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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fountain Hills (9-1) Wins Region

Last night my wife, Michelle and I plus two other couples went to support our local Fountain Hills High School Football Team. The Falcons have had a very successful year under Head Football Coach Jim Fairfield and his staff.

The Fountain Hills Falcons played the Florence Gophers before a Halloween dressed up crowd of about 1,300 fans, vampires and goblins.

The Falcons defeated the Gophers 35-0 to finish their season with 9 wins and 1 lose. The Falcons are 2008 Region Champs and will go into the playoff ranked 3rd in the states power ranking behind Payson and Blue Ridge Mountain. Wickenburg is ranked fourth at 10-0.

There was also another reason I went to the game, and it was because Steve Langston, Fountain Hills Falcon's senior kicker, invited me to the game.

Last year I went and introduced myself to Coach Fairfield and asked if I could donate some of my time to work with his kicking specialist. He welcomed my help.

Steve and I started to work together last season and all I can say is he was really raw. He lacked fundamentals. He was tall and skinny and had a pretty good leg but was very inconsistent.

Steve has made a remarkable transformation in kicking technique from last years initial meeting and work to this past weeks practice. "It's like day and night!" Steve has grown and filled out. He is now about 6'3" and 185 pounds. He has fundamentals and a much better style of kicking.

Matter of fact, he might have a future playing college football. I believe he has a passion for kicking but it comes down to hard work and dedication. Also, does he have the grades and test scores.

Getting back to last night's game. It was Senior Night for Steve and his father plus 16 other senior players and their pound parents were introduced to the crowd before the game.

It was a beautiful evening in Fountain Hills, Arizona. During the National Anthem the temperature at the 7:00 PM game time was about 80 degrees with a very mild breeze.

The only thing the Florence Gophers won last night was the opening coin toss and elected to receive. Steve knocked the opening kickoff into the end zone for a touch back.

During the course of the game Steve not only handled the field goals, PAT's and kickoffs but also the punting duties. Steve was not scheduled to be the punter this season but has ended up with the punting responsibility.

We worked on his punting one day early in the season and he has potential but like most young punters has a very erratic drop. All I can say is that he did an adequate job punting but kicking field goals is his strength so to speak.

The game was winding down and Fountain Hills scored their fifth touchdown for a 35-0 margin. Steve drilled his last two extra points high and far right down the middle of the uprights. Both of my neighbors were very impressed with Steve's kicking ability.

A footnote to the football game. I have attended many high school football games throughout my high school and college coaching career. I must say that the Fountain Hills Marching Band is Good. Real Good! They put on a half time routine dressed in Halloween costumes. It was a very entertaining and impressive performance.

After the game Coach Jim Fairfield and players took a team photo. Congrats to Coach Fairfield and his 9-1 Falcons and I wish them the best of luck next week in the playoffs.

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