Only a week before they try to beat each other on Salpointe’s football field, the Lancers and Marana were on the Tigers’ field trying to restore the area after Thursday’s destructive storm that forced Friday’s cancellation of classes at the high school.
Salpointe hosts Marana on Friday night at 7 in a much-anticipated matchup that features two of the best teams in the state in their respective conferences — the Lancers in 6A and Tigers in 5A.
Thursday’s storm, reported in detail by AllSportsTucson.com’s Andy Morales from the start, caused considerable damage to Marana’s football field that was close to having a new turf installed.
The storm, with winds gusting more than 70 mph, also knocked down power lines and trees and caused power outages at the high school and surrounding areas.
“We met as a team right after school (Thursday) and I explained to the kids what had happened to their field,” Rogers mentioned. “I told them to imagine for a minute that it was your senior year and you might not play a home game. We have a team in our community that needs our help.”
“I think right now this is bigger than football.”
The resurfacing of Marana’s field with the new turf was almost done with most of the turf put in before the storm.
After the storm, the field turned into a lake with the turf rolled off, trailers flipped over and the padding all over the stands and the surrounding area.
Marana’s first home game is scheduled for Sept. 1 against Tucson. The first flag football game is slated for Sept. 5.
“I think it was great for them to come out and show the Tiger community that football is a brotherhood,” Marana coach Phillip Steward stated. “I believe those players didn’t want to see a group of seniors missing out on home games their entire senior season.”
The teams joined at Marana’s football field on Friday to help the restoration process.
“The kids didn’t waste a minute,” Rogers said. “‘Absolutely, Coach, let’s do it,’ they said. So we loaded up and headed out there. The Marana coaches, players and community were extremely supportive and very grateful. It worked out great.”
No official determination has been made or announced whether Marana will host Tucson on Sept. 1.
The bottom line is the Tigers came closer to the possibility of that happening with the assistance of the Lancers, who they will play against in only six days at Ed Doherty Stadium on Salpointe’s campus.
“We are very appreciative and thankful they were able to come out and help,” Steward said.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.