Valley Christian High School’s football
team found a measure of redemption by
winning the Class 2A state championship
behind an impressively burly offensive
Valley Christian defeated Arizona
Lutheran, 45-28, on Nov. 26 in the Class
2A championship game at Tempe McClintock
It is the first football championship
since Valley Christian was created in
More importantly, it redeemed the Kyrene
loss to Phoenix Christian in last year’s
“We were blessed,” said Bill Morgan,
Valley Christian’s first-year head coach
who was at home nursing a sore throat
after the championship game.
Blessed, in large part, by a large
offensive line led by senior tackles
Kyle Groth and Nick Hernandez,
each of whom stands about 6 feet 4 and
weighs 280 pounds or more, according to
Groth and Hernandez shared the pit with
center Andy Montano, who stands
only about 5 foot 9 but who weighs about
Montano was flanked by tackles Isaac
Remington, at 6 foot 6 and 235
pounds, and Mark Timpani, the
smallest player on the Valley Christian
offensive line at 6 foot 3 and about 180
That exceptional line helped senior
quarterback Ben Bergsma pass for
more than 1,800 yards and nearly 20
touchdowns on the way to the 2A state
championship, Morgan noted.
Bergsma carried the ball for 62 yards
and two TDs in the championship game
while senior fullback J.P. Grako
had 59 yards and a touchdown.
Bergsma and Grako shared co-captain
honors this season with senior safety
Phil Roffi and senior running back
Reggie Sheffield, who racked up
185 yards and two touchdowns in the
and Dane Rymer also contributed
to the offensive production throughout
the season, while Andrew Garrett
helped fill out the defense.
Morgan also credited Garrett Brown,
Austin Foley, David Gean John Kredit,
Justin Lett, Nick Longanecker,
Sam Moore, Paul Savory, kicker
Shaun Vance and David Maitha
as important role players, along with
brothers Luke Krison and Matt
Morgan said he was
blessed to inherit a team with big,
strong – and durable – players, many of
whom played both offensive and defense
throughout the season.
“I had some great kids,
great assistant coaches, and very few
injuries in a very long 13-game season,”
“We had a goal. The team’s motto was
‘Unfinished Business’,” he said. “The
kids earned what they achieved through
hard work, determination and never
giving up,” he said.
Most of the players
“started here as freshman,” Morgan
noted. “It is exceptional … to have a
group of kids come through with that
size,” he said.
Defending Valley Christian’s first state
championship will be “really, really
rough,” Morgan predicted.
Montano, Remington and Timpani are
expected to return, but many of this
year’s starters are seniors who will
graduate without having a chance to
defend their 2005 trophy.
Valley Christian, at 6900 W. Galveston
Road, Chandler, is a small school, with
only 378 enrolled students.
Valley Christian was created in 1981 by
six men, including the senior pastors at
Bethany Community Church, First Baptist
Church in Tempe and Grace Community
Church, who met to plan a Christian high
school in the East Valley.
It is a non-denominational school
independent of any specific church and
operated by a board of directors whose
members come from a variety of churches
and professional backgrounds.
Valley Christian offers a college
preparatory curriculum. The curriculum
offers a broad base of courses in
science, math, English and social
studies, emphasizing courses necessary
to enter and succeed at quality
Christian colleges and public or private
Graduation requirements exceed those
required by the Arizona Board of Regents
for university admissions.