Photo by Beau Bearden.
KINGMAN – Football season is finally here and Kingman High School is the first squad in town to lace up its cleats with a 7 p.m. contest at home today against Joy Christian.
“The kids are chomping at the bit to play football,” Bulldogs head coach Cam Wierson said. “Particularly the ones that have put in a ton of work over the past 18 months.”
Kingman has come a long way from a season ago. However, it’s taken a lot of work by Wierson and his staff to help bring the team up to speed.
“We finally have some strength,” Wierson said. “As the offensive line coach, I spent the first 7-8 weeks of last year teaching kids who to block. This year, day one, I started teaching kids how to block. We’ve gone from teaching a kid what a hammer is – to teaching them how to use the hammer.”
While it’s too early to tell how that will transition to the field, Wierson knows he has to expect the Bulldogs to take a little time adjusting.
“All football at all levels is ‘sloppy’ for a couple of weeks,” he said. “I can tell you this – we’re light years ahead of where we were last year at this time.”
At this time last season, Wierson was taking over a program that went a combined 1-20 in the previous two seasons.
While the Bulldogs didn’t fare very well last year at 1-9, there is optimism that they finally have what it takes to turn it around.
The first step in that journey is Joy Christian, a team that Wierson doesn’t know much about due to the Eagles having a new coaching staff.
Joy Christian did go winless last season in the 2A Metro West Region, but it was a shell of the team that won the 2015 Division V state championship.
A number of Eagles left that team for Phoenix Christian and the squad barely survived collapse.
Now Patrick Blakesley enters his first year as head coach of the Eagles, and Wierson doesn’t have much information to prepare his team for tonight’s season opener.
“We’re in the dark,” Wierson said. “We’re going to play hard. That’s all I know.”
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