TUCSON, Arizona — Mica Mountain, Vail's newest high school, has the excitement, and the challenge, of starting a new football team amid COVID-19.
A new football stadium and a new weight room a part of a whole new athletic complex for the Thunderbolts.
"These are the best facilities I’ve ever been around," said head coach Brett Darling, who was previously Cienega’s defensive coordinator.
"It was the chance to start a brand new school and to start a brand new tradition," Darling added.
He’s doing so with some familiar faces. Sophomore Jacob Ford played for him last year with the Bobcats.
"I think he’s going to make this team really good," said Ford. "I like the way he coaches. I like the way he runs things. He’s an overall good coach."
However, with coronavirus, temperature checks are as much a part of sports as x’s and o’s. One hand, it’s an added challenge.
"We have a brand new school, so it’s a little harder to figure out, exactly, how we are going to get kids on a campus who have never been on a campus," said Darling.
On the other hand, there are no seniors in danger of losing their final season of high school football.
"Wee have kids who have some time, so we’re looking forward to getting them on the field in a couple of years. We’re starting little traditions like how we approach the field and how we practice.
The earliest Mica Mountain would field a varsity team is next year.