Sports Stories
The Sedona Red Rock High football team lost its season finale to powerful Wickenburg High 49-0 on Oct. 27.
By Nick Ruland
Larson Newspapers

The Sedona Red Rock High football team lost its season finale to powerful Wickenburg High 49-0 on Oct. 27.

Going into the playoffs, Wickenburg’s average per-game margin of victory was nearly 40 points.

Little was different for the Cowboys against SRRHS, though the Scorpions did eat up more than half of the first quarter with an initially impressive, game-opening 55-yard drive.

Unable to cure its chronic stalling disorder, Sedona was again unable to score points off a methodical march.

Wickenburg scored a touchdown, transitioning downfield from the sputtering change of possession.

Had Sedona forced WHS to move a little slower, it would have been the first team to hold Wickenburg scoreless in a quarter all year.

The near accomplishment was of little meaning for the Scorpions after Wickenburg went on to roll for six more scores before the end of the night.

Despite noticeable improvement from an awkward, confused and indecisive beginning of the season, Head Coach Brian Batty was disappointed at the net result — a 1-8 record.

“A lot of people have told me we have gotten better as the year went on. But to me, it is not acceptable. It ultimately fell on my shoulders. We didn’t get the job done,” Batty said.

As young and inexperienced as SRRHS was, particularly on its offensive and defensive lines, determining a realistic definition for “getting the job done” is an unsolvable semantic riddle.

Not one to rationalize, Batty bears the brunt of a losing — but not lost — season, which began without a clue.

Through the black clouds, navigation began in the Bermuda triangle.

Evaluating team play from the rigid contours of the loss column was as misleading as trying to find direction from a spinning compass.

Once out of the storm, more promising gray skies could be seen by those who cared to look.

Though the season scoreboard did not give objective backing to the claim of continuos improvement [the Scorpions were outscored by more points in their last two games than their first two],  evidence for the premise could be seen in the eyes of the on-field observer.

“There were times where we looked really good,” Batty said.

Notably good was the middle four-game stretch, when Sedona lost by 10 to Chino Valley High, played close to regional power Fountain Hills for three quarters, defeated talented Estrella Foothills High and then went toe-to-toe with Parker High for the majority of the contest.

While the opposition worked on fine-tuning and installing in the pre-season, Batty had to give lessons on the fundamentals of tackle football.

Below the curve, the novice squad plugged away in relatively rapid succession — moving up to an interval that is improved but still unknown.

The middle portion of the season saw SRRHS advance the football on the ground with execution.

Staying physically competitive soon became a non-issue, as being thine own enemy became the central theme to the season — a natural lesson of youth.

With roots buried, the groundwork shook and swayed but appears to have stabilized.

Now the quarterback job belongs to Sammy Holeyfield.

The roster switch also augmented the backfield with the talents of Danny Wyatt.

Creating a fast and robust quartet of runners returning to the offense, the biggest question that remains is the off-season dedication of the lineman.

After receiving season-long punishment from those larger and stronger, the crossroads lie ahead.

Give up or grow up.

Given the squad’s penchant for feistiness and an unrelenting competitiveness, the answer seems implicit.

Team icon Brett Senger’s last words as a senior were motivationally charged — imploring his fellow and now former teammates to get into the weight room for the 2007 season.

Heeding the advice of Senger, the big brother, would grow the baby into a bully.

Nothing is scarier than a runt turned ruffian.

Should SRRHS mature, black and white assessments would be appropriate — Sedona would have itself a football program.