Arcadia football trying to make the leap
There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the increasing competitive gap between the elite programs and everyone else in high school football.
Arcadia would commonly be placed in the ‘everyone else’ category, but coach Jim Ellison believes that could change. The Titans had a fantastic season in 2011, finishing 10-3 and making the Division III state semifinals.
The bad news? Arcadia graduated workhorse running back Sosaia Maafu and all but two starters on defense.
The good news? The participation numbers at the school are through the roof. Ellison said 28 players participated in the summer weightlifting sessions when he first arrived in 2008. This season, there were 105, the highest number in his tenure.
Ellison believes another solid season could push the Titans into the elite realm in Division III, along with teams like Saguaro, Sabino, Cactus and Williams Field. Arcadia has gone 31-16 without a losing season since Ellison took over.
“We want to get up there where we’re a perennial playoff team, making the second round every year and sometimes making a run at the state (championship) game,” he said. “We want to be up there with those guys. It’s very important.”
Arcadia doesn’t get the same attention as fellow Scottsdale district schools Saguaro and Chaparral, but the Titans have quietly turned into a solid program with aims of continual improvement.
“You can tell we’ve kind of raised the bar,” Ellison said. “They believe in their hearts it will work.”