2018 record: 5-6 overall, 3-2 in district, lost to Burges in bi-district round
2019 projected win threshold: 4-7 wins
Head coach: Paulo Melendez, entering 3nd season, 7-14 overall record
What we know: Young team, but confident after playoff appearance in 2018
The biggest question: How quick can these young Scorpions grow?
Key 2018 stat: Horizon’s run game averaged 5.8 per yards per carry
Most important game of the regular season: October 18h @ Hanks, game two of their district slate will be pivotal. After this game, Horizon hosts district favorites Parkland and Canutillo, a big road win at Hanks could do wonders for this young squad as they approach the most difficult portion of their schedule.
Who to watch:
- Ross Valenzuela Jr, SR, ATH
- Anthony Rojas, SR, WR
- Raul Salas, SR, ATH
- Daniel Rivera, SR, DB
- Julian Contreras, SO, LB
- Octavio Ornelas, SO, OL
Coming off a historic season where the Scorpions snapped a five-year playoff drought, Horizon looks to continue their upward progress in 2019. Third-year head coach Paulo Melendez proved he’s a rising star in the coaching circles with a physical run game that will be hard to stop. In Melendez’s first season in 2017 the Scorpions ran for 1,201 yards and showed huge improvement with 2,177 with last year’s playoff team which averaged 5.8 yard per carry. Horizon returns 10 starters including sophomore offensive lineman Octavio Ornelas who started as a freshman and could develop into a FBS prospect. The youth movement continues in the backfield as super sophomore Ernie Garcia returns after playing six games at the varsity level in 2018 as a freshman. Garcia averaged 7.1 yards per carry in a limited role last season and could become a breakout star in his sophomore campaign. While Horizon’s pass game will improve as the season goes on, veteran receivers Raul Salas and Ross Valenzuela will have a bigger part in the pass game this season. Valenzuela is also a starting safety who earned all-district honors in 2018. Several young playmakers will be relied upon as mentioned and you can throw Tyler Beverly in that mix as another potential breakout star. As a freshman Beverly caught seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in five games and will also help on the defensive side in the secondary. A young, well coached team will look to build on playoff success that could lead to a consistent identity of their program.