Yes, he’s religious, but Eddy Zubey doesn’t claim to be a miracle worker.
He’s being asked to become one, however, following a bizarre series of events that led to his new address at Phoenix St. Mary’s.
It reminded Zubey of his playing days at nationally dominant De La Salle High School in California and at Arizona State. One of the younger coaches in the East Valley, the big man with the big hat had Mesa Westwood on the verge of a turnaround in only two seasons, including a narrow loss in the playoffs to Chandler Hamilton.
At St. Mary’s, football was once dominant.
For reasons ranging from neighborhood makeup, money and the East Valley’s population explosion, that’s no longer the case. But the expectation is, in due time, it can be again.
Zubey’s new job is to replace a legend in Pat Farrell and resuscitate a once-proud program.
“You start from the bottom up,” said Zubey, who also teaches gym and helps with at-risk students at the school. “There are definitely hurdles here and probably more (than Westwood) but it makes it all the better. We talk about love and accountability and playing for each other, the mind-set and make sure it’s in conversation with the kids.
“You can see there’s been a change. It’s working good so far.”
Zubey pointed to a 97 percent turnout during summer workouts, kids dropping weight who previously struggled to do so, and, based on a jump from three wins to seven wins at Westwood, a belief he knows what he’s doing.
He brought the same split-back offense, 4-4-3 defense and intensity from Mesa.
If he can bring the Knights back to their glory years, maybe he could walk on water.
“It’ll be a good test for us from Day One,” Zubey said. “I’m excited. I can’t tell if they’ll rise to the challenge or not until the lights come on. Part of it is a challenge for all of us. We’ll know soon.”
|2||Jacob Santa Cruz||WR/DB||5-10||170||Sr.|