|Written by Brian Bergner|
|Thursday, 30 June 2011 10:44|
The Camp Verde High School football team traveled to cross-valley rival Sedona Red Rock High School on Saturday, June 25, for a seven-on-seven tournament under the midsummer sun.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, their day ended early after a scuffle with Valley Christian High School that wound up looking more like a wrestling match than a touch football game.
Camp Verde Head Coach Luke Steege decided it was best for everyone if he called it a day, sending his boys home and forfeiting against Valley Christian.
“If our boys are going to act like that, they don’t deserve to play. I decided to take the high road. It’s not as big a deal as some other people thought,” Steege said.
In any scuffle there’s always two sides to a story, but to defend senior tailback Cody Rayburn, he was punched first by a Valley Christian player according to Steege, sending the two teams to midfield in an attempt to either break things up or start something completely different.
After things calmed down and the teams separated, Steege and Valley Christian Head Coach Kevin Allen got together and after a short discussion, Steege decided to forfeit and send his boys home.
“Hey, if that makes me a sissy, then so be it. I’m the head coach and I’m the one that makes the decisions. Yeah, the boys were mad, but too bad. It was the right thing to do,” Steege said.
The game, which was a quarterfinals match, ended in a 20-20 tie. Valley Christian would go on to play Prescott High School in the semifinals.
Camp Verde began its day Saturday with a 32-18 loss to Prescott. The Cowboys then played Mingus Union High School, losing 31-21, before finally getting a 20-7 win over Williams High School.
Against Chino Valley High School, Camp Verde won 26-20 to finish pool play Saturday morning at 2-2.
In the first round of the tournament later that day, Camp Verde beat Chino Valley again, this time by the score of 21-20.
Down 20-7, Rayburn recorded two interceptions in the last six minutes, leading to two Cowboy touchdowns and a two-point conversion to give Camp Verde the victory, 21-20.
“Before all this stuff happened with Valley Christian, our boys were playing OK, and Cody [Rayburn] was having a good day,” Steege said.
Others to perform well for the Cowboys were seniors Gavin Collins and Chris Zellner, who were outstanding on the football field.
“Zellner is going to be a beast. He’s scary good at linebacker. There were a few plays where if everyone was wearing pads, he would have lit some guys up,” Steege said.
At quarterback, senior Deshon Tripp was average Saturday according to Steege, but junior Kyle Lobaugh did an excellent job bringing the Cowboys back from behind at times.
At 6-feet, 1-inch tall and 210 pounds, Lobaugh is going to give Tripp a run for his money for the starting job at quarterback in the fall.
The Cowboys have a little over four weeks to prepare for the upcoming season start date of Monday, Aug. 1, and Steege believes his kids will be ready.
“We’ve got a few more things to do this summer yet with seven-on-seven and hitting the weights, but our boys can’t wait to get things going in August,” Steege said.
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