After three weeks of football, the Glendale Prep Griffins found themselves with the best overall record in the 2A Agua Fria section at 2-1. The team is clicking on all cylinders leading up to the halfway point of the season.
The Griffins young defense has shown life with a dominating 40-7 victory against Goodyear Trivium Prep, in which the team forced six turnovers. This performance was highlighted by a pair of pick sixes, from freshman Jason Cullum and Malachi Mizysak.
Freshman Carson Schmidt, sophomore Jacob Rickey and senior J.R. Valenzuela also picked up interceptions.
Valenzuela also dominated the Crimson Knights on the ground. He was quick to praise the offensive line for their work this season, which resulted in Valenzuela being able to scamper for 236 yards and two touchdowns in their most recent victory.
“The line has definitely stepped it up,” Valenzuela said in a phone call, “they’ve been winning the battle up front and that’s how you win games, you win them in the trenches.”
For the season, the team hangs around the middle of the section in terms of points allowed with an average of above 29 points per game.
But this was something the coaching staff was prepared for. At the start of the season, six of the team’s starting defensive positions were being played by underclassmen. The youth on that side of the ball would have to be accommodated by the offense’s experience.
Head Coach Robert Addicott hinted at the offense executing more efficiently prior to the start of the season, and through three weeks, it has shown.
The team leads the section in points with a total of 118, the most points through three games in the program’s 11-man league history, according to the AZPreps365 and MaxPreps websites.
Even so, the team has still had some nail-biting finishes despite the offensive onslaught of almost 40 points per contest. Two of their games this season were decided within the last minute, resulting in a loss and a win for the Griffins.
Mizysak, also Glendale Prep’s leading receiver, said he enjoys those last-minute games.
“Our team shines in those moments,” he said.
Mizysak was named the West Valley Preps player of the week for Week 2 in which the team defeated Arete Prep 58-57. The 6’3” wide receiver had a stellar performance, putting up more than 300 all-purpose yards and four total touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Samuel Terpstra attributed his strong connection with Mizysak to the fact that the two have been playing together since Terpstra’s freshman year. The two would even get together at a park, prior to COVID-19 restrictions, to work on routes and timing.
“He’s obviously one of the best wide receivers in the state,” Terpstra said, “With his size and his hands, he’s definitely a dependable wide receiver.”
The duo has combined for 358 yards and Mizysak accounts for all six of Terpstra’s passing touchdowns. Results of Glendale Prep’s Oct. 23 game against St. John Paul II were not available at press time.
Glendale Prep, along with Kingman Academy and Parker High School, is now 1-0 in the 2A Agua Fria section and will only play opponents within the section for the remainder of the season. Things are looking up for the Griffins, who finished 3-6 in 2019 — Adicott’s first season at the school.
Sammy Rivera is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Glendale Prep for AZPreps365.com.