It was 11:30 in the morning on Friday, the last weekend of fall break and at Mountain Pointe there are two district trip buses and a white mini bus.
From a distance it looks like they are being loaded for what appears to be an extended vacation. Natrell Curtis, a 6-foot- 4, 300-pound offensive lineman has a pillow, bed roll, and bags full of food.
He and many others have never been on a bus ride longer than a few hours. So I wander over and ask Dillan Johnson, "What's the occasion it looks like you all are going camping for the weekend." His reply was, "nope we are taking a trip to Yuma to play a football game against the Kofa Kings!"
As the team departs on a three-and half-hour journey to Arizona Western College where they will stop at their cafeteria for a pre-game meal, the players quickly settle in for some quality time with their cell phones, iPods, PSP's, and maybe a DVD player to watch some game film.
Meanwhile, the mini bus is waiting for the six dedicated student trainers who are giving up the end of their fall vacation to tape and spat wrists and ankles. So I am sure you are wondering how did the trainers occupy their time riding to Yuma, try a competitive, spirited, and LOUD game of Apples to Apples.
Defensive lineman Raynon Blackshire was asked what he thought a big trip like this might do for the team's spirit.
"I think the bus ride and team dinner will help bring us closer together as a team," the senior said. "This experience will have a real positive effect on our team chemistry."
Before the game began the Pride players stood in disbelief as they were treated to true Kofa tradition which is like no other school in the valley.
Eight Harley Davidson riders parade onto the field and form a tunnel for the Kings players to run through as fog and fireworks blast in both end zones.
It appeared to light a fire in the Pride players and they hit the field with the pedal to the metal. They wasted hardly any time putting points on the board with Johnson scoring on a punt return from 36 yards.
Ten minutes later the score was 42-0.
Quarterback Caleb Buck completed 9 of 15 passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Jalen Brown was on the receiving end for two of the touchdowns and all total had five catches for 78 yards. Doing most of the damage on the evening was Dillan Johnson who tallied four scores in all (2 rushing, 1 receiving, and 1 punt return).
High school football in Arizona has changed a bit this year. The Arizona Interscholastic Association is trying to reduce travel costs and shorten trips in order to help save districts money so Phoenix schools taking trips to Yuma will be a thing of the past for the time being.
The win tonight helped Mountain Pointe achieve back to back wins for the first time this season. When the Pride looks back on their season they may see that the long bus ride to Yuma may have been just what the doctor ordered.
Mountain Pointe 49, Yuma 0.
Fleming, an assistant football coach and head basketball coach at Mountain Pointe, agreed to chronicle Mountain Pointe's road trip to Yuma since the Ahwatukee Foothills News couldn't send a reporter to cover it.