Last year Catalina Foothills had a dramatic turnaround and they look to continue that this season. The Falcons were winless in 2012 and were a playoff team last year.
Second year Head Coach Jeff Scurran hopes to continue the trend, but knows that it won’t be easy.
“We’re just very, very young,” said Scurran. “It is just the hand I was dealt when I came here. The depth had gone away for a variety of reason. We’re in the process of change. We’ve got really good numbers in the younger grades. Going to have to be patient while our pups grow up.”
The Falcons lost 22 seniors after last season and will have less than 10 this season. The team will rely heavily on young players, though their seniors will have key leadership roles.
“We’re counting on some of our seniors to be very good leaders,” Scurran explained. “We have a very unique but small group of seniors. These as the guys who stuck it out after so many quit.”
After a winless season, participation was down among older students when Scurran took over last year. He has bolstered the program with a lot of underclassmen, but the age and experience is not there. Scurran is fine with that, as he loves the character of the team.
“This is without a doubt the nicest group of men I have ever coached,” Scurran said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of great young men. As a group this is very unusual.”
They lose star running back Ty Cruz, but return quarterback Rhett Rodriguez. The sophomore started all 11 games last year as a freshman and brings talent, experience and a good pedigree. His father is University of Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez.
“He is totally out of that scene,” Scurran said of Rhettt’s high profile father. “He is totally oblivious to that attention. He knows he has to get better and he works hard. He’s about as reliable that you can get. He’s got zero ego, he’s a total team player and he’s a really nice kid.”
He will have some help on offense. Connor Koblynski gives the team a solid offensive threat as he can both run the ball and catch the ball. He accounted for over 490 yards of total offense a year ago. Preston Kime and Ian Turner may also run the ball.
The defense is experienced Turner, Grant Hubble, Benjamin Benita, Hunter Myrdal and Patrick Stevens all had at least 25 tackles a year ago. Hubble is also one of the best place kickers in the city.
The schedule is manageable, with a tough home game against Cienega highlighting the first half of the slate. They travel to Canyon Del Oro in week six but get two of the next three at home and don’t face a team that was over .500 last year in the final four games.