The short-handed Camp Verde Cowboys football team faced its toughest opponent so far this season and came out on the short end of the score to the pass-happy Scottsdale Prep Spartans 49-8 at Sam Hammerstrom Field on Friday, Sept. 13.
A pair of key Camp Verde starters, seniors Tyler Dickey and Isaiah McReynold, were injured, and four other starters — sophomore Alex Suarez, juniors Curtis Corder and Jeremy McEachern, and senior Alex Tapia — were ruled academically ineligible for the game, depleting a Cowboys football team that was coming off a huge 43-0 win the previous week over Paradise Honors.
But sophomore wide receiver Trever Heyer wasn’t ready to blame the loss on his missing teammates.
“We definitely knew that it would make an impact, that their presence would definitely be missed on the field, but honestly, I don’t like excuses,” Heyer said. “All the guys out here should have came out playing hard, which, a lot of our young players ... they’re working hard, but the [Spartans] just came out on top.”
Cowboys head coach Steve Darby said he was proud of how hard his players fought all the way to the end of the game.
“I had kids out there just going 100 percent, didn’t give up, didn’t get their heads down and I’m proud of them,” Darby said. “We’re missing close to half our team from being ineligible and we’ve got some key injuries and that’s not why we lost, but that definitely contributed and that hurts.
But Darby commended the heart and soul of his players.
“They never gave up, and they’re fighters,” he said.
“The scoreboard doesn’t look too good, but we’ll take our lumps and we’ll move on and we’ll have some success this year, keep our heads up.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Sept. 18, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.