‘Fun-‘n-Games’ are history; Falcons hunker down for Cienega

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CSHS – Before 65 Football Falcons (including two freshmen) broke for supper at The Wigwam Resort, Saturday, Aug. 14, “Team Bonding Weekend” coordinator Mike Cimino, president of Scottsdale’s Event Centrale, asked each participant to give him one word to describe what they had gained from the day’s activities – some strenuous (tug-o-war), some frivolous (darts), but all intentionally competitive among eight “teams,” each group proudly wearing their color-coded bandanas.

They offered up pride … loyalty … discipline … effort … toughness … family … perseverance … each response equally on-target. Earlier, add in motivational encouragement (“Don’t let yourself hold yourself back!”) from Head Coach Chad DeGrenier’s longtime friend and Arizona Rattlers teammate, former NFL receiver Chris Horn. By the time Mike Cimino packed up his equipment and props, he and Falcon coaches knew that the weekend had accomplished their objective: building the Falcons into a cohesive, emotionally-bonded football team.

The Falcs had a great two-day, one-night outing: teenage boys and teammates enjoying the right kind of fun together. Now it’s back to the reality that counting from Wednesday, Aug. 18, there are 14 practice opportunities remaining before “Friday Night Lights,” the Sept. 3 opener against the visiting Cienega Bobcats.

Coach DeGrenier: “We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and our scrimmage at home, Thursday, Aug. 25, against Cortez, then Cienega one week later. Last year, our dramatic win at Cienega springboarded us to an undefeated regular season. I’m looking for this team to achieve the same confidence-builder. The will-to-win, concentration and execution are the keys. They know that.”

Falcons, stay – all season – as bonded as you learned how to be at The Wigwam. Come Sept. 3, that unity can make the winning difference. Postgame in the end zone, when “Coach D.” exhorts, “What are we?” You’d better be answering, “One-and-oh!”