Pusch Ridge looking for a playoff berth - The Explorer: Sports

Pusch Ridge looking for a playoff berth

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Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:24 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Last year was Bob Vance's first as the head football coach of the Pusch Ridge Christian Lions, but he guided the Lions to a 7-3 mark and their fourth straight trip to the playoffs.

For the Lions to extend their run to five, they'll have to do so without their leading running back, Andy Knox, and their leading receiver, Joey Degroff, from a season ago. Knox led the team with 533 yards rushing, averaged 7.5 yards per carry, and scored six touchdowns. Degroff caught 15 passes for 270 yards.

Vance said he's happy to have seniors Greg Schimke and Brett Overstreet back. Quarterback Schimke threw for 1,206 yards, a 56 percent completion percentage, 11 touchdowns and only two picks last year. Overstreet, a running back, gained 233 yards, averaged 5.8 yards per carry, and scored five touchdowns.

An odd phenomenon at Pusch Ridge is that while the team would appear to be seasoned, it lacks varsity experience.

"We have 19-20 seniors," Vance said. "But most haven't played before."

Vance is looking for contributions from wide receivers Trever Cook and Mitch Woody.

"They're quick and elusive," Vance said. "As a team, we have a lot of quickness."

Pusch Ridge has two defensive starters returning at the same positions, but with defensive coach Mark Fritzen in tow, look for the defense to be a focal point once again.

"He's one of the best defensive coaches around," Vance said.

Fritzen was the architect of a defense that shut out the opposition four times a season ago. After losing their first two games, the Lions defense jelled and held each opponent to seven points or less the rest of the year.

The rest of the year, that is, until Pusch Ridge Christian lost its playoff game to Camp Verde, 23-12. Returning to the playoffs will be no easy matter.

"San Manuel, Hayden and Ray are all tough schools," Vance said. "The Phoenix schools are pretty tough too.

"We hope to repeat as regional champions," he said.

Pusch Ridge schedule:

Sept. 4 – at Northwest Christian

Sept. 11 – Phoenix Christian

Sept. 18 – Miami

Sept. 25 – at Baboquivari

Oct. 2 – at San Manuel

Oct. 9 – Canyon State

Oct. 16 – Hayden

Oct. 23 – at San Carlos

Oct. 30 – Ray

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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)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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