Javier Morales took first place in the 2010 Arizona Press Club’s Metro Sports Reporting category
Don’t forget: For all the links, Twitter feeds and news feeds related to Arizona and its opponents, go to Morales’ site WILDABOUTAZCATS.NET. No other Arizona sports Web site is like it!
No. 8: TY PARTEN, defensive tackle (1989-1992)
The Godfather of Arizona’s famed Desert Swarm defense arguably is Ty Parten. As a senior captain in 1992, he lit a flame under the Wildcats (reeling from a 1-1-1 start) as they prepared to play on the Orange Bowl turf against top-ranked Miami.
One of his teammates, offensive lineman Eric Johnson, recounted recently at UASports.net (user handle ratacatcat) the story about what Parten did before that game.
“He gave the pregame players-only scream down,” Johnson wrote. “When we left that room, we knew it was gonna be a war.”
Arizona coach Dick Tomey sent the entire UA team to midfield for the coin toss and Miami answered by sending all of its players. Words were exchanged. The Wildcats, with Parten at the forefront, did not back down an inch.
Imagine the surprise of the big, bad Hurricanes — who eventually played in the national championship game that season and finished 11-1 — look across and see a struggling Wildcat team get in their face.