Coaches Corner: Preston Jones
Fresh off a 7-4 season and playoff appearance in 2010, Perry coach Preston Jones took his team to Show Low for camp last week. Upon returning and in the midst of school starting this week, the man whose built Perry from its beginning paused to rave about his offensive leader, the rest of his team’s unknowns and question why the Pumas have a most random of schedules.
What have you seen from (quarterback/defensive back) Josh Uhlorn that makes you believe he’s a once-per-decade type kid to coach?
He’s a 4.6 (grade point average) student, he’s one-of-a-kind you get as a coach. He leads by example, he’s book smart, has common sense, is relentlessly calm, doesn’t get rattled. He’s got one demeanor. I don’t know if the kid’s ever done anything wrong in his entire life. He’s been around so long sometimes he feels like a coach. He also plays basketball and track. His work ethic, there’s no comparison that he’s the hardest worker around.
You’ve lost some talented kids from last year (Mo Latu, Cedric Simmons, etc…), what have you seen so far from kids who are trying to come up?
I think our skill kids will be OK at running back and wide receiver. I think Max Arredondo at RB and Dalton Bluebaugh will get some time in the backfield. We have a starting receiver and defensive back returning who started as a sophomore but didn’t play as a junior to focus on baseball in Logan Watts. Our offensive line is a question mark because only a few guys have lettered. We’re not going to change too much. We’ll add some stuff but not too much.
Are things a little more stable on defense?
I think we’ll be fairly quick, though not big. I think we’re going to see guys getting to the football. We have some question marks and things up for grabs, especially inside linebackers.
Is there any nervousness about the challenging beginning to your schedule with a young, inexperienced group?
We preseason scrimmage with Betty Fairfax, and they were pretty good. If we can come out of that scrimmage with a little confidence and some questions answered, we may be OK. I think we’ll find out very quickly what we’re made of. If our front guys can hold their own or at least have a few stalemates.
What do you think of the schedule?
I’ve got mixed feelings. I don’t quite understand how they did it. I feel like they were going to do it a certain way with geography, and we’re playing (three) teams in our section out of 13 or 14 teams. I don’t know how many are within 30 miles. We’re going to Poston Butte, Casa Grande Vista Grande and Casa Grande. We’ve got Higley, Campo Verde, Williams Field, right down the road and we’ll never see them. If it’s completely random I guess no one can complain, but I hope it doesn’t affect us power points-wise. People looking at us going ‘How the heck did they do that?’ Well, we didn’t pick them.