Monument Valley football preview
by David Boyle
The Monument Valley High School football team suffered a tough loss to Water Canyon in their season opener on August 26. This Wednesday, August 31 the Cougars will host Altamont at 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Redrock 92.7 FM and PictureItPalmer.com.
I talked with head coach Brad Upshaw and will include a condensed version of his comments here. The entire interview can be found online at RedRock92.com.
Coach Upshaw said the impact of COVID-19 two years ago and a shortened 2021 season definitely produced some challenges.
Brad Upshaw: “But that doesn’t change the love of the game for the returning players. The teaching of the game and the passing of the torch – there are enough pieces in place to understand that’s what we’re trying to do.
We have a lot of junior high players coming up that need leadership and an example. Our players understand that. We’ve gone to eight-man this year which is a little different for everybody so we’re just making adjustments.
But the whole concept of what playing football means hasn’t been lost here and hopefully we get the chance to build that back up.
David Boyle: How have the players and coaches adjusted to the 8-player challenge?
BU: Some film study and whiteboard sessions about the different opportunities that are created for both offense and defense. As far as coaching staff I’ve been trying to recruit coaches and anybody out there that wants to help out with Monument Valley Football definitely hit me up.
DB: What type of offense will you implement this year?
BU: In offense, we’re going to try and get our playmakers in space, spread formation, trips, just different formations to try and get the ball in our playmakers’ hands. Hopefully we can get our players in space and attack the edges.
DB: Tell us about your starting quarterback.
BU: Doreon Chee is a very talented athlete and our only senior on the team so a lot of responsibility falls on him. He’s doing a very good job of being a coach on the field and trying to absorb as much information as he can, be vocal, and be understanding at the same time.
He and I understand what needs to be done in order for him to be successful. He’s working hard and putting in the work.
DB: Last year Neveah Wilson set a state record when she became the first girl to throw a touchdown pass. I understand she’s back on the team.
BU: Absolutely, that was an amazing play in the game for us. Everybody understands the team connection and what sacrifices have to be made and she’s been great to coach and been a great example of what someone can do if they put their mind to it.
It’s been really refreshing to have her and Precious Bedonie on the team. They create a lot of balance and their input is valuable. She’s not going to be just playing quarterback this year for us so look out for her again.
DB: Who else do you expect to have an impact this year?
BU: I’m really looking forward to seeing Joshua Hicks, who is a junior this year. Last year his brother Levander was a senior and he set the tone for us. He made a ton of plays and when he went down in the last game of the season, Josh stepped up huge as a sophomore to take over the game for us and be that leader. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he’s going to contribute.