To media and fans, rivalries can be boring if the opposing coaches don’t spew out hate.
That doesn’t happen between Lakeside Blue Ridge’s Paul Moro and Show Low’s Randy Ricedorff, whose top-ranked teams meet in Lakeside Friday night in arguably the state’s greatest small-school football rivalry in the past 20 years.
Moro: “They have some good players. Their offense is really executing well.
“We’re going to have a heck of a time trying to stop them.”
Ricedorff: “Every year they change a little. It’s still Blue Ridge. They’re good for a reason. They never get too far away from what they do.”
The most heated it got was two years ago when the schools battled it out before the game in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s office with Blue Ridge player Jordan Morgan in the middle of it, and Ricedorff showed displeasure during the handshake line over a Blue Ridge player’s hit on Ricedorff’s son, Rathen, late in the game.
But for the most part, the coaches aren’t going to give the other extra motivation with spiced-up comments.
“I want (the players) disciplined and under control,” Moro said.
“It’s when the media gets the rivalry so big that everyone is thinking they hate people. Hatred becomes a motivator when bad things happen. When hatred comes in, games get out of hand, whether it’s pro, college or high school. The good thing is we get to play next week no matter what.”
Goodyear Desert Edge’s Rich Wellbrock was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals and Wells Fargo as the High School Coach of the Week, after his team shut down previously unbeaten Peoria Liberty 26-0 to remain undefeated.
Tempe sophomore quarterback Emanuel Gant was named the Player of the Week, after he threw for 493 yards and five touchdowns, completing 32 of 46 pass attempts, in a 49-39 victory over Phoenix Arcadia.