Nick Elsner is a sports journalism major at Arizona State University, covering Mountain View Athletics.
Last season, Mountain View High School’s football team played during the Covid year, missing the playoffs after dropping its last two games. The Toros were able to get on the field and play some games, but ultimately, the year was not a normal one for the players or coaches.
Entering Week 5 of the 2021 season, Mountain View was preparing for a matchup against Dobson when the Mustangs had to cancel due to Covid. Things are not totally back to normal yet, but Mountain View’s defensive coordinator Jared Stone is happy with the way his team reacted to the cancellation..
“I think the boys have done a wonderful job of staying focused… They have been very good at flexibility, more so than some coaches, like me.” said Stone.
To lose a regular season game could be the difference between making the playoffs and having a season end early. The Toros could not afford to have an extra week off. They needed to do something quickly, while remaining focused and flexible.
The Toros got to work trying to reschedule their canceled Dobson game. The only problem was that no schools wanted to give up their bye week.
“Very few teams want to give up a bye week midseason as most teams run into region play,” said Mountain View Athletic Director Joe Goodman.
Goodman and the Toros asked multiple schools if they would like to schedule a game during the week of Oct. 15, but were “told no.”
The Toros’ season was affected by Covid last year, and the administration was not going to let the pandemic affect them again this season. The team was given 10 games in the regular season, and the coaches wanted to make sure their guys got the reps they deserved, after persevering through so much over the last two years.
“It was incredibly stressful,” said Goodman, but the Toros had successfully scheduled a make-up game with Mica Mountain for Thursday, Oct. 14. Mica Mountain is an up-and-coming football program from Tuscson, and the Toros are excited for the opportunity to play another game of football this season.
“I don't know how much this game benefits in the mathematical sense, but for so many of these athletes, filling that schedule was just a must,” said Goodman.
With the first hurdle out of the way, Mountain View head coach Joe Germaine was thankful for the work Goodman and District Athletic Director Tommy Eubanks had done in getting their Dobson game rescheduled.
“They were instrumental in getting us this game. They took it upon themselves to try to get our football program in the best situation possible,” said Germaine.
Mountain View had gotten past the first challenge of the rescheduling, but now, they had to prepare for a shortened week and a long drive to Tucson to play Mica Mountain. Germaine knows he has talent and leadership on his team, and he feels that his team “is as prepared as possible with the short week, the travel and our opponent.”
Coming off its loss at Red Mountain, Mountain View will have a chance to get the bad taste of losing out its mouth quicker than they would have if there was no game rescheduled for this week.
As far as the game plan for Mica Mountain goes, Germaine wants to see improvement in the Toros’ execution of their schemes against a well-coached Mica Mountain football team. But the Toros are ready to get back on track, knowing their game in Tucson will be challenging, but fun.
“It’s an opportunity for us to be together as a team and play together. There’s nothing better than being a part of Mountain View Toro football,” Germaine said.