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New coach changing team’s attitude
Written by Jeff Bear   
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 18:19

Most new coaches wrestle with fear of expectations, but Camp Verde’s new football coach, Steve Darby, seems to have found a way to pin those fears down: He added the school’s wrestling team to his roster.

Tyler Dickey, of the Camp Verde Cowboys football team, winds up to kick off at practice on Thursday, Aug. 22. with the other half of the team waiting to receive downfield. More than 50 players tried out for this year’s team.Tapping into the championship attitude that has brought the Camp Verde wrestling team four state titles in the last five years, Darby convinced nearly the entire wrestling team, plus coach Tracy Tudor, to join the football team.

“A lot of these wrestlers, even though they haven’t played in the last couple years, they’ve brought that winning, that passion that you need to be successful which has helped these kids turn around from being used to losing to wanting to win,” Darby said. “The kids are pretty fired up wanting a championship, and that’s an expectation from me as well.”

Coming off a nine-loss season, the Cowboys were in need of a change.

Enter Darby, a Camp Verde alumnus who has spent the last four years as an assistant and junior varsity coach at Mingus Union High School, and was a Camp Verde assistant coach for four years prior to that.
While it’s probably not fair to characterize Darby as a new head coach given his history at the school, the excitement surrounding his arrival is reflected in the fact that 50 players are out for the team this season, a 50 percent increase over previous seasons.

“The kids have really bought into the program and there’s a little bit of excitement because they’re getting a new coach,” Darby said. “Coach [Luke] Steege had been here for 15 years, and everyone was used to the way he did things, so when I came there was some curiosity about ‘what is this new coach bringing?’

“If they’re interested they want to be a part of it — I think just to see what it was all about.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Aug. 28, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.


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