Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 | 2 a.m.
The Sun's high school football player of the week is designed for an under-the-radar player making an impact on Friday nights. To nominate someone, contact Ray Brewer at [email protected]. Winners are selected each Monday. They receive a $50 gift card to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza and a certificate of recognition.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss Green Valley's victory over Coronado and glance over the rest of the Sunrise. Brewer declares it 'The Green Valley Podcast' before they wrap up.
The Arbor View High football team’s misdirection rushing attack has been tough for opponents to stop over the past few seasons.
With as many as five running backs getting regular carries, defenders are frequently out of position because they don’t know which back has the ball. As a result, Arbor View has become one of the city’s perennial powers.
Herman Gray was part of the running back mix the past two seasons, showing great promise as a sophomore and junior in rushing for a combined 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns.
This season has been different.
Gray has become the focal point of the Arbor View attack and receives a bulk of the carries. Last week against Legacy, he rushed 19 times for a school record 318 yards and three touchdowns. Arbor View opened in 2005.
For his efforts, Gray was named the Sun’s Player of the Week. The award is designed for a player under the radar, or someone such as Gray having a breakout season.
“It’s an honor, to be honest. It’s a blessing,” he said of the rushing record. “But I’m not focused on the stats. Just happy we are having long (scoring) drives.”
Don’t call Gray a one-man show. While he is Arbor View’s featured back, coach Dan Barnson says the Aggies have others also capable of taking over.
“The kid has been hot every game,” Barnson said. “But we have other kids, no doubt. If people key in on him, we have other kids.”
The 5-foot-7, 180-pound Gray blossomed into a top player because of his training regime in the offseason. He added 20 pounds of bulk to his frame, giving him the build and endurance to handle being Arbor View’s go-to back. Gray, who averages 20 carries per game, has rushed for 998 yards and 12 touchdowns in six games this season.
“He definitely falls forward when people make a tackle on him,” Barnson said. “He is a thick dude. He delivers a blow. That helps him a lot.”
Undefeated Arbor View is ranked No. 2 in the Sun’s top-10 rankings and expected to make a deep playoff run. Both Arbor View and Centennial should be undefeated Oct. 30 when they play for the Northwest League title. The winner would receive home field advantage for the initial two rounds of the postseason.
With Gray leading the offense, and the threat of others breaking through for long runs, Arbor View feels it can contend for a Sunset Region championship.
“We have a lot of good backs. No doubt about it,” Gray said.