Staying home all weekend sometimes is very much needed.

The Desert Vista football team is getting that chance this week after opening last year in California.

The overall experience at the Brothers in Arms event, and the message it sent, was good but the action on the field was a struggle and the long, subdued bus ride home was a bit draining as well.

So while no one would have minded a trip back to California, opening up 2014 at home against a quality program like Basha just might be a whole lot more important for this team.

“The true answer to that question won’t be known until Friday,” Thunder coach Dan Hinds said. “There is a lot of other things to think about that comes with a trip to California. It is good just getting our players to focus on football.”

The players are on board as well.

“Any time you can open up with a home game, it is a good thing,” senior outside linebacker Cade Van Raaphorst said. “California was a good trip, but a win at home would get the season started right.”

The Thunder can reverse the bad mojo that started last season with a win over Basha, which is searching for a new identity as well after the hiring of a new coach and the roster lost several transfers to other Chandler schools.

Break it down to it simplest form – one team is either 1-0 or the other is 0-1.

“Winning the first one gets us off to a good start,” Thunder coach Dan Hinds said. “We want to be on the right side of that equation.”

Coaches never want to put too much emphasis on one game, but the coaching staff has talked openly to the players about the importance of coming out strong.

“It’s important and I am not lying to the kids about it,” Hinds said. “Starting 1-0 is pretty dang important. It has been the main focus of the summer, winning that first one, and in my opinion we have done a good job of doing that. You saw what happened last year and it just set us off and we ended up getting embarrassed by Boulder Creek (in week 3).

“We can’t let that happen again.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwautkee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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