Sweet love

Pride players Natrell Curtis, Trey Lauer and Wesley Payne celebrate the big 28-21 win over Bishop Gorman at the Sollenberger Classic.

Photo courtesy of Mountain Pointe football

The football season is closing fast.

Mountain Pointe begins its defense of its state title, albeit against an out-of-state opponent in Reed (Sparks, Nev.), is just five-and-a-half weeks away.

I had a chance to catch up with Pride head coach Norris Vaughan for a story on Reed, which is Mountain Pointe’s opponent on Aug. 23 in Las Vegas in the second game of the Sollenberger Classic.

Vaughan appears to be genuinely excited about this team’s potential. He’s a little concerned about the wide receiver position and defensive backfield as each unit is basically starting from scratch after all the starters moved on to the next level.

“We will have an outstanding offensive line,” he said. “Our quarterback (Garvin Alston) is going to be fine and he’s comparable to (last year’s starter) Antonio (Hinojosa). We have running backs, and the defensive front is pretty strong. We are going to be pretty good.”

The consensus heading into the season is Mountain Pointe will be in championship form again with Chandler being seen as the top contender, if not the favorite, with Hamilton a step below.

Vaughan will have the team ready when the first official practice comes along July 28 and build up to the Sollengberger.

He feels likes like roles will be reversed this time around in Las Vegas after Mountain Pointe gained some national notoriety since beating Bishop Gorman in last year’s game.

The Pride thought about beating Gorman every day after the matchup was announced in February of 2013. It led to a focus and a battle cry before a big-time win before a national audience.

Now, Vaughan figures Reed has a similar mantra brewing up in Sparks as the team prepares to take on the team that knocked out Nevada’s giant.

“I expect it be a really good test,” he said. “They are the No. 2 team in Nevada, like we were (behind Hamilton) and they are all excited and focused on Mountain Pointe like we were on Gorman. They will come out ready to rock’n’roll.”

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

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