Citizen Staff Writer
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE
A familiar face was back on the field Monday as high school football practice started for several teams.
Former Canyon del Oro, Sabino and Pima Community College coach Jeff Scurran is back in the game, this time leading Santa Rita.
Scurran held his first practice at 7 Monday morning. The Eagles, who were 0-10 last year, took the field again at 5 p.m.
“The kids have been upbeat and trying real hard,” said Scurran, who won state titles at Sabino in 1990, 1992 and 1998. “It’s a new system to them. I ask a lot from the kids.
“Having your own team, that’s what I missed. I’ve coached football longer than anything I’ve done. Getting back on the field is like going home. It’s what I do.”
Santa Rita senior linebacker and fullback Joe Chiusano thinks Scurran has the Eagles heading in the right direction.
“(The team) likes him. He’s a good guy, easy to talk to and helps with outside problems. He’s like a second father.
“Everyone is excited with the new coaching staff.”
Scurran had a 22-10 record in three years at CDO, a 127-26-1 mark in 12 years at Sabino and a 26-17 record in four years at Pima.
Santa Rita begins its season at home against Pueblo on Aug. 24.
Elsewhere, Salpointe Catholic coach Dennis Bene is entering his seventh season at the helm, and he likes the team’s vibe so far. The Lancers are coming off a 10-2 season.
“It’s excitement, bottom line. Something about putting on the helmets and all 63 kids out there,” Bene said.
“We had very few mental mistakes, and that’s very encouraging.”
The Lancers open their season at Phoenix Brophy Prep on Aug. 23 at Phoenix College.
“We’ve got a lot to do,” Bene said. “If we get through this period healthy, we’ll be in good shape.”
H.S. FOOTBALL KICKOFF
Aug. 18: Citizen’s 20-page high school football preview
Aug. 23: Salpointe vs. Phoenix Brophy Prep (at Phoenix College), 7 p.m.
Aug. 24: Canyon del Oro at Amphi, Flowing Wells at Catalina, Douglas at Bisbee, Palo Verde at Sahuaro, Nogales at Rio Rico, Cholla at Sahuarita, Pueblo at Santa Rita, Chandler Hamilton at Sierra Vista Buena, Catalina Foothills at Cienega, Marana at Scottsdale Chaparral