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 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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