NAU PREVIEW: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS FOR YOUNG WILDCATS
Arizona JV vs Northern Arizona University
Friday, October 14th
Rincon Vista Sports Complex
Flanker Zach Heisterkamp '20 was a key player in last week's victory and looks to help spur the Second XV to a 3-0 preseason.
Oct 13- Arizona Second XV concludes a three-game set this weekend as they welcome Northern Arizona University to Tucson for the first time in recent history. The Wildcats have named a similar lineup to the one that defeated Arizona State last weekend 60-14, with Hooker Zach Biggs once again captaining the side. "Biggs has done a tremendous job on field but equally off, as he's bought in from day one, and emerged as one of the leaders of the Freshman class" said Head Coach Sean Duffy.
Pairing with Biggs once again is the duo of Cody Hunt and Reed Hirshman, while Locks Carter Harris and Zachary Knobbe-Hewitt join them to make up the Wildcats' tight five. "Knobbe-Hewitt was strong last week, did a lot of dirty work, scored a try, and brought some real workrate, he's got a great future" said Duffy. The back row is where the changes occur, with the talented Zach Heisterkamp sliding to Openside Flanker while Charlie Harden starts at Number Eight and Christofaro Napoli starts at Blindside Flanker. "Really nice to see a core group of Forwards work together these three weeks, it'll help in our team building for January" said Duffy.
In the backline, a number of changes come in but the steady Calvin Brannon starts again at Scrumhalf. "Brannon has gotten better and better each week and it's nice to see him settle in" said Duffy. Adam Wilson gets the nod at Flyhalf where he's joined by Centers Marek Easton and Lucas Bartzis, a key try scorer last weekend. On the outside, Wings Mikey Joseph and Luke Vakasisikakala join Fullback Nick Fadelli. "This is a strong, fast, backline that wants to push the pace and it'll be interesting to see if they can implement some of the new things we've built this week."
In the reserves, a number of talented youngsters are ready if called upon, with Hooker Jake Van Order, Prop Chris McBride, and Prop Karl Steffany in the front row. Eddie Wood provides cover at Lock while Gabe Coray-Dozier is ready at Flanker. In the backline, Max Lyle provides cover at Scrumhalf while Brandon Strong and Nate Chen are ready at Center and Wing.
This match will be the third straight for the Second XV, with the mostly Freshmen side having defeated Grand Canyon and Arizona State by a combined margin of 113-14 over the past two weekends. Northern Arizona will provide a stiffer challenge, as they will bring their top side to Tucson. This will be the final match of the preseason for the Second XV, with the 2nd Annual Red-Blue Game Friday November 18th being their official finale for all three sides. The Wildcats' Developmental Side will also be tested tomorrow, as they take on Northern Arizona Junior Varsity immediately following the first match.
NAU Lineup (click for bio)
1. Cody Hunt
10. Adam Wilson
11. Mikey Joseph
12. Marek Easton
13. Lucas Bartzis
15. Nick Fadelli
16. Jake Van Order
18. Karl Steffany
19. Eddie Wood
21. Max Lyle
22. Brandon Strong
23. Nathan Chen