By Damian Lopez
Cougar News Blog
Although this past football season wasn’t the team’s best, the team still thrived defensively.
Despite the team’s 2-3 record and third-place finish, coaches were proud of how the players responded to their techniques and fit into their different systems. Offensively, the team started a little slow, but as soon as they were going full force, the offense became powerful.
“We worked on making the offense a more well oiled machine and making sure everyone knew what their job was on every play,” said eighth grader Talon Izbicki.
One big problem this year, as with past years, is grades. It took some of the players a few weeks to understand that the coaches were serious about being a student before an athlete. Some player fell off the roster because of this, but there were a good number of students that used football as motivation to keep their grades up.
Like every year, the coaches wanted to maximize participation. This year, however, participation numbers were down. They had a great group of hard workers that made it to practice every day and worked like no other. Coaches were happy to find many seventh graders ready for their first season. As the season went on multiple leaders rose through the ranks and were dubbed “Captain of the Week.”
“Gibson Limongello was our starting quarterback and strong safety,” said Head Coach Vance Miller. “He played lights out every week, never took a play off, and even played through illness. He was a true team leader.”
Before their first game, the team practiced intensely for four-weeks. Players studied numerous plays and worked together on and off the field to talk about each of their roles. Many players said their goal this season was to bring another title home for the CCJH football team.
“My goal this season was to help this team bring a championship back to this school, but no they were not met because we finished in third place,” said Izbicki. “I was still happy that I got to spend a great season together with my teammates.”
Football season will come again next January with a new batch of seventh graders ready to help reclaim the Desert Middle School Athletic League title for Cactus Canyon.