Scottsdale Saguaro High School turning out top players

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
NEAR SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

While it may look like just another high school football practice, when you step onto the field at Scottsdale Saguaro High, it is clear the squad at this school has their sights set on the long game.

“I think every day we step in the locker room or step on the field we think about the guys that [sic] have come before us, Christian Kirk, Luke Rubenzer, DJ  Foster, guys like that,” said senior Max Massingale.

Not only does this squad have four state titles in a row under its belt, former players are leading college squads around the country to victory.

[READ MORE: Cardinals D.J. Foster returns to where it all started]

"After we finish film here, I go and put on college football and you know I could probably find a Saguaro player, playing somewhere at any point in the day, and it is pretty special," said Coach Jason Mohns. “And you know we have Christian Kirk at Texas A&M, Byron Murphy at Washington. You know we have more than half of the PAC-12 represented right now with active players that [sic] came through this program, so our kids take pride in it.”

In fact so many grads have gone on to successful college and pro careers, the school is unofficially known as Sag U.

"The Sag U was something created by one of our players last year, Kyle Soelle, who is at ASU now," Mohns said.

Mohns says whether they are in the hunt for another state title, or a college scholarship, players here expect nothing less of themselves than success. 

"So it is a tradition here, it is the only way our seniors know how to go out, is with a gold ball," Mohns said. "We just have a bunch of really good men that [sic] volunteer their time to come out, because they love the game of football and they love working with kids."

For many players, Mohns is the source of their success. They say he is not just teaching them how to succeed at football, but at the game of life.

[RELATED: Saguaro Sabercat overcomes diabetes to compete for state championship]

"And he is going to bring the best out of you, whether it is in the classroom or on the football field. He is going to bring the best out of you not just as a football player but as a person," said senior Zach Wilson.

Teammate Massingale adds, "I think it is just the way he is, the way he holds himself, he is really respected. Everyone wants to be their best around him. They want him to be proud of them, I think that really is what pushes us."

Mohns says it is about more than just football, he wants these players to build character wherever life leads. 

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"You know it is an environment we embrace. You know people call it pressure but for us, it is just what it is. It is what we expect," Mohns said.

Of course for Sag U grad, DJ Foster, it led to a career in the NFL with his hometown team, the Arizona Cardinals. Foster graduated from Saguaro in 2012 with a high school career that would be the envy of any athlete.

As a senior, he set an Arizona state single-season record with 60 total touchdowns and also set state marks for rushing yards in a game with 508 yards, touchdowns in a game with 10, and touchdowns in a career, points in a career and points in a season.

Despite his busy NFL schedule, he still makes time to visit Saguaro, where he can inspire up-and-coming players and show his respect to Coach Mohns.

"I think Coach Mohns took that program over beautifully, he has done a great job keeping tradition, keeping the guys hungry, it is hard to stay on top a long time and year after year they continue to go out there and fight and keep that hunger so it is great to see them work hard, and I love to go and support them whenever I can" Foster said.

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