Coach Young up to task for major rebuilding year for Marauders
State of Mingus Union Football
One week after the season ended for the Mingus Union football team, Coach Bob Young looked back on his just-completed 20th season, the state of Mingus football and his reflection of the season and a look ahead to next year.
Verde Independent: What are your thoughts on the last two games?
Young: The last two games didn’t go well for us. Sunrise was an awful good team; we didn’t compete well. I thought the first game we made some mistakes and after watching film we could correct them. The second game we just couldn’t do it.
Verde Independent: Do you think the penalties in the first half hurt you in the second game?
Young: Yeah they did, but you can’t let one penalty turn into a 40-point butt whipping. We just didn’t match up well with them. It was disappointing the last two games, but when you look at the big picture we made the playoffs playing an awfully tough schedule. When we looked at the schedule when it came out our goals are to always win our region and make the playoffs.
Verde Independent: Do you know the schedule next year?
Young: Same, you just flip home and away. It doesn’t get any easier. Those programs are going to be good every year.
Verde Independent: You must replace all your offensive backs next year correct?
Young: It is going to be a massive overhaul, I mean offensively we lose 10 starters. Defensively we will return six starters. We have to replace both offensive and defensive lines. We have never had to replace that many on offense before.
We have a lot of work to do in the next nine months, but it starts in the weight room. Especially with the linemen, right now they don’t have the strength or size to match up. That’s what our work is for the next nine months. We would like to think when we roll out there next August that we can be Mingus caliber football. We aren’t going to back down.
Verde Independent: When does the lifting start for next season?
Young: The Monday after the loss. We can’t take breaks if we take breaks we are dead. The weight training has to go on year-round. If they play other sports they still lift, it just makes them better athletes in the sports they play. They are accustomed to lift 12 months out of the year.
Verde Independent: What are you going to do, the last two years you have not been able to field a freshman team?
Young: You know a lot of it depends on the kids that go from the middle school. The numbers haven’t been there. Our problem the last couple of years is our junior classes have been small; that’s why two years ago we didn’t have enough for a Junior Varsity team. Last year we didn’t have enough and that is why we combined them into one team. It hurt the freshmen this year because they didn’t get to play a lot on JV. Two years ago, we didn’t have a JV team. I’m sure that we could get 15-20 kids if we lessoned expectation, but if we do that we are going to lose anyway. I’d just as soon play with 40 kids that are going to work hard and play hard.
Verde Independent: What about Tyler Kelly?
Young: He has a chance to be special. We’ll see.
Verde Independent: Did you expect to be in the playoffs this season? Really?
Young: Yeah, I did. When I looked at the schedule, I expected to beat Bradshaw Mountain and to win the region. I do every year; those are the expectations at Mingus football. My disappointment was that we lost to Bradshaw Mountain that night they were better than us. But for those 40 kids they worked their tails off, and I have so much respect for them. Juan Ruiz played hurt this season, some guys didn’t even practice and come Friday they were out there. I have a lot of credit for those guys working their butts off for us.
Verde Independent: That is two years in a row you have made the playoffs.
Young: We had a stretch where we made it like 20 years in a row, and then missed two years, now we have made it two in a row. Hopefully, we are on another 20-year run.
Verde Independent: Did you have the sports banquet yet? Can you tell me who has won awards?
Young: We don’t have the banquet until December. We haven’t even begun to break that stuff down yet. We will do that next week.
Verde Independent: Any message for the guys coming up?
Young: Well, for the guys coming up, they need to get into the weight room and be ready to compete. I looked at what it is going to take to compete with the Higleys and Sunrise Mountains, and we are going to have to go to a two-platoon system again. Literally, we had 16-17 kids playing. I have to find those 7-8 kids so we can go one way. If we can have one offense and one defense. Ultimately we were that way; 10-15 years ago we were that way.
Verde Independent: Let me ask you this, you know it is out there. Is your offense antiquated, can you win with this offense in a shootout?
Young: I, we always look at offense and defense every year. This offense can win. We say every year we have to do better with our passing game and we struggle with it. We run the Navy offense; they beat Notre Dame.
Verde Independent: What about the defensive backs?
Young: We work technique all the time, that’s all we do. We might look at making some changes. The sophomores will be juniors and they will be better. It got ugly sometimes, but you’re asking a sophomore to play against a senior. C’mon. Now in the next couple of years you watch my guys. We are a man-to-man team with a little zone mixed in. Sunrise and Higley are two of the best passing teams in the state.
Verde Independent: What is the main goal for this upcoming season?
Young: We have to make lineman.
Verde Independent: Any other thoughts on the season?
Young: The successful part of the season was that despite the tough schedule, we made the playoffs. The strength of schedule helped us. I want to develop more depth and go back to players playing one way. That’s how we compete with the Higleys and Sunrises, if that’s who we are going to have to play then we have to go back to players playing one way. We have to be able to compete with those teams and not just teams in Northern Arizona.
Verde Independent: What is the next big thing for your team?
Young: After Christmas break we will have the team come in for specific drills and work on some things, that carries us right up until the end of school. We don’t do a lot in the spring because our athletes are playing other sports.
But we hit it hard in June, we do about 50 7-on-7 games. In the last two weeks in May, after spring sports are over we will start doing somethings. We will go out on the field and work on running and throwing and things like that. We do that June, half of July and then we go to California, the season, and we start. June is a big month, every weekend we go to a tournament, we go to San Diego St, ASU, NAU, we go all over the place. We try to get the kids exposed to colleges, and better competition.
Verde Independent: Outlook for the offseason?
Young: Trying to get better.