The Mountain Pointe football program has been out of sorts the last few weeks.
It has nothing to do with the loss to Brophy a few weeks back or anything else on the field.
The Pride are 7-1 heading into the last regular season home game on Friday against Mesa Mountain View, but, like all good teams, are under constant construction.
The one difference is the Pride’s facility is literally being constructed.
The varsity is getting a new locker room, which will be used by other sports as well, in what used to be the physical education lecture hall, meaning their former meeting room is no longer while renovations are being done.
The team has had to sit on the ground, carry chairs from room to room, meet in various classrooms on the second floor or even crowd around the weight room to start each day.
It is worth it considering they will eventually have their very own man cave.
“It is going to be a great multi-team use facility,” athletic director Ian Moses said. “It is something that was a long time coming.”
There will be links to the past — pictures from the Karl Kiefer days — and the oversized lockers will be roomy and state of the art. The video system to review game film will be in there instead of having to go upstairs. The Pride logo that is on their helmets will be displayed prominently on the floor.
It will be a place they can finally call home after having to share one with the junior varsity and they won’t have to dress in shifts anymore.
More importantly, it is another sign of Norris Vaughan’s imprint on the program.
“Everything was good other than the locker room,” Vaughan said of the facilities when he first took over the program in the spring of 2009. “We had too many kids for the space we had. Something had to be done.”
While the locker room won’t be completed until after the season, the Pride, who are No. 2 in the state seeding after eight weeks behind only Desert Ridge, has some work to do themselves.
Mountain View (6-2, No. 7 in the seedings) is a much tougher game than originally thought as the Toros have come together in coach Chad DeGrenier’s second year after coming over from Cactus Shadows, where he won a state title in 2006.
After starting the year 0-2 it looked like Mountain View might be on the same path as last season’s team that went 4-6, but the Toros have won six in a row, including wins over previously undefeated Pinnacle, Red Mountain and Highland, all teams that were in the top 10 at the time of the meeting.
“If we can play well, do our job and win out we should be a one or two seed,” Vaughan said. “That would be big for us. We need for that to happen. This is a big game for us.”
The Toros have made big strides in recent weeks as often happens in a coach’s second year. While Vaughan had immediate success after taking over the Pride, he knows that second season is critical.
“I had been to big schools before so it wasn’t a big change for me,” Vaughan said of going from Wickenburg to Mountain Pointe. “Football is football. If you are at a bigger school, you have more players.
“You know the kids better and they know you (in year two.) The system is in place and there is a comfort level there instead of learning from each other.”
Mountain View is using a two-quarterback system under DeGrenier, who was an Arena Football League quarterback.
“They have two really good quarterbacks and when they are not playing quarterback they are playing wide receiver,” Vaughan said. “They are playing really well right now and he’s a really good coach.”
A win for the Mountain Pointe, which is hosting homecoming, will just stack up another quality victory over a top 10 team.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position, but we have some work to do,” Vaughan said. “We have to finish strong or everything we did early in the season goes down the drain.”
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