Tonopah Capsule Preview

Coach: Curt McElroy (fifth year)

2007 record: 11-1 (4-0 Southern League)

Returning starters: Five offense, five defense

Returning letterwinners: 25

Top players: QB/DB Scott Thibodeaux (Sr.), FB/LB Mike Dolfin (Sr.), RB/DB Denver Ottdson (Jr.), WR/DB Jeff Blackburn (Sr.), C/NG Roberto Miremontes (Sr.), DE/WR Chase Gibson (Sr.), DE Jose Arias (Jr.), OG Sergio Perez (Sr.)

Top newcomers: LB/FB Ermilo Arias (So.), WR/DB Eddie Reynosa (So.), WR/DB Adam Thackery (Jr.), QB/DB/WR Nick White (So.), LB Tommy Boni (Jr.)

Key losses: LB/WR Garrett Valenzuela, RB/WR/DB Kevin Valentine, WR Tyler Bessire

Base offensive set: Shotgun option/pistol

Base defensive set: 3-3-2

Outlook: The Muckers, who haven’t lost a league game since 2003, have 25 returning lettermen on their 40-man roster, and appear favored to repeat as Class 1A state champions.

Last year, Tonopah scored 76 touchdowns on offense and averaged 7.36 yards per snap. On defense, it rolled up 23 sacks, 26 interceptions and 24 fumble recoveries.

And most of the players who made that dominance possible, including college prospect Dolfin, are back for more.

"Our kids really believe they’ll be back in the state championship game," McElroy said. "Our overall goal is to be at Arbor View High School, where we lost the first one (in 2006) and win it there. Build a dynasty — that’s our whole motto."

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