AUGUST 14, 2013

Meet this week’s Falcon Football seniors …

Tyler McIntyre, Justin Reevs, Tyler Kirby, Kurt Proster and Nick Caradonna
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cshs football seniors“Make it to Maryvale!” That’s the goal for these five Falcon Football seniors (l-r) Tyler McIntyre, Justin Reevs, Tyler Kirby, Kurt Proster and Nick Caradonna

Until their controlled scrimmage at Maryvale High School in the later afternoon of Wednesday, August 21, the Falcons will be hunkered down to some serious football practice. Accordingly, all’s quiet on the Falcon front. But there’s other football news from the Desert Foothills that reached this writer late last week – some good and, regrettably, one item that was very bad. In order, I’ll address both.

By the end of this week, some 200 plus young boys will have begun practice for Cave Creek Youth Football’s twelfth season! Have eleven years really passed since that first Friday night in September 2002, when approximately 50-60 excited boys gathered in the north end zone to be introduced as Youth Football’s first players? Presenting these young guys, herded by their volunteer coaches, was the only positive event in an otherwise dismal night: by halftime, the visiting Coronado Dons had raced away to an embarrassing 42-0 lead, unknowingly setting in motion Head Coach Gerry Labelle’s eventual retirement before season’s end. I still hold that he deserved a kinder, gentler exit; but that consideration was not to be, thanks in no small part to the micro-management of (then) CCUSD Superintendent John Gordon. Remember him? William Shakespeare perhaps wrote it best in his “The Merchant of Venice”: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It falleth as a gentle rain from heaven.”

Mercy notwithstanding, the future of Cactus Shadows football would be forever impacted by that Friday night. About the enthusiastic young footballers, I would write, “The cavalry is coming!” Judging by the number of CCYF “alumni” among the first 25 seniors profiled thus far, it’s fairly obvious that the “cavalry” has arrived – in force. And the once-consternating defections to Pinnacle and Notre Dame have virtually dried up. Congratulations to every adult, every parent and every player who have contributed to the success – and growth – of youth football in the Desert Foothills. It hasn’t been easy; but the directors of CCYF stuck to their guns, electing to teach kids the invaluable lesson that life is more successfully lived when played by the rules. Pop Warner (who?) American Youth Football? Sent back to their Miami, Fla. headquarters! Courageously well done, Foothills! And your sons, as they should have been, are the primary beneficiaries.

How I wish it were possible for me to take a pass on the “very bad” news, but I must not. To do so would entail on Coach Greg Davis’s thoughtful disclosure to me last Friday that Tim Kirby, husband to my publicist friend, Lori, and father to Falcon wide receiver, Tyler, is battling cancer. Tim, my thoughts and prayers go out to you, Lori and your family. Fight on as best you can, knowing that Tyler’s first touchdown catch will be for you … and his second for Lori. “Vaya con Dios!” to all of you.
~ Pete Mohr

#36 Nick Cardonna – Cornerback – 5’8”, 150 lbs.
Whatever Nick Cardonna may lack in size, he more than compensates for by his excitement and enthusiasm! And Nick is, most likely, the newest of the 30 Falcon Football seniors, moving only last year to Scottsdale from his Valhalla, New York birthplace. At a class reunion, Nick would surely win the “long distance” prize. And already, he “gets” what it means to be a Football Falcon: “I want to represent my school; show pride; and be a man of character.” Born July 2, 1996, Nick is the son of north Scottsdalians Joe and Patty Cardonna. Nick promises, “I will give 110% all year long, hoping to become a leader on defense.” He gets a thumbs-up from Coach Davis, who looks for Nick to provide “depth” as a defensive back. Go get ‘em. Nick!

#80 Tyler Kirby – Wide Receiver – 6’2”, 165 lbs.
At the bottom of Tyler Kirby’s profile questionnaire, Coach Davis noted, “Tyler is a great kid; a technician at his position; and he’s tough.” He’ll need every ounce of that toughness to overcome the sadness of his father’s serious illness. Born October 14, 1995, Tyler is the son of north Scottsdalians Tim and Lori Kirby, both of whom have long been valuable contributors to Youth Football. Tyler is a CCYF “alumnus” and a graduate of Desert Arroyo Middle School. He credits his Dad, Tim, as being the person who has most influenced his football career; his Mom, Lori, close behind. Tyler’s personal goals for this season are clearly stated: “I want to start, and be a leader for under-classmen.” What does it mean to Tyler to be a Football Falcon? He writes, “To be a good role model and to represent Cactus Shadows in a positive way.” He wants to attend NAU, majoring in marketing – no more football. I’m betting that this “great kid” is going to have a great season, with Tim and Lori cheering him on.

#60 Tyler McIntyre – Nose Guard – 5’9”, 165 lbs.
Coach Davis rates Tyler McIntyre “an enthusiastic hard worker, very coach-able.” Born February 21, 1996 in Scottsdale, Tyler is the son of Creeker Gary McIntyre. A graduate of Sonoran Trails Middle School, he first played organized football as a Cactus Shadows junior. He doubled as a long snapper. To Tyler, playing football means “pride, friendships and accomplishment.” He identifies Dad Gary as his biggest football supporter. His college preference is U of A, where he would major in mechanical engineering. If his enthusiasm translates into effort on the gridiron, this scrappy young man will add depth on both sides of the ball.

#64 Kurt Prostor – Defensive End – 6’3 1/2”, 200 lbs.
At his height and weight, Coach Davis “needs Kurt to step up on the ‘D’ line.” Kurt is ready to do just that, aiming “to average three or four tackles each game.” Yet another CCYF alumnus, Kurt is a Desert Arroyo Middle School graduate, who first played organized football in 2006. Born September 15, 1996 in Cleveland, Ohio, Kurt is the son of Creekers Eric and Roberta Prostor. He sees being a Football Falcon as “a motivation to making myself a better person.” His college preference is ASU, where he would major in journalism or art. Look for this lean-and-mean D-end to have a big senior season.

#71 Justin Reevs – Center – 5’11”, 235 lbs.
Every offensive line needs a big guy at center, which is where Justin Reevs will start. “I want to help turn this program around by having a successful season.” To do that, Justin counts on himself “to give my all at every practice, and never taking for granted the ability to play every down.” Those objectives sound just about dead center to Coach Davis, who praises Justin as a “hard worker and a leader.” Born February 15, 1996 in San Diego, Justin is the son of Creekers Paul and Heather Reevs. He’s been playing organized football since age 7, for CCYF and CSHS. Justin would like to play at the next level, “if possible.” At just where, he’s presently undecided. I’d hate to be an opposing linebacker Justin is assigned to block – 235 pounds is a load!