In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Classifieds Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward
Home team State 2A champs
Valley Christian earns redemption
By Doug Snover

December 3, 2005

Valley Christian High School’s football team found a measure of redemption by winning the Class 2A state championship behind an impressively burly offensive line.

Valley Christian defeated Arizona Lutheran, 45-28, on Nov. 26 in the Class 2A championship game at Tempe McClintock High.

It is the first football championship since Valley Christian was created in 1981.

More importantly, it redeemed the Kyrene Corridor school’s 10-3 loss to Phoenix Christian in last year’s title game.

“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 Morgan.

Groth and Hernandez shared the pit with center Andy Montano, who stands only about 5 foot 9 but who weighs about 260 pounds.

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 pounds.

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 championship game.

Micah Mehan 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 Krison.

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,” he said.

“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 universities.

Graduation requirements exceed those required by the Arizona Board of Regents for university admissions.









































web site hit counter

Calendar | Classifieds | Contact Us Home | Make a Payment | Media Kit | Online Advertising | Online Pages | Previous Issues | Submit Your Ad

Copyright © 2005 Wrangler News




Hurricane Relief Fund

Donate now to the American Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund.