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Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian email@example.com
Hamilton's Belles can tie Parker for state title winsNov 21, 2012
There is a soft side to Chandler Hamilton football coach Steve Belles. You just don’t usually see it on game days.
But after Tuesday’s practice, Belles addressed his players more like a teacher than their hard-nosed coach. He told his players to take time on Wednesday to thank their teachers and to appreciate the fact that they are attending school.
Belles also brought up the Israel-Gaza conflict, saying that there are kids in that area who currently can’t attend school. That fact brought some perspective to a week where the focus for most high school fans and teams is likely on Friday and Saturday’s state championship games.
If Belles and his team are feeling pressure to bring home another title, especially after losing last year’s final, Hamilton didn’t show it on Tuesday, when it was crazy shorts day for Hamilton’s players. Turquoise colored shorts and very short orange shorts were spotted in the crowd.
Hamilton squares off against Phoenix Mountain Pointe on Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium in the Division I state final.
“I don’t feel the stress to win,” Belles said. “It’s because I’m surrounded by a great staff and get a lot of support from the administration.”
Since taking over Hamilton in 2006, Belles has failed to take his program to a championship game only once (2007).
He has a 4-2 record in the finals and is 91-6 at Hamilton. In 2004, Belles lost one of those titles to the program he currently coaches while he was with Glendale Mountain Ridge.
If Hamilton wins on Saturday, Belles will tie former Gilbert, Mesa Mountain View and Phoenix Camelback legend Jesse Parker for the state lead in big school state title victories with five. A victory also would move Hamilton into second place on the all-time state big school title victory list.
Hamilton is currently tied with Phoenix St. Mary’s, Scottsdale Chaparral and Scottsdale Saguaro with six big school titles. Mountain View is the current leader with eight titles.