Longhorns Elect Team Captains

Shane Keith,Tyler Savage, Ridge Halenar and David Carlen unanimously voted to lead team in 2008

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There were no hanging, dimpled or pregnant chads when Longhorn football coaches counted ballots last week.

Unlike the presidential election of 2000 in which hanging chads probably decided the presidency, the results of the voting by football team members -- for 2008 team captains --as unanimous.

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David Carlen

The captains are Shane Keith, Ridge Halenar, Tyler Savage and David Carlen.

Of those four, three will serve as captains for each game next season.

One will sit out, on a rotating basis, allowing coaches to select a fourth team captain for each game.

"We will pick another (captain) each week of practice depending on who is showing leadership the best," Horn coach Josh Anderson said.

All four of those selected in the team balloting are seniors and were all-region and all-state honorees during last season's campaign.

Among the new captains, Halenar was first team all-region and all-state playing both quarterback and safety.

"Everybody knows Ridge because of his high-profile position, but he is truly passionate about competing," Anderson said.

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Tyler Savage

"Kids see how helpful, excited, emotional and upset he can get and I think they admire those traits in him."

Carlen, who last season led the team in tackles, will most likely start at middle linebacker. Last year he played tight end on offense, but this year he will move to fullback.

"He will play tight end only if absolutely necessary, we have the TE spot taken care of right now," Anderson said. "We have kids work their tales off in the weight room, on the field and in the classroom, but Dave would be the guy on the team I would say works the hardest at everything."

Savage is a long and lanky wide receiver and outside linebacker who might be the top receiver in the 3A East.

Anderson remembers it was Savage who was one of several players involved in a discipline situation three years ago that caused him to miss most of his sophomore season.

"Instead of making the situation worse, he, his family and his friends stuck together and made the best out of it," the coach said. "Now he is being recruited by D-1 schools and is a first team all-state athlete.

Keith is a three-year starter at defensive back who will also play "Z" or slot back.

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Ridge Halenar

"He is actually a back up quarterback and plays pretty much any specialty position on offense," Anderson said. "I guess that's why the kids gave him the most votes (in captain balloting)."

The coach lauded all four captains saying their plaudits have not come "because they are popular, it's because they have worked for everything they have gotten."

Blue Ridge on top, again

While PHS players were wrapping up the off season at last week's training camp, rivals.com -- a nationwide recruiting database --eleased its 3A football top 10.

It is:

Blue Ridge

Wickenburg

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Shane Keith

Coolidge

Payson

Round Valley

Show Low

Snowflake

Chino Valley

Fountain Hills

Winslow

About Payson, rivals.com says, "very seasoned, experienced team ... many started on varsity as sophomores ... speed and size an asset ... lost to Coolidge 16-14 in the playoffs."

Rivals.com also throws a bone to Longhorn fans by saying, "kids perform before packed houses for regular season and playoff games."

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