Thunder quarterback Cade Van Raaphorst (14) throws the ball during the football game between Desert Vista and Marana Mountain View at Desert Vista on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Starting over is never easy.

Desert Vista found that out in a hurry. The Thunder replaced 20 of 22 starters from last year. Chances are there is going to be a transition period.

And that became clear when Desert Vista (2-2) lost to Boulder Creek two weeks ago.

Coach Dan Hinds would never used it as an excuse, but breaking in that many new starters is difficult. Especially, when the coach knows the talent is there.

“We’ve had turnover before and kept playing at a high level,” Hinds said. “We expect to maintain a level of play each year.”

Desert Vista hosts Division II Cienega (1-3) this week before next week’s Ahwatukee Bowl when Mountain Pointe comes to DV. After that, the Thunder travel to Peoria Centennial, a DII perennial state title contender.

In other words, the time for transition better be over soon.

“We are taking the next step,” senior Jason King said. “We are a talented team and we rallied together in the second half (in the win last week). We lost so many starters last year, and only a few of us played meaningful minutes last year, but now we have it going in the right direction. It just took some time.”

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

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