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Matt Lewis balancing Saguaro roots with new McClintock job

Posted by on August 9, 2011 – 4:56 pm

Matt Lewis is trying to walk a fine line.

McClintock’s new football coach achieved great success as the offensive coordinator for Saguaro the past four seasons, helping the Sabercats to three state championships. The Chargers were well aware of the success, as they were region foes of Saguaro and were consistently routed in that time.

With that in mind, Lewis is keeping his former affiliation with Saguaro low-key. His players know where he came from, of course, but Lewis said he doesn’t wear his championship rings or any gear from those days.

He shows his players video of the Saguaro players executing his offense, but said those snippets will be replaced next year by the Chargers doing the same thing.

Lewis believes in his offense, and said McClintock’s players are making great strides in perfecting the execution. It may take some time, but he sees potential.

“They’re so close to being on that path,” he said.

The players are working hard to be well-conditioned enough to run a quick, no-huddle offense that keeps defenses on its heels.

The Chargers went just 2-8 last season, but Lewis can envision a quick turnaround. McClintock begins with games against Tempe, Cesar Chavez, Camelback and Willow Canyon, teams that combined to go 11-30 last season.

Saguaro was led by players like Teddy Ruben, Tim Ruben, Beau Burton, Erik Brown and D.J. Foster on its way to multiple championships. Lewis said those players made game-planning a breeze.

“We would have had to screw it up pretty badly to not be successful at Saguaro,” Lewis said.

McClintock doesn’t have that type of elite talent, but the Chargers are working with more players and can keep most of the starters on just one side of the ball. It’s a different type of challenge for Lewis, but one in which he is cautiously optimistic.

“If we were to win a good number of our first four games… let’s just see what happens,” Lewis said. “You just never know with kids.”

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