Colin Dreis started playing football when he was in fourth grade, but always considered himself more of a basketball athlete.
That changed when Dreis was pulled up to Salpointe Catholic High’s varsity football team last season.
During the offseason, Dreis — an offensive lineman — decided to take the sport seriously.
The Lancers finished the 2017 regular season 9-1 and went on a playoff run that came to an end in the championship game, which Scottsdale Saguaro won 28-7.
Now, Dreis and the rest of the Lancers have a second chance. Salpointe will host Saguaro in the 4A state championship game Nov. 30 at Arizona Stadium.
“It’s awesome to be in this environment,” Dreis said. “We’re playing an awesome team in Scottsdale Saguaro, so we just got to keep working and get ready for them and put in more work. We know we can get there, we’ve been working for it.”
The rematch isn’t lost on Dreis. The lineman took to the weight room during the offseason to improve for his final season at Salpointe.
Dreis is 6 feet 7 inches tall and has bulked up to 260 pounds. He weighed a slim 190 this time last year.
“A lot of improvement. A lot of eating,” Dreis said.
The change in physicality and performance hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The senior has already received offers from Arizona Christian, La Verne and Western New Mexico. Dreis has also been in talks with coaches from Northern Arizona, South Dakota and Montana.
Coach Dennis Bene said Dreis has exceeded all of his expectations for him.
“Now, he has the opportunity to play for a state championship and have football help pay for college,” Bene said. “He is exactly why coaches enjoy coaching.”
Although Dreis would be happy to continue his football career anywhere, there would be one place he would prefer to play than any other school: Arizona.
“Arizona’s always been my dream, but right now I’m happy with what I’ve got, and I’m going to keep striving to get more” offers, Dreis said.
Even if Dreis does not catch the attention of Arizona’s recruits, he has already accomplished a childhood dream of his — to play at Arizona Stadium. And he will do so again next week.
“Last year, stepping on the field, it was a dream come true,” Dreis said. “Going back there this year, it’s redemption. So, we’ll see how it is.”
The only thing that would make Dreis’ experience better in Arizona Stadium this year would be to come out with the state title.
“I just want to learn and have fun,” Dreis said. “It’s an awesome experience to be able to go there and play against Saguaro and hope to give them our best and hope everything works out.”