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The expectations are high for Camp Verde’s high school wrestlers.Korben Uhler, top, attempts to break down Hayden Uhler’s defense as he tries an escape at practice for Camp Verde High School. The brothers are two of the  wrestlers assistant coach Mario Chagolla Sr. said could earn state gold this year. The Cowboys first meet is on Saturday, Nov. 26 at Embry Riddle University.

The school has become known for the sport and a much different team will carry on that tradition this year. Though the returning wrestlers have accomplished much, a good roster of freshmen will have to prove they have what it takes after going through the middle school program.

When Camp Verde coach Jerry Rhoades answered the phone Sunday and was asked about his team’s game Friday, he let out a combination groan and sigh.Junior quarterback Payton Sarkesian rolls out during Camp Verde High School’s 24-20 home loss to Gilbert Christian Friday, Oct. 21. Sarkesian ran for a touchdown and passed for two others to senior Carson Zale for the Cowboys.

When victories are few, the ones you let get away are especially painful.

The Cowboys, after being down most of the game to visiting Gilbert Christian High School, came back to take the lead late in the third quarter. They held it until there were 34 seconds left in the game, when the Knights’ senior Caleb Young threw a one-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Kyle Patterson to give Gilbert Christian a 24-20 win. The Knights improved to 5-4 on the season.

Jerry Rhoades has coached the Camp Verde High School varsity football team for five games. Which means the “interim” coach has been head man on the sideline more than the man he’s standing in for, Steve Darby, who was suspended Sept. 13 for unspecified reasons. Neither Darby nor Camp Verde Unified School District officials have commented on the situation.Zack Garcia/Larson Newspapers

Rhoades, like most, says he’s not privy to what’s going on. “I heard from a couple of people that [Darby’s] portion of the [school] board meeting was canceled.”

When it was suggested that with just two games remaining, it’s likely he would be coaching through the end of the season, Rhoades said, “That’s kind of what I’m thinking; it’s probably a moot point.”

The Camp Verde High School football team won its first game this season on the filed thanks to “perfect storm” of offensive and defensive execution, according to coach Jerry Rhoades.n unidentified Camp Verde player carries the ball during the game, which the Cowboys won, 39-0, on Friday, Oct. 7.

The win boosts Camp Verde’s record to 2-5. The other win was a forfeit when Arete Prep Academy was unable to field a team.

“It was just one of those nights... a perfect storm,” he said about the Cowboys’ 39-0 victory of visiting Mohave Accelerated.

It’s disconcerting for a sportswriter when he calls a football coach to talk about the game his team played the night before and he says, “I’ll tell you what, I don’t even know [the score] .... The last I saw, it was 48-6.”Camp Verde High School junior quarterback Payton Sarkesian runs the ball up the gut in a game earlier this season. The Cowboys lost 54-6 to Paradise Honors High School Saturday, Oct. 1, in Surprise.

But, Camp Verde High School coach Jerry Rhoades was simply reflecting the odd circumstances surrounding the Cowboys’ loss to Paradise Honors High School Saturday, Oct. 1, in Surprise. For the record, the score posted on is 54-6.

Winless Camp Verde High School faces more significant questions surrounding the future of head coach Steve Darby after he was suspended three days prior to a 34-6 loss to Kingman Academy.

Head football coach Steve Darby hopes his most complete Camp Verde High School team of the fall can turn around an 0-2 start in its 2A Conference Central Region opener Friday, Sept. 16.

After not winning a set in her first two matches, new Camp Verde High School head coach Britney Armstrong beat four teams in two days to finish fourth Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Spartan Classic.

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