The long trip to Sierra Vista is made easier by today’s technology.
Cell phones, MP3 players, tablets and other hand held devices will make the nearly four-hour trip to Cochise County a lot more bearable for the players.
It doesn’t, however, alleviate the worry all coaches have before every game.
“I always have concern,” Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. “They have a new coach and are really improved. We are playing way down in the middle of somewhere. You worry about officials on the road and stuff like that.”
The Pride (3-0) beat Buena (2-1) 69-0 last season at Karl Kiefer Stadium but Vaughan cautions that Buena is not same team.
The Arizona Sports Network is reporting that the Colts will be without top players Ben Sims (10 catches, 213 yards, 3 TDs, 9 carries, 51 yards, 2 TDs) and Gilbert Pickney (9 catches, 122 yards, 1 TD).
It probably means more Dominique Drake, who has gained 577 yards and scored six touchdowns since transferring from Maryland powerhouse DeMatha Catholic.
The Pride’s defense has been special, posting shutouts in the second half in all three games (42 total points), and seem to be gaining confidence every week.
“I think teams have trouble matching up with our speed,” said junior defensive end Charlie Trevino, who has three sacks. “Everyone on the defense expect our nose guard can run at least a 4.8 or 4.9 (in the 40-yard dash).”
The Pride is scheduled to leave around 11:15 a.m. for the 7 p.m. start. There is a plan to stop in Vail to stretch and get in a walk through.
With senior running back Jarek Hilgers out this week and possibly next week because of the 12 staples on the top of his head after being sandwiched by two defenders after his helmet came off last week, the running back depth for the Thunder will be tested this week.
Juniors Isaiah Kilby and Cullen VanGosen will receive expanded roles along with senior fullback Zach Gonzalez.
VanGosen had a 36-yard touchdown run against the Pride and Kilby averaged almost 10 yards a carry (5 for 49).
“Kilby had been injured off and on,” Hinds said. “I was really impressed with how hard he ran. We are just going to try to develop guys and keep going.”
Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe are playing programs with new coaches. While both are heavy favorites, having to prepare for a new coach and the changes he brings makes it a little more difficult to prepare.
“Westwood is a scrappy team with a great blitz package,” Hinds said. “They really bring it from anywhere. It’s something we have to be prepared for and our coaches will get it done.
“When you are facing a new coach for the first time you can look at last year’s tape, but sometimes it isn’t worth it because so much has changed. As the head coach, you trust that your (assistants) will figure out what we need to do.”
In the game story from the Ahwatukee Bowl, Kilby was mistakenly listed as the Thunder running back who fumbled into the end zone.
It wasn’t the case.
For those that missed it, there was a streaker during the Ahwatukee Bowl that came from the Desert Vista sidelines, crossed the field, jumped two fences and made his way up a rocky hillside to freedom with security chasing in vain.
Both schools were happy to report the student wasn’t one of theirs. The belief is the student, who wore a gorilla mask, was a Brophy student.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.