BY PETE MOHR | JUNE 16, 2010

Meet the Football Falcon Seniors
Alex Yazdi

For the 2010 Falcons, our ‘Yaz’ will key ‘senior leadership’

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OL/DL Alex Yazdi

Alright, sports fans, let’s play “The Nickname Game.” I’ll give you a nickname, then you tell me the name of the athlete associated with that nickname. For starters, here’s an easy one: “Y-A-Z.” “Carl Yastrzemski,” you answer instantly: the Boston Red Sox “Hall of Fame” outfielder. Correct! Advance to the next round; but the Yaz match I’m really looking for is right here in our Desert Foothills. He’s Alex Yazdi, turned 17 on June 2, an OL/DL starting “force” for Head Coach Chad DeGrenier’s Football Falcons, and slated for a lot of playing time this winter at center and power forward for new Head Basketball Coach Tyler Dummett’s 2010-2011 Varsity hoopsters.

Playing two major sports is impressive enough; add to those athletic achievements a National Honor Society-qualifying 4.67 GPA (from his Advance Placement courses) and you begin to appreciate Yaz for the truly remarkable young man that he is! If measured numerically, his modesty would exceed that stratospheric GPA.

Ask the man who football coaches him, Coach DeGrenier: “Yaz is so hard-working! Such a great team leader! The way he’s matured … grown up … since his freshman season is awesome!” Would you be-lieve that his freshman season under Coach Jerry Cumberland was his first in organized football?! “My Mom wouldn’t let me play before then,” Yaz amusedly shared with Sonoran News. Last season, from the privilege of extending postgame congratulations to his parents, Creekers Hamid and Greta Yazdi, the source of his modesty couldn’t be clearer. Yazdis, you’ve raised up one outstanding son!

In the first game of his sophomore season, Yaz tore a tendon in his left ankle and didn’t play again; but in 2009, his quickness, agility and strength showed up in big defensive plays in the critical “road” wins over Cienega and Greenway that would set the tone for the Falcons’ 11-1 season. The play he most remembers? “Against Sunnyslope, I pancaked my guy, springing Zack (Sexton) loose for our first touchdown.” From Yaz, at 6’2”, 250 lbs. (and weight training toward his goal of 270), Falcon fans can look for a lot more of those IHOP blocks!

He understands that just as in 2009, “senior leadership” will be the key to the Falcons’ 2010 success. What does that mean to Yaz?

“We’ve got to be strong … show the team that we’re able to lead. Leaders aren’t born: they’re made. Like anything else, leadership is achieved through hard work. If we seniors work hard, the team will feed off our commitment and be successful. If all of us keep working, I believe we’ll have a great season.” He convincingly talks about “me and Joey (Hughes) doing everything we can to support and encourage Bryce (Kinsler, the likely sophomore starter at quarterback).”

In his “spare time,” Yaz works as a student intern in Mayo Clinic’s and T-Gen’s breast cancer research programs.  He aspires to become a pediatrician; but first will come playing football collegiately. He’s already been encouraged by recruiting contacts from four Division I schools, which, with assistance from his coaches and Hamid and Greta, he’ll thought fully sort through.

Near the end of our interview, Yaz mentions that he’s a member of the French Honor Society. In my dreaming, I punch up a mental image of Yaz, down in a three-point stance against a “trash talking” defensive lineman, whom he promises quietly (in French, of course), “Monsieur, I’m going to pancake your fat ass!”

Yaz, may this, your senior season, be everything you’re dreaming of!