Coming off a season in which the Coronado Dons went 7-3, there was much optimism heading into the southern Scottsdale school’s 2016 season.
“We definitely thought we would be better than last year, we upgraded on a lot of key positions so we were optimistic heading in,” said athletic director David Huffine.
Past the midway point of the season, the Dons sit at 2-4. When asked about the team’s struggles, defensive coordinator Craig Vesling could not pin the blame on one thing in particular.
“For us this year our struggles have been multi-factorial, we’ve faced a lot of adversity as a team throughout the season,” said Vesling.
Adversity is something the Dons have become accustomed to. Week after week the team has faced a number of setbacks.
Vesling pointed out that one of the sources of their struggles is due to the team moving up one division. After promoting themselves to division 4A, the increase of competition has taken its toll on the depleted Dons.
Their front heavy schedule is a major factor as to why they have started the season with their sub par record. Suspension, lack of leadership, and injury to key players such as Jeffrey Jimenez and Davion Quin also play a large role in the Dons poor play.
“The one thing we couldn’t afford was to lose our crucial guys and that’s what has happened. I think our team as a whole is much better than our record shows,” said Huffine.
This was the season where the Dons needed all hands on deck. With injury, academic ineligibility and suspension, it is not a surprise the Dons have struggled as much as they have.
“You guys don’t realize just how close you are. We could be so much better we just need to put it all together,” said wide receiver coach Taber Lamar.
Six games into the season, there is no denying that the Dons are much better than their dismal 2-4 record. The lack of leadership shows with the Dons lack of commitment and discipline game after game.
On top of that the Dons have turned the ball over at an alarming rate, racking up a total of 16 total turnovers throughout the year.
With the bulk of their regional games ahead, the clock has not yet struck midnight on the Dons. If they finish first in their region and win the regional championship, they will still be able to make it into the playoffs.
Editor’s Note: Mr. DeSouza is a student journalist at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.