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Wed, Oct. 16

Mingus football begins summer 7-on-7 games

Mingus senior to be Dakota Falcha regains his balance after stripping the ball away from a River Valley receiver on Thursday night at a 7-on-7 game at Mingus Union. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus senior to be Dakota Falcha regains his balance after stripping the ball away from a River Valley receiver on Thursday night at a 7-on-7 game at Mingus Union. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus Union football’s new look squad debuted Thursday night, in their first action against other teams of 2019.

The Marauders hosted Chino Valley and Mohave Valley River Valley for 7-on-7 games and linemen challenges.

Mingus Union head coach Robert Ortiz came away impressed.

“We competed very well,” Ortiz said. “You never know what your first day’s going to bring — our first day of competition this summer — we competed at a much higher level and executed on a higher level than our first competition last summer. So overall I felt pretty good about it. Obviously we made some mistakes and nothing that we can’t learn from, that we’ll get better from.”

The Marauders are hosting 7-on-7 games and lineman challenges every Thursday starting at 5 p.m. in June.

River Valley went 4-6 last year, finishing No. 21 in the 3A rankings. Chino Valley went 4-6 also in 2018 and ended up ranked No. 25 in the 3A.

“It’s always good to see different teams, different competition that you’re not normally going to see, especially on an annual basis,” Ortiz said. “We’ll compete against Flag and Prescott once and then we’ll play them in the season but it’s always good to line up against a team like River Valley, they’re a very competitive 3A team. Chino Valley, they love coming over every summer and they always give us good competition when they’re here over the summer. So it’s just good to see different guys that you’re not going to see during the season and see different offenses for one and kinda prepare for earlier.”

The 7-on-7 games were played on about 40 yards and each team usually got about three offensive and three defensive possessions each game.

After the Marauders lost the prolific 2019 class, Ortiz has been impressed with the juniors to be and some new but familiar faces. They’ve added seniors to be that played football at MUHS before Ortiz started last year and have returned.

“Those guys are doing a heck of a job of filling in, stepping up, filling in, learning their roles, learning their roles, taking initiative, making plays,” Ortiz said. “Yeah they’re gonna make mistakes, they’re a little inexperienced but nothing that they can’t learn rom, they can handle it.”

Ortiz said everyone has been impressive so far in the spring and early part of the summer but junior to be Domanic Renik, a cornerback and wide receiver, has really stood out.

“Overall honestly I would like to say all of our guys,” Ortiz said. “We’ve had multiple guys so I hate to give it to one guy solely but one guy that stands out right away would be Domanic Renik, he’s done a great job, he made multiple plays at corner, caught a couple balls on offense, so he’s done a great job of stepping up to the plate and filling some of those voids that we knew we were going to have.”

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