HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Lions expect to continue winning ways - The Explorer: Sports

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Lions expect to continue winning ways

New coach looks to proven QB to anchor squad

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Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Pusch Ridge quarterback Greg Schimke earned a foxhole promotion at halftime of last year’s Week 2 contest against archrival Northwest Christian.

The Lions didn’t know what to expect. Schimke — stoic until prodded — contained his butterflies and assumed his commission, nearly flipping the 26-21 loss.

“I was stunned. I couldn’t believe I was going in,” Schimke recalled. “But I’m not nervous before games anymore.”

Amassing 1,700 passing yards last season, Schimke (6’ 0”, 170 pounds) turned into the Lions’ rock. Now the energy and optimism at Pusch Ridge’s practices feels distinct, especially after a 2007 first-round playoff win at Red Mesa — a key vibe when enrollment hovers around 260 students.

Exuberance fuels small-school programs’ competitiveness with fresh players and full bleachers, said first-year head coach Bob Vance.

“You’ve got to talk to the kids and sell the program,” Vance said. “Fortunately, we’re got a great legacy left from Coach Brittain.”

After ascending from the junior varsity squad, Vance inherited eight returning starters that include senior running back Andy Knox (6’ 1”, 175 pounds), who projects end zone visions when musing this year’s offense.

“(Schimke will) be able to hit all of us,” said Knox, a first baseman during the spring. “He knows the plays backward and forward.”

Senior lineman Daniel Simmons (6’ 5”, 240 pounds) returns to anchor the Lions’ defense. Simmons said last year’s playoff run rubbed off this year’s weightlifting turnouts, as the Lions no longer hope to win — they expect to.

And though Pusch Ridge’s family-atmosphere traditions are nothing new, the squad assumes a fresh dimension when playoff-hardened guys like senior lineman Matt Baquet (5’10”, 185 pounds) start spouting phrases like, “The Focus, the Fellowship, the Brotherhood.”

All that’s left for the upperclassmen is to prime the first-year guys for gridiron realities.

“If they’ve already played football, they know what it is,” Simmons said.

“Otherwise, you go out and dial them in after the first hit,” Knox added.

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy

Mascot: Lions

Region: 2A South

School Colors: Sapphire blue and Vegas gold

Coach Profile

Bob Vance, first year

Previous: Coached Pusch Ridge junior varsity squad

2007 record

Aug. 24 Benson L 8-7

Sept. 7 at Northwest Christian L 26-21

Sept. 14 Baboquivari W 61-0

Sept. 21 Joseph City W 41-34

Sept. 28 at San Carlos W 51-0

Oct. 5 San Manuel W 25-21

Oct. 12 Miami W 47-12

Oct. 18 Ray W 56-14

Oct. 25 at Hayden L 27-21

Nov. 2 at Red Mesa W 13-12

Nov. 9 at Arizona Lutheran L 42-7

2008 schedule

Sept. 5 Valley Union    

Sept. 12 Northwest Christian

Sept. 19 at Baboquivari

Sept. 26 Superior

Oct. 3 San Carlos

Oct. 10 at San Manuel     

Oct. 17 at Miami    

Oct. 24 at Ray    

Oct. 31 Hayden

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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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