Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks

Ironwood Ridge High School senior running back Mitch Fischer runs through a drill during practice where two other players try to strip the ball from him.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

While skill positions are seen as the team’s strength, Ironwood Ridge coaches are worried about the lack of experience on the offensive and defensive lines.

With the new season just around the corner, the Nighthawks are looking to start new. They finished 9-4 overall last season.

With the Aug. 26 season opener just around the corner, Coach Matt Johnson said there are two seniors ready to step into the leadership role.

Mitch Fischer is expected to be a strong two-way player, and CJ Healey will lead a group of inexperienced players on the line.

Juniors returning to the field include skilled player Tyler Williams, linebacker Scott Simmons and strong safety Jake Matthews.

A promising newcomer to the squad is Tyson Otuafi, who transferred to Ironwood Ridge from Nevada.

Otuafi will be used as a middle linebacker.

The Nighthawks start the 2011-12 season at Canyon Del Oro High School on Aug. 26.

The Nighthawks’ first home game of the season will be against Marana High School on Sept. 2.

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