. 15 with the 1997 Class 5A title game between Friedli’s Panthers and Mesa Mountain View.
Here is the schedule:
Amphi’s 1997 team featured running back Antrel Bates, who rushed for 121 yards on 30 carries against Mountain View. The Toros were led by future ASU tight end Todd Heap.
Friedli, who passed away at age 80 in 2017, held the state all-time wins record until Tempe Marcos de Niza coach Paul Moro broke the record in 2016.
Friedli coached until 2012, before poor health caused him to retire. He won 331 games, 288 of those in 36 years at Amphitheater. Friedli was known for his wishbone offense and producing some of the state’s greatest running backs in the 1980s: Jon Volpe and the Bates brothers, Marion, Michael and Mario. Antrel is not related.
Sunnyside’s 2001 Class 4A title team coached by Sanchez included his son, running back Philo Sanchez, who gained 184 yards on a state-record 41 carries.
CDO in 2010 was coming off a state title the previous season with players such as Carey and linebacker Blake Martinez, who is now with the New York Giants. The loss snapped a 27-game winning streak for the Dorados. Carey, a senior who went on to set records at Arizona, rushed for 173 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns. He also had a 72-yard kickoff return. Martinez had two receptions for 62 yards as a tight end.
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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.