Coaches Corner: Kelley Moore
Mesa coach Kelley Moore is always an optimist, and despite a rough 2010 season, he isn’t wavering. Fresh off a camp with a couple intra-city Mesa schools, the Jackrabbits coach talks about the upcoming season, one full of new faces and relatively empty on game experience.
Any thoughts and impressions on this group coming out of spring ball?
Normally we don’t have much of one because kids with D or F grades don’t play, this year we had a nearly full compliment. So that’s a good indication. It’s great. We have good chemistry and it needs to be with only three kids who played much of any last year. We have a lot of work to do but they’re going to do it because Desert Vista (season opener) is coming and they’ll have played a game before us.
How do you handle having so little experience with three kids who saw at least semi-regular varsity snaps coming back?
(QB Jeremy Noble) is back, although he ran for his life last year, but he’s a solid leader. We’re taking our FB Talaiasi Taueli and making him a center/defensive lineman. He’s the best kept secret in AZ. He’ll be a Div. I recruit if he can get his grades straight. The other kid is Donovan Trice at CB and he’ll also be a RB. For us it’ll be about (offensive and defensive) linemen, it’s our biggest unknown. Yet they’re the group that gives us the most hope. If they do then I’ll go on record saying it should be our best line. It has the potential. We’ve got size but they haven’t played a lick. But they’ve continue to work. If they keep doing it they’re going to make it and are giving us a lot of hope this summer.
Was having the linemen up front the biggest reason the wheels came off 2010 after the championship run in 2009? Or was it more than that?
Linemen (injuries and inexperience) was part of it, but maybe I did a lousy job of feeling the next group wasn’t entitled. That’s not how it works. Had we taken care of business we’d have been in the playoffs and wouldn’t be talking about this. I take it as a blessing even though it didn’t feel good at a time, these guys are getting after it.
What do you think of the new schedules?
It’s never equitable and it never can be. We look at who we play and get ready for them. We can’t worry about anyone else, we’re not good enough for that. We get to play local schools and in this economy, the stands should be packed with neighborhood games. We were just talking about this the other day, with Westwood, Mountain View, Red Mountain and all the Mesa and Gilbert schools on the schedule, we should have 10,000 people in the stadiums. It should be a lot of fun.