It felt good for Corona’s team to get down to the business of playing football against someone other than their own players in practice, even if it was only a scrimmage against Mountain Pointe, after a month of turmoil and controversy surrounding the team.
Mountain Pointe, boasting a 12-1 record last season, looked sharp against a young Aztec team, which struggled without junior quarterback Kyle Busk, who missed the scrimmage. Whether he would return for the first regular season game Aug. 27 at Desert Mountain remained uncertain.
Standing in for Busk was 6 foot 175 pound sophomore quarterback Evan Kinney. Kinney appeared a bit overwhelmed, likely due to only learning only that day he would be running the offense.
As predicted, Corona’s defensive line was one of the highlights. The Aztecs’ defense disrupted the Pride’s offense on more than one occasion. Defensive coordinator Kim Sickmiller, brought in by head coach Zane Zamenski, has introduced a new defensive scheme that has allowed the defensive line, especially senior lineman and captain Todd Peat, the ability to put more pressure on the opposition quarterback and make more plays.
Adding more defensive pressure for Corona were seniors Tre Chambers and CJ Anderson, both picked by AzProspects.com to be one of the top 15 DB or DL players in Arizona and projected to receive either D1 or D2 offers.
Corona has several junior linemen hoping to help on both offense and defense, including 280- pound Andrus Peat.
Andrus, at 6 foot 7 and playing alongside his brother again this season, has the ability to cause problems for any Aztecs’ opponents due to his massive wingspan. Junior safety Nick Woods broke up several Mountain Pointe pass plays that could have made the scrimmage more of a runaway for the Pride.
The Aztecs also have some of these same large, experienced defensive linemen on their offensive line. Junior Dominic Mecurio could prove to be a key offensive weapon for the Aztecs once he and the rest of the team get comfortable with the new offensive scheme Coach Zamenski has introduced.
Corona had problems last season with untimely injuries. The Aztecs worked hard in the off season under Coach Zamenski, hoping the extra effort will pay off in conditioning and fewer injuries this season.
The Aztecs have their first three games away, at Desert Mountain, at Red Mountain and at Desert Ridge, before hosting North Canyon Sept. 16.