2018 Desert Oasis Football Capsule


League: Class 4A Southwest

Head coach: Michael Ovens, third season (1-17)

2017 record: 0-9 (0-6 Southwest, seventh)

Returning lettermen: 12

Returning starters: Nine offense, six defense

Base offensive set: Spread

Base defensive set: 3-3-5

Top offensive players: T Brandon Cuevas (Jr.); RB Alvin Pomare (Sr.): WR Laakea Mulivai (Sr.); G Andrew Dean (Sr.): RB Christian Vaughn (Jr.); TE Jose Lozano (Sr.)

Top defensive players: DT Xavier Knight (Jr.); OLB Alex Simi (Jr.); ILB Idris Shuaib (Sr.); CB Kian Jay Jose (Sr.)

Top newcomers: C Lance Pascua (Sr.); DT Micah Walker (Sr.); QB Colton Zobrist (Jr.); T Justin Golden (Jr.); G Sebastian Gonzalez (Sr.)

Key losses: OT Tim Anisko; OG Aydan Smith; WR Isaiah Fuller; QB Cedric Allen

Outlook: The Diamondbacks return an experienced squad, just one that didn’t win a game last season.

Still, Ovens is hoping his squad can begin to make a push for the playoffs this season.

Ovens said one of the team’s strengths is the offensive line, which should bode well for Vaughn. He should lead the offense after rushing for 505 yards and three TDs last season.

Shuaib, who was a second-team All-Southwest League pick last fall, should lead the defense.

The team’s defense showed signs of improvement down the stretch last season, allowing a total of 34 points in the final two games after giving up an average of 45.9 over the first seven games.

“(We are) still young, and depth and injuries are always a concern,” Ovens said.