Nicco Marchiol, Noah Schmidt and a slew of Colorado prep football players that made the move from Colorado to Arizona have found success in the desert.
Hamilton High School — which plays in Arizona’s 6A classification — has a collection of some top talent from Aurora programs and others in Colorado as part of a mix that is 6-0 and has a nationally-televised game scheduled for Nov. 20 against another undefeated team, Chandler (ESPN, 10 p.m. EST).
Going into the game, Hamilton is ranked No. 23 in MaxPreps’ national rankings, while Chandler is No. 5. For reference, Colorado’s top-ranked team — defending Class 5A state champion Cherry Creek — is rated No. 45 nationally.
In June, The Sentinel explored the difficult decision to leave Colorado for the local players (Cover story – END RUN), who weren’t confident that a fall season would happen in the state and moved to a place they thought would better assure them the chance to compete and in some cases enhance their prospects of landing scholarships.
Marchiol started for Regis Jesuit for two seasons and earned the attention of a double-digit number of Division I programs. He has started all six games for Hamilton and has thrown for 1,139 yards and six touchdowns (versus three interceptions) while completing 74 percent of his passes. Marchiol also used his legs frequently at Regis Jesuit and has continued to do so with nearly 400 yards and four TDs of the ground.
Schmidt — who came within range of 2,000 yards for Grandview last season — has several ballcarriers to share attempts with this season, but he still leads the Huskies in rushing yards with 536 and in touchdowns with nine, plus one receiving.
Hamilton reports pancake blocks for its offense linemen and two former Regis Jesuit players have combined for 16 of those in junior Grayson Stovall (13) and senior Alexander Bruns (3).
Defensive back Jack Howell — formerly of Valor Christian — is the Huskies’ leading tackler and one of the team leaders in passes defensed. Howell has verbally committed to Colorado State.
Even with the losses, Regis Jesuit went 5-1 in the pandemic shortened regular season and on the same day Hamilton plays Chandler will play Cherry Creek (6-0) at 4 p.m. in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes