Shamrocks bring youth movement with title aspirations.
Even though Yuma Catholic's 2019 season ended short of the objective of winning a state title, a glimmer of hope emerged.
Freshmen and Sophomore student athletes stepped up on defense late in the season and helped the Shamrocks make a run that lasted into the 2nd round of the playoffs.
Those student athletes are now another year older and even more determined.
But, like every other program, the Shamrocks experienced a big set-back that began to take shape this past March; the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Spring ball virtually shut down overnight, along with the normal Summer 7-on7's, and weight room sessions due to social distancing mandates.
When the Arizona Interscholastic Association made a series of key announcements proceeding with the delayed Fall season with game play mandates in place, it gave YC and all other participating programs the fresh start hoped for.
Shamrocks head coach Rhett Stallworth was quick to voice that sentiment.
"I mean, it's just a lot of extra work that you've never really had to do before. Paying a lot of attention to detail as you do things. It's just kept us real busy. There's no downtime at all. But, at the end of the day, we're thankful now that we're at the point to where it's game week and we're excited to get after it."
The Shamrocks offense may have a number of fresh faces at the skilled positions, but could prove to be quite explosive.
Richard Stallworth takes the reigns as the new starting quarterback.
The Sophomore will have a mostly experienced offensive line in front of him and running back by committee.
There will also be a number of younger student athletes at the wide receiver position led by Senior Jonah Leon.
Leon will also be one of the key cornerstones on a defensive unit that could prove to be the strength of the team.
YC believes it has the talent to contend for another state title, but Coach Stallworth believes the margin for error is a lot slimmer with a condensed 7-game season.
"I don't think there's any settling in at this point. You definitely hav to have a sense of urgency because the playoffs are going to be just around the corner with the shortened season. There's not much room for error, so you have to do enough early on to make sure that not only are you securing a playoff spot, but even home field advantage as well as one of the thing we're looking for. So, we have to get off to a fast start definitely."
As an additional note: Yuma Catholic won it's opening game of the season, defeated Phoenix Christian 28-20 on Friday night.