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November 15, 2007

Football Update

I am still struggling to come to grips with the premature end of Wickenburg's season. On the third play of the game our three year starter, Coach's son QB got hit in the ribs after he released a pass. He played through the entire first half in pain before going in at halftime with us leading 14-7. He could not put on his pads after the half. Could barely move. Within the first minute of the 3rd QTR, Round Valley had tied the score after a forced fumble caused by Round Valley's Evan Hamblin. A possession later on 3rd and 7 from the Wick 35 with the backup QB in, we ran "Gangster Pass". Wick is in Purple and Gold and as you can probably guess, the results were not good. Evan Hamblin for Round Valley forced the fumble that led to the tying score, caught both of their offensive TD passes, and caught this Wickenburg pass in the flats for the go-ahead score to the house to end our season in the state quarterfinals at 11-1.

Evan Hamblin's INT wins game for Round Valley

After this play, Drew Vaughan put his pads back on and played the next 16 minutes unable to come to the sideline between plays and barely able to hand the ball off and get from the huddle to the line. His last desperation throw with 45 seconds left was tipped, intercepted, and resulted in the final score of 28-14.

I was close to the team all year and spent every Friday night with them since the middle of August, working the sidelines, having dinner with the players and coaches, talking to other coaches, watching film. It was a great year. Any time you win 11 games, it is a great year.

The doctors sent Drew for x-rays immediately after the game when he was unable to stand up figuring they would diagnose bruised ribs. Nope, Ruptured spleen. Played an entire football game with a ruptured spleen. I was sitting with the coaching staff when word came that it was a spleen and he was going into surgery.

11 Wins. 11-1 for the Wranglers. After the Oregon loss, that is what ASU is shooting for against USC and Arizona. Jake still has a chance to go 12-0 and win a state title. But one of my teams is done--my Wranglers. Now I am left to root for Pinetop-Lakeside's Blue Ridge Yellowjackets (who happen to be my second favorite team for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is their three straight titles over Boys Ranch). They are two wins away from a 13-0 season and a title.

Season is winding down. Congratulations to the Round Valley Elks (who have the coolest home uniforms ever) and to the BR Yellowjackets, Show Low Cougars, and the Coolidge Bears. I am going to the Semifinals to watch the games this Friday, but it was so much nicer to have a horse in the race. Jake plays at 8:00 AM at Westview High against the Deer Valley Crusaders, a team we beat in the second game of the season 14-0, in the West Valley semifinals. ASU is two wins away from a BCS Bowl, probably the Rose Bowl. And the Cardinals are only a game back of the Seahawks for the NFC West. The Suns are 6-2, but it isn't basketball season just yet.

Posted by Justin at November 15, 2007 12:08 PM



I was looking around for news on the Wickenburg football team and I stumbled across your site. I originally found your post from last year when they beat Blue Ridge and eventually lost in the finals. It is too bad they had to end their season this year like they did. It sounds like Wickenburg sports have come a long way. We were good in the years that you and I were there but now they seem to be a legitimate contender year in and year out in all sports. That is exciting to hear.

I live up in Portland, Oregon now. My wife and I moved up here after graduating from U of A. (great win for us last night, too bad you looser Sun Devils couldn't beat them as well so the Pac-10 could still have an undefeated team:)

Anyway, it sounds like you are doing well. Take care and thanks for the blog posts. It was interesting to read about the Wranglers again and hear they are doing so well.

Brett Bodine
Class of 95'

Posted by: Brett Bodine at November 16, 2007 11:22 PM

Justin...The sky is so beautiful in that picture. Did you take that photograph? I love Arizona so much! How cool are you to get to live there...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at November 17, 2007 08:22 PM