Injuries hampered Mountain Pointe’s first official flag football season
November 20, 2023 by Evan Rodriguez, Arizona State University
Evan Rodriguez is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Mountain Pointe High School for AZPreps365.com
The first official AIA season for Mountain Pointe high school girls’ flag football team has concluded following their second-round playoff exit to Xavier College Prep.
Pride finished their flag football campaign in the middle of the pack with a 2-2 6A central conference record and one game below .500 with a 6-7 overall record.
“Our end goal did not turn out how we wanted to,” Mountain Pointe head coach Sergio Ramirez said. “Our end goal is always to win a championship. Not reaching our goal in that perspective does feel a little bit under achieved. But I’m proud of what my girls did this season. They competed until the very end week in and week out. We had some road bumps along the way, but overall, it was a good first season with plenty more to come hopefully.”
Although the team didn’t achieve the goal they wanted, some girls stood out amongst the others that helped them get a playoff spot.
“We had a couple of bright stars and a couple unexpected players this season,” Ramirez said. “Senior Erin Clark was a much-improved player this year. Last year, she played in our club setting and didn’t really do very well. This season, she ended up becoming a captain midway through the season.”
Clark turned her playmaking skills around and became more coachable to become a bright spot on the defense, according to Ramirez.
On the offensive side, Noreal Sparks was the best player on that side of the ball, Ramirez said.
“In terms of on the field attributes, she had rushing touchdowns, receiving touchdowns, and would play both sides of the ball,” Ramirez said.
Strangely, Mountain Pointe was much more effective on the road than at home.
Five of its six wins were on the road this season giving them a 5-2 away record.
The Pride defense did stand out all season, shutting down opponent’s offenses in holding their opponents to zero points in four of their five away victories.
They also outscored opponents 146-46 while playing on the road.
The home schedule, however, did not find the same success.
Mountain Pointe only had one win at home, giving it a 1-5 home record.
Over the course of the season, Pride had a very tough time dealing with injuries throughout the year, Ramirez said.
“It started happening about our fourth or fifth game in,” Ramirez said. “We had our outside receiver Kaylynn Esters start us off going out with an injury. (It) ended up being a sprained MCL and (she) couldn’t finish out the season so that was a blow.”
After losing Esters, their injury issues did not get better.
“Most importantly, our starting quarterback Amaya Moreno suffered a fractured finger and had to miss some games,” Ramirez said. “Luckily, she rehabbed pretty well and fought through the injury to get cleared to only miss three games.”
Players Amiyah Dedrick and Jordynn Carriere also had to miss sometime due to injury.
Despite the injuries, the Pride battled through injuries, being able to clinch a playoff spot and achieve a playoff win.