TUCSON, Arizona — It hasn't always come so easy for Tanque Verde Football.
"It was a struggle," said senior lineman Terrance Oathout.
Oathout suffered through a winless season in 2019.
"We didn't have a ton of support," added Oathout. "We kind of did what we could do and had fun with our friends."
Then, former University of Arizona Wildcat player and Salpointe assistant coach Jay Dobyns took over as head coach. His first mission was the make the Hawks believe they could win.
"What he changed was our confidence," said Oathout. "He built in our confidence before we did anything else."
"We just had to convince the kids they were capable of winning," said Dobyns. They had almost been brainwashed into accepting losses."
In 2020, the Hawks played just three games due to the pandemic but won all three. It included a come from behind, 27-14, win over Sahuarita.
"We just worked, and results came back the way we wanted them too," said Oathout.
This season, the Hawks will have a new home field thanks in part to a grant from the Arizona Cardinals. Tanque Verde is hoping the field will be ready for week three against Benson, the Class 2A state runner-up.
"These kids deserve a good playing surface, and we're really excited about it," said Dobyns.