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Middle school football a training program for the high school

For middle school football, it really isn't all about winning.

The Rosemary Clarke Middle School football program won only one game this season. Despite the poor win-loss record, the program saw 97 students out for football this year.

The school fields two teams, an "A" team and a "B" team. The A team is mostly eighth graders with some seventh graders and the B team is comprised of seventh and sixth graders. The A team played seven games.

Sharks coach Dave Wright does not consider the year a poor one.

"The year was successful, although we only had one win," he said. "As long as I know we are getting better I am fine with it. We play some tough schools in a tough league."

The league is a tough club league, where the other teams draw players from Las Vegas. The RCMS A team has no home games and travels to Las Vegas for all its games.

The coach said one of the best games the team played was against a team called the Cowboys, who were the first place team.

"We were one of the two teams that scored against them this year," Wright said. "During the year we had good time of possession, but we need to work on the drive killers - penalties."

Wright said the main purpose of middle school football is to prepare players for high school football. One of the ways they do that is by using the same playbook as the high school.

Wright hopes to continue coaching next year and feels the program at the middle school and high school is headed in the right direction.

"In the past, one of the problems the high school has been having is getting players," Wright said. "Kids want to be a part of a winning team and that was a problem in the past. I think now we have to work on parental support. The high school parents have to be more positive and of course we have to give the current coach all the support he needs, this means giving him a chance."

Wright also would like to see more volunteers at the junior high level.

"The more volunteers out here, the better the coaching and less standing around the kids do on the field," the coach said.

At the moment, there are two A level coaches and three B level coaches.

The middle school has not seen a drop-off of players this year and the interest in football is high.

"Sure, parents are concerned about concussions," Wright said. "We are teaching a new form of tackling that does not involve leading with your head. The method we are using comes from Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks head coach. Carroll adopted the way rugby players tackle. They use their shoulders and take the head out of the game. This method is being used at the high school level too."

Trojans coach Adam Gent made middle school a priority and agrees with Wright that finding coaches in this area has been a challenge.

"Dave is doing a great job, but he does need more support," Gent said. "He, along with all us football coaches are committed to getting better each year, but we do need a couple more solid coaches to join in."

He said the high school is committed to improving coaching from the high school level down to Pop Warner.

"Every year our football program will pay for all the football coaches in Pahrump (youth through high school) to attend a major football coaching clinic together," Gent said. "This provides a great opportunity to collaborate and get on the same page with the direction we want Pahrump Valley football to head."

Gent said this type of training improves all the programs by allowing the coaches to communicate with each other. He said the communication also makes all the programs safer by sharing ideas.

The following students played quarterback for the Sharks this year: Dillon Wright, Shayne Martinez, Chris Maxwell and Rayder Maestas.

Running backs:

Neil Redmond, Chris Maxwell, Anthony Peralta and Kody Peugh.

Key defensive players:

Andrew Avena, Donald Miller and Cameron Olson.

-Contact Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @vernheepvt

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