After months of preparation and practice Mingus Union football returned to Friday night action.
The Marauders hosted their annual Red and Gray Scrimmage on Friday night.
“It went pretty well, it went about as expected,” Mingus head coach Robert Ortiz said. “You know we’ve been working through some kinks, getting everybody on the same page. I feel like we’re in the exact same position we were at this time last summer working through echoing calls, getting everybody lined up where we’re supposed to be and fitting everything in together. So that’s what scrimmages are for. We have this one this week, we got one more next week and we should be moving through.”
The Marauders will host Paradise Honors for a scrimmage on Friday at 6 p.m. before opening the season Aug. 23 at San Tan Valley Combs and the home opener on Sept. 13.
For the Red and Gray Scrimmage, the Mingus Union coaches split up the Marauders into teams of players wearing red or white jerseys with an eye on fielding balanced teams.
Ortiz said the linemen, a pair of junior receivers, a couple senior receivers and the running backs impressed them.
“A couple guys that jumped off the charts for us,” Ortiz said. “First and foremost I always like to give credit to the o-line/d-line, we definitely wouldn’t be able to do without those guys, getting them all on the same page. A couple guys that stood out, Andrew Nahar had a touchdown, kinda towards the beginning of the scrimmage, Jonny Sanchez had four or five big time catches, a touchdown and we’ve had Trevor Hoke, coming back out, stood out to us coaches and Peter Calandra’s another guy. Outside of that the running backs will be by committee, they did what we’ve asked them to do, so that looked good.”
The Marauders started going with full pads on Monday.
“They’ve been going good,” Ortiz said. “It’s still hot but that’s not an excuse because our two of the three first games we have are going to be warm ones down in the valley, so we’ve been trying to build up the kids in that manner, getting them moving forward knowing that it’s gonna be warm, this is what they’re going to have to deal with.”
Mingus Union went to the American Youth – BILT camp at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, Calif. before school started on July 24-27 and got to face a bigger school in 7-on-7s.
“California camp was good, same thing, went about as expected,” Ortiz said. “It’s a long bus trip, we get off the bus and we practice two practices in a row right out the gate. We tear the kids down, wear them out, build them back up and then we get a little down time at the beach, so we put in a lot of work out there. I mean we had eight solid practices. We were able to throw 7-on-7s with Mountain Pointe and we were able to do it and be successful and if we can compete with those guys, of that caliber, they’re a very successful 6A team, it’s something positive as you come into fall camp with pads and the scrimmages.”