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Don Ketchum

Staff Writer, AIA365.com

D-V notes: Student manager is Wildcat through and through

Nov 21, 2012

By Don Ketchum

Joseph Chavarria doesn’t block or tackle for Morenci High’s football team, but he’s every bit as important to the Wildcats as those who do.

Chavarria is a special-needs student who is the team’s manager and will be ready to go on the sideline on Friday (Nov. 23) at 3 p.m. when Morenci meets Phoenix Northwest Christian for the Division V state championship at Northern Arizona University’s Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff.

“We’re all very proud of him. He is a Wildcat, through and through,’’ said Morenci coach Frank Ogas.

Ogas added that Chavarria wants to play, “but does it all with his responsibilities. He’s kind of like an assistant (coach) out there. He knows the offense. He can throw the ball and he can catch it.’’

Does Chavarria want to try calling a play?

“I’m sure it crosses his mind,’’ Ogas said.

A sense of pride

Morenci’s team is not only representing its home town, but a region of southeast Arizona that relies heavily on copper mining. A lot of the players’ parents work in the copper industry, sometimes both parents.

“We’re proud to be representing all of southeast Arizona,’’ Ogas said.

Maintaining the intensity

Northwest Christian running back-linebacker Sammy Serwa admitted that last weekend’s semifinal win over Yuma Catholic was intense. It was a rematch of last year’s title game won by Yuma Catholic.

“We had some close games with them. They played a hard game and so did we,’’ Serwa said. “We’re happy we were able to hang in there.’’

Since Morenci is in the opposite end of the state, Serwa and the Crusaders haven’t had much of a chance to see video of the Wildcats.

Serwa said that Morenci appears to be similar to Tempe Prep, which gave Northwest Christian its only loss this year, by a single point.

“They (Morenci) run the ball a lot, like Tempe Prep,’’ Serwa said. “I think it will be a smash-mouth game. We are going to have to stop them.’’

Northwest Christian has built a strong tradition under coach David Inness.

“Guys before us won and we want to do it, too, raise the bar for the next group of younger guys,’’ Serwa said. “It is a blessing to be here, and we thank God for this opportunity.’’

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