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home : sports : local April 29, 2016

9/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
Lee Williams falls at home, 46-6
Matt Hollinshead
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN- The Lee Williams High School football team bolted onto the field Friday night, getting right into pre-game warm-ups. From jumping jacks on the field to jumping up and down on the sideline, the passion was there. The enthusiasm was immeasurable.

"We wanted to come out here and give fans a good game," Volunteers sophomore running back Jason Ruiz said.

And while the Volunteers' 46-6 home loss to Williams High School may be ugly on paper, it was irrelevant to the bigger picture. The guys battled, even though they were unable to capitalize in key moments in the second half.

Even on the opening drive, which lasted more than eight minutes, they played with urgency.

After running the ball aggressively to start, sophomore wide receiver Dallas Morgan busted through the middle toward the right side and was forced out of bounds at the 3-yard line. A couple of plays later, sophomore quarterback Braxton Burgess pushed his way past the WHS defense from the 1-yard line, into the end zone.

Despite missing the extra point, the Volunteers led 6-0 after the first quarter. This goes back to the effort Volunteers head coach Eugene Kramer demands.

"That scoreboard really doesn't show the true meaning of what we did," Kramer said. "We battled all night. A couple big plays here and there, and we got ourselves in a hole. We just couldn't climb back up."

They were down 13-6 at halftime, and the deficit ballooned even more. Morgan lost possession of the ball twice in the final two minutes and 35 seconds of the third quarter.

The first time, Morgan rushed toward the goal line and got leveled at the 4-yard line, fumbling the ball. The Vikings recovered and took it back to the other end untouched for the touchdown. The second time, with 16 seconds left in the quarter, he took another big hit at LWHS' own 41-yard line. WHS recovered the ball on that play as well.

"I know we could've won that game. It was just a matter of executing at the right times and reducing our turnovers," Kramer said, noting that turnovers were one of the main factors in the end result.

That doesn't mean Lee Williams didn't have any other bright moments. Already experiencing a muscle cramp in his left leg, Ruiz also dealt with a sore left ankle he had sustained in the third quarter. He kept fighting, despite the beating he took.

"I believe in playing hard. I don't stop until I get yards," Ruiz said.

Even after seeing the final score, Lee Williams (now 1-4) stayed upbeat.

"Very big teaching tool. We'll go Monday, try to get these kids back in groove with the film," said Kramer, whose squad will play at home against Camp Verde High School at 7 p.m. Friday.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Article comment by: cliff collins

Guillermo my mogs brother, The last sentence in your letter is quite important and that is the experience factor of at least 2 years on the younger boys and 30 to 50 pounds. My grandson is a freshman playing varsity and has already sustained an injury. I live a long way away and to my disappointment don't get to see the games but I do thank those who responded to my letter and have given me their points of veiw because all I have to go on is paper articles and they are very limited so this has been somewhat educational.

Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013
Article comment by: Lena Margita

We are fortunate to have the coaches we have in Kramer and Smith and the assistants they've brought in who feed the kids their philosophy. Mr. Collins - when you take kids who are used to winning all the time and force them to compete at a level where they have to strive and do their best and the scoreboard IS NOT going to reflect that, it is hard on the child raised that the scoreboard is the only way to win, however, Kramer and Smith are building men as well as football players and the kids this year know their wins do not come on that scoreboard.

These young men were prepped all summer long as to how it was going to be. Their bodies and minds - if they made it to summer workouts - were ingrained that the goals they set as a team had very little to do with points and very much to do with individual play, section play and team play. Can you feel victorious if the scoreboard reflects a slaughter but you've given 110%? That's REAL WORLD SCENARIO!

We led the 1st quarter. We were down by 7 at the half - so can our kids compete with juniors and seniors - YES!

We turned the ball over and missed some key tackles with a very fast Williams RB in the second half.

Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013
Article comment by: johnny aguilar

Cliff I have a different opinion. I agree that it will be a tough year for your team but it will pay off in the next couple of years. I was at the game on Friday and saw a team that never gave up and continued to hit hard and play hard. This team will be a handful in the next couple of years and other teams won't have the experience that these kids have by playing a couple of rough seasons. Injuries are going to happen in football whether your hitting a freshman or a senior.

Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Article comment by: Guillermo Tarango

Though there are Juniors and Seniors on the rosters of the schools they are playing against, they are not exclusively so. The reason they are playing in Division 5 is because these small schools have many sophomores and freshmen on their rosters also. Yes, they have played some Division 4 teams but aside from River Valley, their rosters also have many sophomores and freshmen. Lee Williams is also fielding a Freshman team for those who did not make the Varsity team. In short, though there are seniors and juniors on the opposing teams, its not like they are playing against schools made up of only seniors and juniors. Experience is what is mostly causing the lopsided scores.

Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Article comment by: cliff collins

I am a concerned grandfather of one of the players on this team. I don't understand the reasoning for freshman and sophomores kids going up against juniors and seniors, it's such a mismatch. From the comments of the head coach he seems to be fooling himself thinking they can compete there is a huge difference in 14 year olds and 17-18 olds it's not like 20 to 24 year olds who's bodies are developed more evenly. It's not only concern for injury but having there spirits beat down by these huge losses that is sure to affect them in the future and their confidence. Just wanted to throw in my 2cents worth of opinon I'm sure this has been said before but I am concerned for the kids.

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