The Mingus Union High School football team may have the highest expectations they’ve ever had coming into this season.
Although Mingus football players and their coaching staff strive to play for a state championship every year, they usually don’t have the returning horses they have this season for a run at the title.
“We’ve got all our skill players back and we had a great year last year. The boys worked hard in the weight room in the off-season and they are ready to get things going,” longtime Mingus Head Coach Bob Young said.
In 2009, the Marauders rattled off 12 straight wins to play themselves into the 4A-II conference state semifinals before losing to Santa Rita High School, 24-14.
Finishing the season two wins shy of a state championship and 12-1 overall in 2009 would certainly motivate most athletes and Mingus is no different.
Now in 2010, the Marauders are flying under the radar again within their conference, at least in some of the media’s eyes.
What’s new? If the team doesn’t come from Phoenix or its surrounding areas, it’s tough to get recognition.
The Marauders will surely challenge for a state championship in 2010 and as previously mentioned, most of their biggest horses are back.
Mingus returns six starters on offense and seven on defense this fall and will be led by senior returning quarterback Nick Alred.
Alred was fantastic in 2009, recording over 160 yards per game last season on offense.
Other top returners for Mingus include seniors Juan Gonzalez who is sure to get All-State votes come December while Matt Chavez, Carson Sandoval, Kevin Webb, Eric Cassada, Cruz Chavez, Ronald Morones, Tyler Christensen and Fernando Anquiano all return.
Chavez is one of the best linebackers in the game while Sandoval is solid at running back and Cassada has a great pair of hands at receiver.
Perhaps the only question hanging over the heads of Mingus coaches and their program is the offensive line.
“We’re not very deep, maybe six or seven guys, so hopefully they can stay strong and keep from getting injured,” Young said.
Depth may be a concern at offensive line for Mingus, but knowing the Marauders, things usually work out.
“We’re not very big up front, but they are strong and athletic,” Young added.
Mingus is scheduled to open the season on the road Friday, Aug. 27, when the Marauders travel to Alhambra High School for a scrimmage game.
Mingus will officially begin its season Friday, Sept. 3, when the team travels to Prescott High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Marauders are scheduled to host Payson High School on Friday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. in their first home game of the season.
If the new football field isn’t complete, however, the contingency plan is to play the game at Sedona Red Rock High School according to Mingus Athletic Director Mike Boysen.
The Marauders are also scheduled to host Bradshaw Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 17. Where the game will be played if the field isn’t done by that date has yet to be announced.
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