Headed into this season, the Coronado High School Dons looked to build upon last season when they exceeded expectations with a 7–3 record.
David Huffine, the athletic director for Coronado High School of three years, says the team has improved greatly ever since his arrival, mainly in part to head coach Mike Olson, who was brought on board the same year as Huffine.
When asked about the third year head coach, Mr. Huffine said the team is “light-years ahead of where they were before Mike came.”
“He really focuses on the fundamentals of the game. The difference between us and other schools is that a lot of our players don’t have much experience coming in. Mike really works to get the best out of them,” said Mr. Huffine.
Three weeks into the season, the Dons are 1–2. Ever since their season opener, where they squeaked by Flagstaff 51–50, they have dropped two in a row, giving up an average of 48 points per game. The Don’s most recent loss at the hands Buckeye Union High School was a frustrating one.
The game was close up until the beginning of the second half, with the Buckeyes leading 26–21. The second half was an entirely different story. Turnovers and miscues ultimately led to a 54–34 loss for the Dons. With a team searching for answers, Defensive Coordinator Craig Vesling said the team is “facing adversity.”
“There are two ways you can handle adversity. We teach the kids that you need to dig deep and battle adversity, in life and in football,” said Coach Vesling.
Looking ahead to this week, the Dons will be taking on the Shadow Mountain Matadors (1–2). The Dons will look to continue their offensive success heading into this game. Expect the Dons to heavily lean on senior offensive leaders: running back/wide receiver Calvin Williams, running back/wide receiver Robert Williams and quarterback Jay Vanderjagt.
Coronado’s pass-heavy attack will likely be their main catalyst if they are to take down the Matadors.
Vanderjagt comes into the matchup with 12 touchdown passes, look for them to air the ball out once again Friday.
The one-two, sibling wide receiver duo of Calvin and Robert Williams has been a potent combo for the Dons.
Calvin Williams has racked up 102 yards on the ground and 141 yards through the air with two touchdowns so far this season. Robert Williams has accumulated 29 receptions, 437 yards and two touchdowns through three games. Expect them to be key factors in the game if the Don’s come out victorious.
Editor’s Note: Mr. DeSouza is a student journalist with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.