Seniors must step up for Tempe rise to continue - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Seniors must step up for Tempe rise to continue

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 3:01 pm | Updated: 10:37 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

When John Rodriguez took over the football program at Tempe High before the start of the 2006 season, he thought it would take about five years to rebuild the one-time powerhouse into a consistent playoff contender.

If the Buffaloes can put together another surprising season like they had last year, they may return to their glory days sooner than expected.

After going 1-9 in Rodriguez’s first season, Tempe finished 4-6 in year No. 2 and came within one victory of a playoff spot. The Buffaloes could have been 6-4 as two of their losses, one coming in overtime, were by a combined 10 points.

“We were a little ahead of schedule last year,” Rodriguez said. “We had a great group of seniors. They did an outstanding job. They really bought in and worked hard.”

If the Buffaloes are to continue their upward swing, two all-important things must occur.

First, this year’s seniors must show the same type of leadership that last year’s group exhibited, something that hasn’t happened so far.

“Our seniors haven’t really taken the bull by the horns and said, 'This is our program. This is our year.’ I’m not sure what the problem is,” Rodriguez said.

“They’re a different group. They’re confident and they’re athletic, but we’re really looking for strong leadership out of them, and right now they’re learning that role.”

The other key will be winning on the road, a feat Tempe hasn’t accomplished since 2005.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” said Rodriguez, who is 0-9 away from home. “The bad thing is we’ve got six road games. That’s what’s going to be tough.

“Our focus this summer has been finding a way to win on the road. … If we can do that, hopefully we can sneak into the playoffs this year.”

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Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
1 DeMarco Jordan WR/DB 5-9 145 Jr.
2 Zach Guizar QB/DB 5-9 180 Sr.
3 Josh McDowell RB/DB 5-9 150 Jr.
4 Mario Saya QB/LB 5-9 180 Sr.
5 O-Shea Primous RB/DB 5-8 160 Jr.
6 Jacob Miranda WR/DB 5-7 150 Sr.
7 Jordan Wilson RB/DL 5-10 185 Sr.
21 Tyree Maruffo RB/DB 5-7 140 Sr.
22 John Bautch RB/LB 5-9 160 Sr.
23 Mohamed Kedir WR/DB 5-7 150 Sr.
26 Chris Chapa WR/DB 5-10 140 Sr.
27 Jesse Castillo WR/DB 5-11 155 Sr.
31 Sean McWilliams WR/DL 6-2 154 Sr.
32 Richard Dancy RB/LB 5-8 160 Sr.
34 Nokola Hosn OL/LB 5-8 170 Jr.
41 Kevin Ayala WR/DB 5-6 123 So.
44 Joe Rittenhouse RB/DB 5-6 150 Sr.
50 Raul Martinez OL/DL 5-9 226 So.
51 Patrrick Smith OL/LB 5-11 170 Sr.
52 Edward Nevarez OL/DL 5-7 165 Sr.
53 Cameron Lucero OL/DL 5-9 225 Jr.
54 Aaron Gonzales OL/LB 5-9 226 Jr.
60 Jesus Bojorquez OL/LB 5-10 205 Jr.
63 Sam Lorng OL/DL 5-10 201 Sr.
64 Mauricio Bobadilla OL/DL 5-11 217 Jr.
72 Desmond Solomon OL/DL 6-0 265 Jr.
74 Daniel Tucker OL/DL 5-8 255 Sr.
75 Richard Cortez OL/DL 6-0 265 Sr.
77 Donald Horvath OL/DL 5-11 303 Sr.
78 Brett Ramon OL/DL 6-0 270 Sr.
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