Hamilton and Chandler football in contention for Open Championship title

Dylan Raiola and Roch Cholowsky think their respective teams aren’t just the best in the region. But the best in the state.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — If you’re a high school football fan in the state of Arizona, you’re familiar with the Battle of Arizona Avenue. A heated rivalry between not just two of the top programs in the state, but the entire country.

The Hamilton-Chandler rivalry is one of the best football rivalries a fan and player could dream of, and this fall could be tough to beat competitively.

It’s thanks to the two quarterbacks, Dylan Raiola and Roch Cholowsky.

“We have all the pieces we need to win a state championship and top our level,” Chandler quarterback Dylan Raiola said, “I think we’re all ready for the season and we have an account. counting down the number of days until our first Game.”

Raiola is the highest ranked quarterback in the entire country for the Class of 2024 and has high expectations for Wolves this season.

“It’s Chandler against everyone and we’re sticking with it, and I’m excited to show everyone what we can do,” Raiola said.

But at the other end is Hamilton’s two-time athlete quarterback in Cholowsky. The junior shortstop is best known for his baseball prowess in helping the Huskies win the Class 6A state title in May.

He is ready to put an end to doubt about his talents, or lack thereof, on the football pitch.

“I feel like I’m trying to go out there and prove everyone wrong,” Cholowsky said. “A lot of people think I’m just a baseball player and that’s all I can do, but I’m going to show them that I can play soccer too.”

For the first time in three years, Hamilton will have a new quarterback under center after starter Nicco Marchiol graduated and is now playing football in West Virginia.

Over the past two seasons, Cholowsky has absorbed everything he could during his time as a substitute and is now ready to step in.

“Seeing everything he’s done and trying to add it to my game has been huge for me the last two years,” Cholowsky said. “Also, baseball has helped me with my footwork as far as football goes. Just playing shortstop and coming here, the drops, the rollouts, everything, I mean my footwork definitely transfers to football.

No matter which side you root for, the men and their teams have their eyes on the grand prix that reclaims the Open Championship after Saguaro won it last season.

“You have to play match by match, week after week, you go 1-0 every day and if we do that we will be kings again,” Raiola said.

One thing is certain, 2022 should provide fans with plenty of scoring games and touchdowns to cheer on with these young men under center.

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