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Fans may want to avert their eyes, because the Sedona Red Rock High School football team is shining brighter than the Arizona sun these days.

Junior slotback Andre Davis breaks into the open on a run earlier this season. Davis helped lead the Scorpions to their second consecutive winning season this year.After eight straight losing seasons, the Scorpions have achieved two winning seasons in a row, going 6-4 in each of the last two seasons.

The reason for this resurgence can be traced to the hiring of head coach Rick Walsworth four years ago and the hard work both the players and coaches have put into creating a winning tradition at the school.

Walsworth said that the team’s success started with the mindset that they could only expect to achieve what they have earned through their hard work.

“Getting our kids to understand that hard work is the only way that we could become successful on the football field — as in life — is the biggest push that has been made,” he said. “Hard work in the weight room year-round is the primary and overriding priority that has been preached to our kids over the past three-and-a-half years.”

Mason Aronson, the only senior to have been in the program since his freshman year, agreed, saying the biggest gains were made by the team in their off-season conditioning.

“My freshman and sophomore year we were losing games, and we knew we were a lot better than that,” he said. “So we worked hard and everybody improved in the weight room, getting stronger and stronger.”

At the high school level, it is extremely difficult to achieve success without the weight room work, Walsworth said, no matter what kind of defense or offense that is run.

“Mason was a great example of a kid who bought into that philosophy, and spent three years making himself faster and stronger by pushing himself in the weight room,” he said. “And it paid off for him, as he was one of our biggest contributors this fall.”

For the full story, please see the Friday, Nov. 8, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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