Photo by Shawn Byrne.
KINGMAN – In an effort to teach the Kingman High School football team a life lesson and keep things lighthearted, head coach Cam Wierson turned to a quote he memorized many years ago from the film “Caddyshack.”
“It’s easy to grin when your ship comes in and you’ve got the stock market beat. But the man worthwhile, is the man that can smile, when his shorts aren’t too tight to the seat.” – Judge Smails.
While the Bulldogs (1-2) have dropped consecutive losses to crosstown rivals Lee Williams and Kingman Academy, Wierson is determined to keep the team upbeat as it welcomes Page High School to town for a 7 p.m. contest.
“I want us to work hard, get better every day and stay lighthearted and fun,” he said. “I admire the heck out of a lot of these kids on this team for their perseverance. This is a very stormy moment in time for the few that care about the success of our football outfit.”
Kingman will look to weather that storm against the Sand Devils (1-2) after they also dropped their last two games – a 40-20 loss to Winslow and a 21-13 setback to Coconino.
“They’re just as big as Lee, but have a far more talented backfield,” Wierson said. “Their quarterback and two running backs are special ball carriers. They’re the most talented team we’ve faced by far.”
Page, however, will be playing its third straight road game, while the Bulldogs have the slight advantage of welcoming an opponent to town for the fourth week in a row. With that said, Wierson doesn’t feel it has much impact at the prep level.
“The five-hour bus ride is a bit of a disadvantage, but traveling doesn’t really impact the outcome of high school games much,” he said. “Home field advantage is a factor when there’s 20,000 plus people in the stands and the road team has a three-plus hour flight and other issues associated with traveling.”
Kingman will soon encounter a road trip of its own as the Bulldogs play their next four games on the road after tonight’s contest. Three of those come against region foes, but Wierson knows it’s the nature of the beast.
“Just like everyone else in America, football programs live their lives one week at a time,” he said. “I’ve been on staffs where we had a cupcake one week, and a juggernaut the following week, and still spent the whole week getting ready for the cupcake team. Underestimating an opponent is arrogant and a sure-fire way to lose football games.”