Payne uses his power to pump Tigers, push football opponents - The Explorer: Sports

Payne uses his power to pump Tigers, push football opponents

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Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:20 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Louis Payne is 5-10 and 220 pounds, a block of a young man who can bench press 335 pounds and loves to fly about the football field, hitting anyone in sight.

The three-year Marana Tiger starter has no preference, offense or defense. "As long as I get to hit somebody, I really don't care," said Payne, who'll play on both lines and some as fullback for Coach Anthony Coronado.

Payne, a vocal leader, wants to set the physical tone for the Tigers, 3-7 a season ago and preparing for Amphi's vaunted wishbone in its season opener at home at 7 p.m. Friday.

"He'll whoop and holler, and he'll make plays that will ensure everybody's excited," Coronado said. "He's one of the strongest kids in our school. He's good at leverage, he has speed off the ball. He was the state runner-up in heavyweight wrestling as a junior. He will make teams rewrite" how they face up with Marana.

"I like to set an example," Payne said. "I want to get people fired up, to get better, to push themselves."

Payne is "the nicest guy off the field," said teammate and slot receiver Kord Catt, 5-9 and 150 pounds. On the practice field, "typically, I try to avoid him. That's a main goal."

Coronado, a 12-year coaching veteran at Marana, is in his second consecutive season as Marana head coach. He welcomes back seven defensive starters, along with Marana's top four receivers. The entire offensive line, plus two backups, graduated. Coronado expects to start four juniors and a sophomore up front. Mike Susa, one of the juniors, played some a season ago. "Every other guy has not played a single down of varsity football yet."

Marana is "never going to be bigger than anyone we play," Coronado said.

Jaylon Hill, a 6-2, 200-pound defensive end and receiver, is a stalwart. Reese Howard is the middle linebacker. Robert Contreras is the free safety. Tanner Morse, who started at cornerback as a sophomore and led Marana in interceptions, is back. Beyond them "we could have a lot of diamonds in the rough."

Offensively, Catt is a "go-to receiver" in the slot. Last year, "we knew if we needed a catch, he'd make it," Coronado said. "He is no one's definition of a receiver. If you see him around campus, you'd have no idea he played. Kord has sure hands, he'll do whatever you ask, and he will catch whatever the quarterback will throw at him. I would love to have a bunch of Kord Catts."

Solomon Stokes, Jose Zazueta and Tanner Morse can also move. Speed at the skill positions is "definitely a positive for us."

Defensively, Marana will continue to deploy the 3-5 stack, with three down linemen occupying blockers and allowing five linebackers to make plays. "Everyone has now played in our program that way," Coronado said. "It's organized chaos. For offensive line coaches, it's a nightmare. It doesn't look like there's any scheme, kids blitzing from everywhere, like street football. But it's completely organized."

The Tigers scrimmaged Catalina Foothills last Wednesday. "I was happy with the results," said Coronado. "There were some players who surprised us."

One was Devon Roebuck, a sophomore, in his first week at quarterback.

"He's just a pure athlete," Coronado said of Roebuck. "Throwing, running, he's a nice threat to have."

Roebuck contrasts with the other QB, Addin Soto, who had several starts a season ago.

"They're two very different quarterbacks," Coronado said. "Soto is more of a drop back passing quarterback. He's composed."

Marana's 4A challenge "is probably the toughest in the state," Coronado believes.

"Every kid comes in right now thinking 'we're all 0-0, our record is the same as everyone else.' You have to be able to understand, everyone has to do their job. If everyone does their job to their full capability, this season is theirs for the taking."

Weekly improvement is essential. "Part of our success has to be that we aren't saying the same thing, and correcting the same problems, in the middle of the season," Coronado said.

Unity is as well. "These guys have to be a family. They have to stick together, and just do it together. We never want to see our guys get on each other. And we've got to stay injury-free."

Payne believes Marana is improved, with better team chemistry.

"We want to go to the playoffs, obviously," Payne said. "It's one game at a time."

Marana Tigers

4A-1 Kino Region


Aug. 27 Amphitheater

Sept. 3 at Mountain View

Sept. 10 at Cholla

Sept. 24 Sabino

Oct. 1 Pueblo

Oct. 8 at Flowing Wells

Oct. 15 Cienega

Oct. 22 at Desert View

Oct. 29 at Sahuaro

Nov. 5 Nogales

'Catt'-like Kord makes the catches

Around Marana High School, Kord Catt is "not really labeled a football player," the senior says.

"People come up to me and say 'Kord, you play football?'" he laughs.

Kord Catt does play football, and plays it well. He's a second-year varsity starter whose speed and sure hands as a slot receiver make him a go-to guy in the Marana Tiger attack.

A season ago, "we knew if we needed a catch, he'd make it," Coach Anthony Coronado said. "If it's third and four, he'll get the five yards for you."

"I prefer the short distance pass, then get the yards after the catch," said Catt.

Catt has added muscle, weighing in near 150 pounds. "I think I had a growth spurt recently," he said, reaching 5-8 or 5-9.

He's a team leader, mostly by example, doing what's right, keeping his grades high, organizing the huddle, working hard in practice. "Show everyone how it's done," he said.

The Tigers are improved, he believes. "We've really come together," Catt said. "Now, we're more of a group. I like the whole family thing. Your team's your family. They're not just your friends."

Catt, who also plays volleyball, describes football as "a fun sport. There's no other sport where you can go out and hit people, or avoid being hit, in my case."

Playoffs are a goal, "for sure," the Picture Rocks resident said. "Fun is a good goal, too. It's high school, you want to have fun."

— Dave Perry

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

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

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

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

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

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

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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