and D.J. Foster
became state record holders and football state champions at their respective programs, the devastating duo were a couple of gym rats playing for the same AAU youth basketball team.
While neither could remember the exact age they played on the Gym Rats together, they did have a scouting report on each other.
Jahn on Foster: "He was little but quick and fast. All he cared about was winning."
Foster on Jahn: "I remember that he was tough on defense. He liked to stick his nose in there."
On Saturday they will be at the same venue – Northern Arizona's Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff - in their final high school games trying to add to state records and win another ring.
"It's kind of crazy when you think about it. I never would have guessed it," said Jahn, who will try to lead Northwest Christian (Phoenix, Ariz.)
to the Division V title against Yuma Catholic (Yuma, Ariz.)
when it kicks off at 11:30 a.m.
Later that night, with a 7:30 kickoff scheduled, Foster will attempt to lead Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
to its second straight title against Cactus (Glendale, Ariz.)
When the championship weekend concludes, Jahn and Foster will have their names plastered all over the Arizona state record book.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Jahn already has the state career rushing mark of 7,333 yards, the Class 2A single season rushing record at 2,583 yards, the career mark for touchdowns (109) and career points (654) with another shot of adding to it before heading off to a college as Cal, San Diego State, Utah and Fresno State, all of whom have shown interest of late.
"He only plays one way – hard," second-year coach Dave Inness said. "He is different than D.J., but if he gets to the linebackers he can go. The more he gets it the better he is. He is one of those kids who will come in the day after a game and lift for an hour and a half."
When Inness took over the program in 2010 there were only four returning starters so he popped in tapes of all 10 games to get a feel for what kind of project he had in front of him.
It was pretty obvious that there was a foundation already in place and he wore No. 44.
"I could tell he was pretty good," Inness said. "For the first five weeks we gave it to him as many times as we could to see what else we had."
Turns out it there was enough to win the first state championship in school history.
"I remember him coming in, taking over and changing the attitude around here," Jahn said. "We wouldn't have won the state championship without him."
Inness said the same about Jahn, who has 2,279 yards and 33 touchdown this year, and even though he has had to rely on his running back less in 2011 (he has 65 less carries than 2010) there is no question who the team leader is.
"Casey is the real deal and leads in every way," Inness said. "He knows about the records but it is all secondary to what he accomplishes with his teammates."
Saguaro coach John Sanders said virtually the same thing about Foster, referring to amazing performance the latter had in the first round of the playoffs when he had 508 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns (both Arizona records) in the 81-48 win over Peoria Sunrise Mountain.
"They were just staggering," the coach said. "I told the team afterward I have never been involved in an individual performance like that. The first thing he said was to thank his offensive line. That's the kind of kid he is. He doesn't take much credit for himself."
That was pretty evident in the media day early this week at Wolfley's Neighborhood Grille when the 6-foot, 180-pounder deflected all questions about his records like he does defenders on a Friday night.
"There is only one goal at Saguaro and that's a state championship," said Foster, who has five state records. "Everyone asks about that game and it doesn't matter if we don't win it all. Maybe when that is over I'll think about those other things."
Foster, who also has the records for most points in a season (346), a game (60) and most touchdowns in a season (57), has a more impressive following when it comes to college choices as the Tom Lemming's 86st best recruit in the nation.
He has offers from nearly all the top 25 programs and took official visits to Arizona State, Oregon and Nebraska.
"I am not ready to make that decision," said Foster, whose Pop Warner team beat Jahn's team for the state title when they were youths. "I have time to figure that out. We are concentrating on the winning state championship."
By Sunday two of the best careers in Arizona history will come to an end. Their historic runs will have a resting place in the record books. They might come from small schools, but there results trump any stigma that comes with it.
Very few can touch what these two have accomplished.
"I find it very interesting to see what they've been able to do," Sanders said. "I don't care what size school you come from. What a great accomplishment for these kids."Other Arizona title games
Division I - No. 1 Hamilton (Chandler)
vs. No. 3 Desert Vista (Phoenix)
, 2 p.m., University of Phoenix Stadium
Division II - No. 1 Chaparral (Scottsdale)
vs. No. 2 Cienega (Vail)
, 5 p.m., Sun Devil Stadium
Division IV - No. 1 Blue Ridge (Lakeside)
vs. No. 3 Show Low
, 3:30 p.m., Walkup SkydomeBY THE NUMBERS
DJ Foster’s records (previous holder)
TDs game - 10 (8 held by five guys)
TDs season - 57 (51 Nathan Wize Tucson Sabino 1991)
Points a game - 60 (54 Carlos Villa Maricopa 2004)
Points a season - 346 (306 Nathan Wize Tucson Sabino 1991)
Rushing yards a game - 508 (470 Brent Michaels Lake Havasu 2007 (11 man); 477 Ozzie Anaya Elfrida Valley Union (8 man)
Casey Jahn’s records
Rushing career - 7,333 (6,506 Dwayne Thomas Tombstone 2002-05)
Class 2A rushing yards season – 2,583 yards (unknown)
Career points - 654 (638 Shad Bride St. Johns 2006-08)
TDs career - 109 (105 Shad Bride St. Johns 2006-08)
DJ Foster’s career stats
Att Yards TDs Total TDs
2011 198 2837 53 57
2010 126 1421 22 29
2009 59 545 10 12
TOTAL 383 4803 85 98
Casey Jahn’s career stats
Att. Yards TDs Total TDs
2011 235 2279 33 33
2010 300 2583 32 33
2009 181 1645 26 27
2008 130 826 13 16
Total 846 7,333 104 109Jason P. Skoda, a former Arizona Republic and current Ahwatukee Foothill News staff writer, is a 15-year sports writing veteran. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-272-2449.