Camelback has chance at history
October 8, 2019 by Michael Lancia, Arizona State University
(Michael Lancia is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Camelback High School for AZPreps365)
Heading into the final stretch of the season, it’s all about gaining respect for Camelback’s football program.
“We get no respect from other teams,” said lineman Kaleb Crawley. “Our own school doesn’t give us respect. Respect is what we are playing for. If we can be a part of that winning season, we will finally get the respect we need.”
Strong safety Adan Solano wants “to let them know we have changed. This isn’t the same Camelback anymore.”
To break the current streak of losing seasons dating back to 2011, Camelback (2-3) has little to no room for error in these last three games. The pressure is on, but Crawley doesn’t seem too overwhelmed with the task at hand. “We know we can do it, we just have to go out there and compete.”
One thing that has allowed this team to push forward is the drive and dedication of the players. “It’s been the buy in,” said coach Brandon McNutt. “They bought in and so did the coaching staff. Our expectations are to have a good record and improve so we can beat that next year.”
The remaining schedule is not overpowering. It includes Sierra Linda (0-7), Betty H. Fairfax (4-3) and Carl Hayden (1-6).
“When it’s region play, records go out the window,” said offensive coordinator Nicholas Ferrara. “It does not matter, everybody is going to come and everybody is going to play the toughest football they can play.”
When it comes to preparing each week, Crawley and teammates “work hard for every team. We practice like we are going against the best. We gotta do this. We can be something great, and we realize we can be something great. If we can just go out there and do it, we’ll be good.”
Wide receiver Jerome Tillman believes the key factors in winning the last games of the season will require “hard work, playing together, everybody communicating and being a brotherhood.”
“We just need everybody to be on the same page and do their part so we can finish strong,” said quarterback Tom Perez. “This year is a huge improvement, closing it out would be good.”
The Spartans finished (2-8) last season, and have already matched last year’s win total and have the potential to set a new standard in the Phoenix Union District.
“We got more aggressive, our mentality is way better, the coaching staff is great, and last year’s team wasn’t family,” said strong safety Adan Solano. “We are family now.”
Even if Camelback comes up short of a .500 season, the coaches will be proud of the team. McNutt believes “at the end of the day it’s these kids and how they are as men, so our biggest thing is giving these kids experience and life lessons. The wins just add a bonus.”