Shamrocks prepare for another run at a state championship
YUMA, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - Last season the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks enjoyed an undefeated regular season followed by a playoff run the ended in the AIA 3A state championship game. The Shamrocks fell to the Snowflake Lobos 38-14, ending the chance for Yuma Catholic's run at a fourth state title under head coach Rhett Stallworth. This year the Shamrocks looked poised to make another strong push for a title shot.
"I think right now ultimately our defense is the star of the show," Stallworth said. "Our defense is playing really well. We have the addition of Jackson Jones at defensive end, a young stud, 6’3 210 pounder. We have another guy, justin Erath, same dimensions. With both of them coming off the edges it makes us look a lot better on defense along with our returning linebacking corps from last season. Pretty much all the parts but one guy back from last year."
In the Shamrocks first two games of the season, the Yuma Catholic defense has proved Stallworth right, pitching back to back shutouts. The Shamrocks have also outscored their opponents 109-0 to start the season.
"We are off to a 2-0 start, winning big but at the same time we’re not as crisp as we want to be," Stallworth said. "Right now we’re just focusing on the little things and making sure we get crisper each week. Pay attention to detail so that as the games get tougher, we’re able to hang in there and compete."
While the offense is putting up points, the question mark early in the season for Yuma Catholic is the offensive line.
"We’re working on getting a young line going," Stallworth said. "We’ve got four of the five underclassman, so we’re just trying to get them squared away and get some experience. Get them game tested before we see some of the better competition that we’ll see this year."
Our offensive line hasn’t seen many reps, we’re working on getting them seasoned up. If they can we can definitely make a run at it - Yuma Catholic head coach Rhett Stallworth
With stiffer competition looming ahead on the schedule, Stallworth still wants to see his team learn to play four full quarters.
"We just want to see us getting better, we think we are a lot better than the way we been playing," Stallworth said. "Sometimes with 15, 16, and 17 year old kids, it’s hard not to play down to the level, once you start beating them pretty good. We just need to teach them how to stay focused. We want to get where we are able to play for four quarters, instead of being done at halftime. Soon we’ll be playing teams where it will require a full four quarter effort to win."
The Shamrocks will host the Coolidge Bears this Friday night in the home opener at Yuma Catholic at 7:00 p.m.