August 5, 2010
Following 19 seasons as head football coach at Augusta, the results on the field from the last eight being schizophrenic from year to year, Steve Pazzie stepped down.
Augusta enters a rare new era; Pazzie coached football for the Orioles for 29 years. After winning one game in 2002 and 2003 combined, Augusta won seven games in 2004, including a victory over Andale, then won 10 games in 2005 and made sectionals. In the four seasons that followed, Augusta made the playoffs once (2009) and went winless in 2008, winning eight games over that time span.
Former six-year Goddard coach Roger Robben inherits the program, returning to small classification football for the first time since coaching at Buhler in 2002. After leading Goddard to Class 6A sub-state in 2007, Robben’s Lions won four games the last two seasons, leading to his exit.
Augusta, despite just two wins in 2009, earned their spot in the playoffs at the expense of winless El Dorado and Circle, which had only four wins between the two of them. Following Bruce Graber’s four-year tenure, which began and ended with winless seasons, first-time head coach Zack Hood takes over at El Dorado.
Circle, with a Division I prospect in Jordan Phillips on the defensive line and an experienced, athletic quarterback in Alex Gardinier, should expect better than 2009. A playoff berth is in order, though with a playoff spot on the line in Week 9 last season, Circle lost 56-0 to Andover.
As the race for second place ensues, Rose Hill should be building for the playoffs. After returning to sectionals for the first time since 2006, running back Laque Mayes returns. He rushed for over 1,900 yards in his first season at Rose Hill after transferring from Goddard. Rose Hill’s second-leading rusher, Derrick Decker, who stepped in midseason at quarterback for injured Tyler Shirley, also returns.
Beyond districts, Rose Hill’s hurdle, both in the regular season and the playoffs, remains Andale, winner of five games over Rose Hill the past four seasons, and now also Buhler, against whom Rose Hill opens the season and who thumped the Rockets, 64-28,
in sectionals last year. –Tom Witherspoon
Advancing: Rose Hill, Circle