PHOENIX — Editor's note: The video above is from the recap of the Open Division state championship game.
This year was a record-breaking season for high school football teams across the Valley.
Some teams stepped up to show out for the first regular-season since the start of the pandemic.
With the 32nd season of Friday Night Fever in the books, it's time to showcase our 2021 Friday Night Fever Awards and our All-Fever Team.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: NICCO MARCHIOL (HAMILTON)
High school football fans saw magic happen on Arizona Avenue this season. In their Week 3 matchup with Nevada’s Bishop Gorman, one of the most prolific programs in the country, the Hamilton Huskies scored 18 straight points in 65 seconds to complete a comeback win for the ages. It all played out on national television and it was quarterback Nicco Marchiol’s performance that helped the Huskies pull it off.
You may recognize Nicco Marchiol as a three-time hot shot nominee, but this senior's all-around season accomplishments have led to his award on Friday Night Fever and being named the MaxPreps Overall Player of the year.
Marchiol completed passes for 37 touchdowns this season with more than 2,000 total yards.
Marchiol become the first athlete from Hamilton High School to be named Gatorade Arizona High School Football Player of the Year when he earned the honor earlier this month.
He has committed to play at the University of West Virginia and will enroll early to join the program in the spring.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JACOB STEWARD (CACTUS SHADOWS)
Sometimes you just meet people that are born to play football, Cactus Shadows Jacob Steward is one of those guys.
“That’s Jacob being Jacob," said Cactus Shadows Head Coach Michael Hudnutt. “I don’t know if I ever raised my voice at that man except for getting excited. We always talk to the kids about leaving and legacy, and he’s going to be talked for a long time around this program.”
That legacy is leading in the state in tackles with 181. Half of those were made solo, which set a new school record. Steward also lived in the backfield with 32 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.
“Just natural instinct, but his desire to be in on every play was his drive,” said Coach Hudnutt. Jacob’s season also comes with some extra family bragging rights.
“His brother played for me a couple years ago,” said Coach Hudnutt. “He always wanted to be better than his brother and he was.
COACH OF THE YEAR: CHRIS MCDONALD (BASHA)
The last two seasons have been trying for high school football programs nationwide. For Basha's Coach McDonald, this season was the perfect time for his guys to show out.
Basha had a 10-1 record this season.
This was McDonald's third year as a Basha's head coach and his seventh year as a head coach after transferring from Maricopa High School.
McDonald was named the Chandler Unified School District's Coach of the Year in 2019.
2021 ALL-FEVER TEAM
NICCO MARCHIOL (HAMILTON)
ZACH HAMMETT (RIVER VALLEY)
BLAKE CORNER (MESQUITE)
ADAM MOHAMMED (APOLLO)
GRADY HICKEY (CHAPARRAL)
CHRISTIAN ANAYA (HAMILTON)
KYLER KASPER (WILLIAMS FIELD)
JACKSON BOWERS (MOUNTAIN VIEW)
GAVIN BROSCIOUS (DESERT EDGE)**
PARKER BRAILSFORD (SAGUARO)
MASON CULLOP (CACTUS)
ELIJAH PAIGE (PINNACLE)
JAI RODRIGUEZ (DESERT VISTA)
GRADY GROSS (HORIZON)
ZAC SWANSON (BROPHY)
RUSSELL DAVIS II (HAMILTON)
TRISTAN MONDAY (SAGUARO)
PORTER SWEET (DESERT MOUNTAIN)
JACOB STEWARD (CACTUS SHADOWS)
BRANDON CRADDOCK (O’CONNOR)**
PARKER MCCLURE (RED MOUNTAIN)
JAX STAM (LIBERTY)**
COLE MARTIN (BASHA)
KADE FARRELL (QUEEN CREEK)
FRANKY MORALES (CHANDLER)
JESUS CASTRO (AGUA FRIA)
EASTON BLACK (SUNRISE MOUNTAIN)
JAELON RICHARDSON (BUCKEYE)
Friday Night Fever
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