New coach may be just what the Lions need - The Explorer: Sports

New coach may be just what the Lions need

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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:00 pm | Updated: 9:09 pm, Tue Aug 28, 2012.

A new level of motivation has arisen for the Pusch Ridge Lions football team under new Head Coach Troy Cropp, who has started a more organized and efficient training program.

Coming off a 2-8 record last year, the Lions look forward to this next season as a time to rebuild and win more games.  

Cropp believes that the new training program that focuses on balance, speed, and plyometrics will improve his players’ strength and build confidence when facing higher competition.

The new training program has not only been implemented into the high school program, but also the younger football programs, starting as early as third grade.  

The biggest challenge that Cropp said the team will face is overcoming a lack of confidence due to last season.  He believes that the first step toward building confidence is believing in the new training program.

“It’s a new commitment level and players have to buy into that,” said Cropp. “They need to build unity and work tremendously hard.”

Leading the team is a group of nine seniors: Grayson Bargohls, Jared Hout, Elijah McKenna, Robert Ferrari, Parker Gotcher, Joey Lowery, Adan Moreno, Will King, and Tim Yarborough.  

All of these players help contribute to the top strength of their team: smartness to playing the game of football.

“The guys have a football intelligence,” said Cropp. “They understand what we’re doing and why we are doing it.”

One player that will bring a lot of experience to the team is senior Bargohls, a defensive back and receiver.  Being Third-Team All-Arizona his junior year, Cropp expects Bargohls to have a big season.

(Editor’s Note: See more on the Lions’ 2012 season at www.explorernews/high_school_sports.)

“He is a gamer and works really hard,” said Cropp. “His intensity and size will help our team out.”

Also, in the senior lineup are Hout and Lowery who Cropp says are both leaders, possess a lot of humility, and will do what it takes to help the team.  

Other players include junior quarterback Jacob Frithsen and sophomores Mitch Reilly, Taylor Fitzgerald, and Kif Nichols.

The Lions bring to this season a new level of motivation and determination that rivaling teams be forced to contend with.

The Lions had a tough first week outing, losing the home opener 38-0 to Joy Christian.

The Lions look to get back on track in the second week when they host Empire at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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