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Bulldog Insider feature: the Chandler Connection

Bulldog Insider feature: the Chandler Connection

CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSEE) - The sign at Chandler High School says, "School of Champions."

"And it's been exciting. I got kids that come, they want to play college football," said head football coach Rick Garretson. "We give 'em a foundation. And our kids, like Mikey (Keene), when they get the opportunity, they do well."

Garretson first met Mikey Keene when Keene was just eight years old.

"A little guy, but he could sling it. And you could tell," smiled Garretson. "Usually, when you're a little guy and you can sling it, you become a bigger guy and you can do the same thing."

He did just that for Coach Garretson for two years at Chandler High School, winning two state championships and going undefeated along the way.

"Those memorable moments in high school, I'll never take for granted," said Keene, who is 3-0 as Fresno State's starting quarterback in his first season with the Bulldogs. "There's nothing like Friday Night Lights. So, playing in Arizona and having the dynasty that we had at Chandler High School…"

A dynasty that is still intact.

In 2023, Chandler is the 20th-ranked high school football team in the country, according to MaxPreps.

And Mikey Keene is not the only Fresno State Bulldog who has been a part of Chandler's dynasty, there is also sophomore defensive lineman Jacob Holmes.

"That dude learned a lot," said Garretson of Holmes. "He learned how to go ahead and be committed and deal with situations as a champion does.

"And then got his opportunity at Fresno State and things have been really positive there."