Pima football team no longer toiling in dark - The Explorer: Sports

Pima football team no longer toiling in dark

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:21 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

The sun had come and gone, and there was the Pima Community College football team still practicing.

Yet, Pima football is no longer in the dark. Or dark ages – at least when it comes to football. That was so 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and of course, '09. Sense the pattern? Winless seasons – Pima was 0-fer in that time — and unguided dreams tend to do that to teams and programs. Misdirection plays weren't the only things going on at Pima and its football program.

That's not the case these days. Not under Pat Nugent, the former Canyon Del Oro coach who took the Dorados to the brink of a title, only to leave a year before it actually happened. Nugent was 72-29 at CDO, a place of comfort and winning tradition (both of which he built). CDO, under Nugent assistant Dustin Peace, won the 4A-I state title.

But Nugent lives with no regrets, even though going 0-10 in his first year at Pima "was rough” for a guy "who hates losing.”

"It was an opportunity I could not pass up because if I passed it up I may have regretted it and wondered where would it have taken me,” Nugent said. "Who knows? I can always go back to high school. But right now, it's a lot of fun.”

Admittedly, however, Nugent joked "we're selling a broken-down ship” and was serious when he said "it's the hardest job I've ever done.”

But the ship is afloat and there is hope. Nugent, always affable, gives the Aztecs that – hope and a chance. Pima entered Saturday's game with Arizona Western 1-3. Pima lost that contest, 32-13.

"If I saw how bad it was (at Pima) before I got here I would have thought differently about it,” he admitted. "The level of play … I never knew the Western States was as good as it was. The talent level is crazy. It's going to take some work here at Pima but it's possible.”

Pima is proving it. It won the season opener, beating Phoenix College 17-14 and bringing smiles to everyone involved.

"There are no words to describe that win,” said Nick Carlson, a sophomore linebacker from Ironwood Ridge High School. "We could have won some games last year. … it wasn't like we were getting killed.”

No, Pima was thisclose when it came to victories. So close and competitive, Nugent was named the Western States coach of the year.

Slowly, he has people believing anything is possible. It's about having a winning attitude, developing a culture of it.

"We've learned and it's been a learning process,” Nugent said. "We know the type of kid we need to recruit and how to coach them in this league.”

Players like sophomores Griffin Ronstadt and Brent Lush, both CDO grads, help turn around a once-winning program. It happens one win at a time and being competitive.

"I knew the city would embrace me and so would the local high school coaches,” he said. "It's been great and the type of kids we are getting are from Tucson. We just have to improve Tucson football.”

It's a grassroots effort. He also has a number of players from the Northwest side willing and very able to help out. Sixteen are from the Northwest side, including CDO and Ironwood Ridge. Of the 90-something players on the roster, 63 are from Tucson.

"A lot of things that have helped me are a lot of coaches know me and I have a reputation on the Northwest side,” he said. "When I go in and recruit on the Northwest side they pretty much know who I am. They know what I'm about. That's how it is in Tucson.”

Now, it's about getting another victory.

Slowly, he has people believing anything is possible. It's about having a winning attitude, developing a culture of it.

"We've learned and it's been a learning process,” Nugent said. "We know the type of kid we need to recruit and how to coach them in this league.”

Players like sophomores Griffin Ronstadt and Brent Lush, both CDO grads, help turn around a once-winning program. It happens one win at a time and being competitive.

"I knew the city would embrace me and so would the local high school coaches,” he said. "It's been great and the type of kids we are getting are from Tucson. We just have to improve Tucson football.”

It's a grassroots effort. He also has a number of players from the Northwest side willing and very able to help out. Sixteen are from the Northwest side, including CDO and Ironwood Ridge. Of the 90-something players on the roster, 63 are from Tucson.

"A lot of things that have helped me are a lot of coaches know me and I have a reputation on the Northwest side,” he said. "When I go in and recruit on the Northwest side they pretty much know who I am. They know what I'm about. That's how it is in Tucson.”

Now, it's about getting another victory.

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

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today: http://www.kinocollege.com/

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

 

MOS: Storms and Floods

We asked the community about the coming floods and storms.

MOS: Back To School

We asked the community about the new school semester starting.

More Featured Videos
Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook