SAN TAN VALLEY — Many athletes have donned Poston Butte’s navy and orange on the football field over the past 11 years.
Under normal circumstances, this would be Week 3 of the high school football season, and the Broncos would be preparing for their game against Oro Valley Canyon Del Oro, but the season has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Broncos coach Dain Thompson and his coaching staff came up with a fun idea as they reached out to their predecessors and came up with an all-decade team.
“After one of our summer workouts we were just kind of reminiscing a little bit,” Thompson told PinalCentral. “Since our school is not that old, it’s only been operational for about 10 years, we thought this would be a good idea. It’s just one of those things that kind of came out of nowhere. We don’t have any real football going on, we thought it might be fun to put together an all-decade team.”
The current Broncos coaching staff managed to consult with former Poston Butte head coaches who talked with their former coaching staff, and in about a month, they had put the team together.
“We started compiling some names and then started having coaches from each staff basically narrow the list down until we basically had a full team,” Thompson said. “We let people think about it for a while, so it was a few weeks of researching and going back and looking at some old names. Us new coaches here, we went back and watched some highlights of some of the guys that were on our potential list.”
Thompson said the decisions for each position were made as a group, and no one person had the final say.
The coaches each made a list of players they thought were the best during the time they coached and then they compared the lists.
Statistics did have an impact at some positions, and only stats from their time at Poston Butte counted. For lineman, it was mostly based on who the coaches thought were most deserving.
The other former head coaches who participated in selecting the all-decade team were Michael De La Torre and Cody Collett.
De La Torre was the first coach for the Broncos, and Collett was the coach for one year in 2016 after Paul Moro resigned and before Thompson took the helm.
Thompson has been with the Poston Butte program since Moro was the head coach in 2014.
“Of course, every time that you do something like this there are people that are left out and there’s obviously some great players that have played here already that are left out,” Thompson said. “Ultimately we didn’t want to make the list too big.”
|OT - Jordan Davis (2011-12)||CB - Tucker Usher (2016-18|
|G - Emilio Garcia (2013-14)||S - Zaq Smith (2013-14)|
|C - Chris Carlino (2012)||S – Riley Ing (2011-13)|
|G – Oscar Miranda (2015-17)||S/Utility - Larry Tripp (2015-17)|
|T – Keith Ashoon (2014-15)||CB - Joel Lynde (2011-12)|
|TE – Thomas Gaitan (2016-18)||LB - Tyler Thompson (2015-17)|
|WR – Kris Davis (2011-12)||LB - Chris Musselman (2012-14)|
|RB – Brandon Hatfield (2012-14)||LB - Aaron Juarez (2011-12)|
|RB – Zion Burns (2018-20)||LB - Chase Taylor (2012-12)|
|QB - Carter Whiter (2015-17)||DL - Daniel Cisneros (2013-14)|
|Utility/Returner - Tony Hatfield (2010-11)||DL - Ben Crossley (2014)|
|K/P - Zack Pinwniczka (2015-17)||DL - Isaiah Navarro (2017-19)|
Mussleman was name the All-Decade team captain.
Where are they now?
Chris Mussleman — Married and lives in Oro Valley outside of Tucson. Played football at the Air Force Academy, graduated in Engineering last year, four-year letterman at linebacker. Now is a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force stationed at Davis-Monthan as a Cyberspace Operations Officer.
Aaron Juarez — Married his high school sweetheart and their first child last October. Aaron still lives in San Tan Valley and is a foreman for Knochel Brothers.
Chris Carlino — Married and has one daughter. ASU grad, business career has included Verizon Wireless and is currently with ClearOne Advantage. Stint with MMA and still playing football in men’s league.
Brandon Hatfield — Lives in Gilbert works in the HVAC industry. Still playing football in men’s leagues.
Zaq Smith — Living in Tucson, working at a bank and attending college. Track athlete at Pima CC: 60m (indoor), 100m, 200m, 4x100 relay.
Ben Crossley — Lives in Northern California finishing computer science degree at University of California, Davis.
Chase Taylor — Lives in Scottsdale. Played football as a safety at Adams State (Colorado), finished undergrad at ASU, graduated last year and is now working on master’s degree while interning for ASU football with their strength & conditioning program.
Oscar Miranda, E-3 — Currently serving our country in the US Navy in Norfolk, Virginia. Aviation Ordinance, Weapons Specialist for Aircraft Carriers.
Tyler Thompson — Living in San Tan Valley working with Amazon. Finished up second year of college, played linebacker at Arizona Christian University.
Zack Pinwniczka — Finished second season at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a FCS program in the SWAC. SWAC player of the week, kicking 42-yard field goal last season. No football in the SWAC this fall, but it plans to play in the spring.
Carter White — Lives in Ohio. Finished up second year of college, played fullback and linebacker at Clark State College in Ohio.
Riley Ing — Went to Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Played in the NAIA National Championship in Daytona, Florida, in December 2018. Is a customer service representative at SilverRock.
Tucker Usher — Finished first year of college, played football for Concordia University, Wisconsin.
Isaiah Navarro — Graduated from Poston Butte in 2020, living in San Tan Valley.
Zion Burns — Entering senior year of high school. Committed to join the Wolfpack and play football at the University of Nevada.