High School: Players to watch: Estrada a strength for Mountain Lions

2013-08-11T00:00:00Z High School: Players to watch: Estrada a strength for Mountain LionsJason Harris Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Over the next 13 days, we will feature our picks of Southern Arizona's top preseason high school football players.

Our countdown continues with Mountain View's Richie Estrada, who had a breakout year as a junior and expects to be one of Southern Arizona's best running backs this year, as a senior.

Richie Estrada

• The rundown: Richie Estrada, RB, 5-9 1/2, 195, Mountain View, senior

• Who he is: A north-south runner, with moves when needed. Estrada showed great ability to stick his foot in the ground and get up field in a hurry last season, racking up more than 1,750 yards and 19 TDs. One of his biggest games came when he rushed 20 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-19 win over Cienega. Estrada also posted 164 yards and a score against Ironwood Ridge, the Division II state champion, and combined for 255 yards in two games against Salpointe Catholic, two of Southern Arizona's best defenses last season. He also picked apart Flowing Wells for 359 yards and six touchdowns. Estrada credits Mountain Lions second-year coach Clarence "Bam" McRae, a former Arizona Wildcats tight end, for preparing him to be Mountain View's workhorse last season. Estrada has carried his "no days off" mentality into this offseason as well and will hold on to it heading into the fall. Ready to handle the beating and looking to dish out some punishment, Estrada spent the summer increasing his bench by 30 pounds, up to 340.

• Proof he's good: When he wasn't hitting the weights, Estrada was showing well in camps at UA and NAU. Estrada entered NAU's camp as the No. 10 running back on the Lumberjacks' radar; he left as NAU's No. 2 running back to keep an eye on. Estrada's biggest asset may be his love of the game. As one of 400 hopefuls, Estrada also spent part of the offseason traveling to San Diego and Austin, Texas, for tryouts on the USA football team. He will find out later this month if he made the squad.

• He said it: "Defenses can put my name on the top of their boards as the guy to stop. I'm ready for them, and so are the guys up front." - Estrada

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