Rising Cactus Shadows will ride Aholt’s arm - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Rising Cactus Shadows will ride Aholt’s arm

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Posted: Friday, August 25, 2006 7:06 am | Updated: 3:34 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

While they lost their first-round game to Queen Creek, given 2006 schedule

where the Falcons had been, the season had to be deemed a success.

“Was it a surprise that we made it to the playoffs last year?” DeGrenier said. “Probably to a lot of people, yes. To me and the coaching staff, we expected it.”

With Aholt only a junior this season, the Falcons will be able to play DeGrenier’s kind of football — score, score, score.

“I think the thing that probably makes it exciting is the offense,” DeGrenier said. “We’re fun to watch. We do some crazy stuff.”

DeGrenier is proud of Aholt, whose style of play resembles how DeGrenier quarterbacked.

“I really like Phil,” DeGrenier said. “There is definitely a connection. He’s a very good athlete. Yeah, there’s some of Chad in there.”

Aholt doesn’t hesitate when asked what got the Falcons on the winning track.

“I think it probably has to be coach,” Aholt said. “He’s really turned things around here, making us believe that we’re champions, not letting us settle for the old Cactus Shadows expectations.”

With that in mind, Aholt said it’s understandable what the Falcons have achieved.

“I’m not really surprised,” Aholt said. “This was his plan. I’m not surprised at all.”

Chad DeGrenier set some lofty goals when he took over a struggling Cave Creek Cactus Shadows program two years ago.

“The goal when I took this job was in three years to be playing in the state playoffs, actually, the state championship game, I can’t lie,” said DeGrenier, a former Arizona Rattlers quarterback. “Call me a dreamer, call me what you want. That was the goal.”

DeGrenier’s dreaming was more of a nightmare the first season when the Falcons failed to win a game. It was not easy to take.

“Being a guy that has been successful his whole life, it was hard,” DeGrenier said. “It was a very trying year.”

The Falcons got on track to reaching DeGrenier’s goals last season. Led by the prolific arm of quarterback Phillip Aholt, they went 5-5 during the regular season and made it to the 4A Division II playoffs.

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