Cabs’ coach John Kashner is concerned about the distractions of homecoming week.
Call John Kashner a fuddy-duddy, but he dislikes this time of year.
The Flowing Wells High School football coach is not looking forward to tomorrow night’s 4A Sonoran showdown with Cholla.
“This is our homecoming game, and I hate homecoming more than any other game all year,’ Kashner said. “We have the homecoming court, we have the dance, and everyone is vying for the players’ time – it’s hard to keep the kids focused.
“I wish they’d move homecoming to basketball season.’
Cholla (3-2 overall, 1-0 in the league) plays at Flowing Wells (4-0, 1-0) at 7 p.m. in the Tucson Citizen’s Spotlight Game of the Week.
Kashner said the hectic week has hurt his team’s practice.
“With everything going on, we haven’t had a very good week of practice,’ Kashner said. “The players need to realize that the reason behind homecoming is the football game, and they need to be ready to play the game.’
Flowing Wells has had no problem with preparation for its other games. It is undefeated and ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press’ Class 4A poll.
The Caballeros opened the season with a 34-7 victory over defending 4A champion Mountain View. And before anyone could call it a fluke, Flowing Wells was blowing out each team it faced.
“We’ve never been ranked this high since I’ve been here,’ Kashner said. “But we keep telling the players that the ranking and 25 cents will get you a cup of a coffee and that’s about it.
“The kids tend to read the paper a lot, but we tell them we want to be ranked at the end of the season, not now. And we don’t want to be ranked No. 3 then.’
Cholla brings to the game the Sonoran division’s top-ranked defense, but Chargers’ coach Jim Yencarelli is not fully convinced his defense is as good as advertised.
“Our defense has been very suspect, and we’ll find out this week if they’re as good as the numbers say,’ Yencarelli said. “We’re going to have a lot of work to do if we’re going to contain all their major weapons.’
Cholla has weapons of its own, including a strong offense.
“We’ve been very balanced up to now . . . we’ve passed it well and ran it well,’ Yencarelli said. “People have’t noticed just how balanced we are. We are within 100 yards for both passing and rushing.’
At the heart of Cholla’s offense is quarterback Art Leon, leading passer in the division, with 465 yards.
“As Art goes, we go,’ Yencarelli said. “Art’s done an excellent job for us, throwing for better than 55 percent and very accurate.’
Flowing Wells’ Kevin Coman (409 yards, 7.6 yards per carry) is the player most teams have been looking to stop. But the Caballeros’ offense has many weapons.
“A lot of teams think if they can shut down Kevin Coman, we’ll be dead in the water,’ Kashner said. “But we bring Andrew Barney in, and Dee Tarpley is a big factor.’