Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 | 6 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer return with a breakdown of the two games as part of the Sollenberger Classic. Can Bishop Gorman win its first national game of the year against Arizona's Chaparral High? Moapa Valley also challenges Show Low at the University of Phoenix stadium this weekend.
- Anu Solomon, set for a record-shattering season, highlights Sun’s preseason team
- Liberty High football a family affair
- Gorman football primed for national exposure, tough contests against ranked opponents
- Moapa Valley jumps at chance to play in Arizona Cardinals stadium
- Sunrise Mountain team page
- High school football section
When first-year Sunrise Mountain High School coach Ky Edwards hit the reset button on the Miners program last spring, he knew transforming the worst large-school classification program into a winner wouldn’t be easy.
Sunrise Mountain, which is entering its third year this fall, has yet to win a varsity game and was outscored 437-76 last year. So, instead of focusing on the many negatives, Edwards is working on the things he can control — especially paying attention to detail.
“We are trying to keep it real simple,” Edwards said. “It starts with the discipline in our locker room. We are trying to make them accountable with every little detail (in terms) of how their lockers are organized and being on time.”
That mentality has carried over to the field where Edwards is keeping the formations and strategies basic. They will run a pro-style offense with one running back and four wide receivers.
“We are focusing on execution instead of being fancy,” said Edwards, a former college player and coach in Texas. “We are trying to keep a positive atmosphere. We are teaching them, not yelling at them. If one play takes a week to get polished up, then that is all we will do for a week.”
Sunrise Mountain returns few with significant experience, but that doesn’t mean the Miners won’t have capable players.
“We have some good talent, but not a lot of football knowledge or experience,” said Edwards, who was the Sunrise Mountain track and cross country coach last year.
Junior quarterback Chris Moore (6-foot-2, 180-pounds) has been the starter since the school opened in 2009. His primary receivers will be A’Keem Ross (6-3, 190 pounds) and Charles Manning (6-5, 215), while the running game will be led by senior tailbacks Tyree Mays (5-9, 170 pounds) and Demetrius Stegall (6-1, 220).
Manning and Stegall double at linebacker, and Ross will anchor the secondary from his cornerback position.
Edwards doesn’t expect to have another season of brutal losses. Last year, they lost by an average of 40 points. But, at the same time, he knows it’s not realistic to start thinking about the playoffs.
“We want to make it fun for them. We want them to have a good experience,” the coach said. “Our goal is to keep everyone we start with. We need to build our numbers — not by giving in and letting them do whatever they want — but by keeping them interested.”