The Desert Vista football season is one of those pleasant surprises.
When I took the job in July, I looked at the two teams – Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista – and part of me figured I might end up doing a coaching search story come the end of November.
I long heard of the unhappiness of the Desert Vista football community when it came to Dan Hinds and his staff. It was only fueled by last year’s 2-8.
I had some interaction with the program in my previous five years in the Valley, but by no means did I have knowledge of the inner workings of the program.
I have a better understanding of it now, but I am still an outsider for the most part. With that said in my short time around the team I haven’t seen any reason for the negativity that surrounded the program.
Well here we are now, four months later, and all of these emails and phone messages I was told to expect from unsatisfied Thunder fans have never filled my inbox or voicemail as Desert Vista enters Friday night's state quarterfinal home game against Tucson Salpointe Catholic.
It’s amazing what an 8-2 season and a second-place finish in the tough Fiesta Region (although I think the East Valley was better this year) can do to quiet the masses.
Anyway, the players have been positive from the outset and they do the best explaining where this team came from.
Especially, the well-spoken, Ivy-League bound Mike Ingrassia.
“You build character,” he said after last week on learning how to win. “We’ve all been in the trenches. We’ve been stomped on; we’ve been put into the dirt for three straight seasons. You can either let that happen to us, or you can decide that enough’s enough. When we get put into these situations, we’re not turning against each other. You can’t put enough emphasis on that. Mesa did it last year, we’re that kind of team this year. There’s no stars on this team.
“There’s no kids saying “me, me, me.”
Junior Mike Arredondo chimed in as well.
“We were born together here,” the junior said. “I feel like it’s that kind of brotherhood and community you can’t coach. That’s just us being around each other enough, being in enough situations that we trust each other.”