|Sedona football ready for a change|
|Written by Brian Bergner Jr.|
|Thursday, 25 August 2011 00:00|
It seems the football gods have finally given the Sedona Red Rock High School football program a break.
A year ago, the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board voted to realign Arizona schools, focusing more on location for travel, rather than school enrollment.
Individual sports began the realignment phase in 2010-2011, and all team sports, including football, begin this school year.
What does it mean for a Scorpion football program that has gone 7-43 in the last five seasons? It means a more balanced schedule with teams similar to Sedona’s makeup.
Although Sedona opens the season on the road at Winslow High School, and welcomes perennial powerhouse Northwest Christian High School the following week in its home opener, the Scorpions will see brighter times immediately following the first two games.
A possible 0-2 start may be in the cards for the Scorpions, but that could soon change when they host Tuba City High School on Friday, Sept. 9. Tuba City is 11-38 in the past five seasons.
In its last two contests with Tuba City, Sedona won both, defeating the Warriors 28-20 in 2007 and beating them again in 2008, 47-12. A week after Tuba City, Sedona travels to Greyhills Academy High School, which has gone 20-30 in the past five seasons.
On Friday, Oct. 7, the Scorpions play at Hopi High School, which is 17-29 since 2006. Sedona will host Pinon High School at home to end the regular season Friday, Oct. 28. Pinon is 10-34 in the last five years.
What does it all add up to? Four of Sedona’s 10 games are against teams that are cummulatively 58-131 in the last five years.
Sedona hosts rival Camp Verde High School on Friday, Sept. 23, a team that has beaten the Scorpions five straight seasons with an average score of 44.6 to 9.6. Sedona hasn’t beaten the Cowboys since Jim Cromartie left after the 2005 season. Head Coach Rick Walsworth hopes to change that.
“Everyone wants to be a part of a winner. The more you win, the more they want to be a part of it. It needs to start happening this season,” Walsworth said.
Sedona is set to travel to Williams High School on Friday, Oct. 21, another game the Scorpions have a chance at winning.
If it wasn’t for a few penalties in the fourth quarter against the Scorpions, which trailed 13-6 at the time, the 27-6 win for the Vikings in 2010 wouldn’t have been as difficult to swallow.
The fact of the matter is Sedona is a much better team already, having gone through a full year of Walsworth’s system and offseason training program. The realignment phase, which puts Sedona in Division V [Section I] this season, will help as well.
Sedona had only one senior in Jaimison Cunningham in 2010, making for an intriguing first game this Friday at Winslow with almost everyone back, plus a few new faces.
Watching Sedona play games last year with as many players as a varsity basketball team might carry wasn’t fun for Scorpion fans, but the times have obviously changed.
Sedona had 26 players in uniform for its scrimmage last week, and another five or six sitting on the sideline with minor injuries.
Walsworth plans to alter his plans slightly for freshmen this season, allowing them to play a few games the coaching staff thinks they can handle, but for the most part, Scorpion fans can count on freshmen playing only junior varsity this season.
Top returners include senior Jack Johnson, who is currently competing with junior returner Keenan Crans for the starting quarterback job.
According to Walsworth, however, Johnson will get the nod Friday as the starting quarterback, adding that his senior experience is what’s putting him ahead of Crans at the moment.
Other top returners include sophomore defensive back Reece Adcock and first team All-Region safety Bradley Cox, who is a senior.
Senior Ashor Samano returns to the backfield while senior Colton Trcic is the top offensive lineman for the Scorpions.
Senior Jordan Pickett returns and may see a few carries this season besides lining up to block while juniors Zane Saxman and James Gould return as well.
Top newcomers include senior Chris Oestmann, who hasn’t played since freshman year, along with sophomores Angel Mora, Nathan Aronson and Bryce Heckrodt-Hallenbeck.
Sedona received two transfers as well — senior Ryan Decker from Washington and sophomore Texas native T.J. Ryan.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 11:33|