By Nolberto Waddell
Copper Basin News
It’s that time of year again, the smell of freshly cut grass, the wide-eyed looks of the young players as coaches bark out loud, the sound of a nutritious lunch fertilizing the grass field; its high school football season.
The Hayden Lobos started conditioning sessions last week under a new look coaching staff. Matt Waddell returns as the Head Coach with two assistants from last year and two new assistants that are making an impact on the Hayden student-athletes that have the fortitude and desire to strap on the helmet and pads and represent the LOBO PRIDE on the football field.
The returning assistants on Waddell’s staff are RJ Garcia and Pete Gallego with Robert Manriquez and James Arbizo, not necessary new to the program, making quite an impact on the student athletes.
The coaches have a huge task in front of them having to develop a quarterback and another running back to help retuning running back Aaron Lagunas. They also have to develop a couple of receivers. The line for the Lobos will be big, strong and experience with seniors now dominating.
The defense will also need some revamping especially at the linebacker and defense back positions. The defensive line should be strong with several starters returning. When the hitting begins the coaches will be able to evaluate the player’s better, see who has the fortitude to take the leadership position.
Senior leadership, that is something that the coaches want and expect from this year’s group, something that was missing from last year’s team. The development of the underclassmen will also have a BIG impact on the team.
The Lobos will put on the pads the week in preparation for the upcoming three team controlled scrimmage on August 22 starting at 5:30 p.m. joining the Lobos in the scrimmage will be the St. David Tigers and the always powerful Roughriders of Pima High School.
Barring any injuries to the starters and avoiding the Big “E” (eligibility) the Lobos should be in good shape to handle the new look schedule that starts on Aug. 30 when Mogollon High School comes to Hayden to open the season.