It was the last thing the rest of the Northeast Division needed.
Las Vegas High picking up an infusion of offensive talent from the west side of the Valley.
The Wildcats, who have won five straight Sunrise Region titles, added a trio of transfers to help bolster an offense that lost seven starters to graduation.
The additions come in the backfield, where dynamic running back Reggie Bullock transferred from Western and strong-armed quarterback Emir Lopez transferred from Sierra Vista. Cimarron-Memorial transfer Kevin Cormier also should see time at running back.
“They’ve blended in very well,” Las Vegas coach Chris Faircloth said. “I couldn’t be happier with them. They’ve actually been a pleasure to have out here.”
Faircloth said that’s not always the case with transfers.
“Usually when you get transfers, they bring a lot of baggage with them,” Faircloth said. “We haven’t had any baggage to this point. They’ve come out and done everything we’ve asked. We couldn’t be happier with them.”
Senior defensive back Johnny Tagle said the new players have blended in with the returnees.
“At first they were kind of shifty, because we work a lot harder than their schools do,” Tagle said. “But they fit in real good now.”
Lopez might turn out to be the biggest catch, taking over at quarterback to run Las Vegas’ spread offense. Lopez passed for 1,592 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for Sierra Vista and will replace the graduated Marvin Campbell, who passed for 1,837 yards and 14 TDs.
Faircloth said Lopez has had little trouble picking up the new offense.
“He picks up very well,” Faircloth said. “He understands the scheme of the game, and he’s a very hard worker.
“He has as much arm strength as any kid we’ve ever had.”
The speedy Bullock is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He rushed for 1,356 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, averaging 10.2 yards per carry.
“He’s a very gifted kid,” Faircloth said. “He catches the ball well. He runs around on defense, he runs the ball, and he really enjoys playing football, and that’s the biggest thing.
“You don’t have to beg him to do anything.”
Bullock and Cormier also should help bolster the secondary. Tagle said the team is more explosive this season on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve got a lot more depth than we did last year,” Tagle said. “Just overall we have a lot of playmakers on both sides — more than we did last year.”
The defense also will be helped by the return of 320-pound defensive lineman Alanzi Langstaff, who was injured in the first game last season.
But the key to success might be team chemistry.
“Everybody’s fine; everybody’s working together,” offensive linemen Greg Holotik said. “We’re a family here. That’s the most important thing. Win or lose, we’re a team.”