The Coachella Valley Mighty Arabs want to keep the momentum going into the new season. The Desert Valley League Champions know what the standards. But they also understand if you want something, you go to go out and take it.
Head Coach Bill Johnson says, “We have to remember as we do every year, that everything that we we get on the field has to be earned. Nothing is gonna be given to us.”
This year there’s a lot of noise across the Valley ahead of the new year, but many players say they’re tuning it out. Especially new starting quarterback Derek Calderon.
“We definitely got that target on our back. We’re very aware, we have that switch in our minds that we could switch it on when we go on that field. And we can just dominate how we would.”
Even one player who put the entire Valley on notice last year with his performance. Junior running back Aaron ‘2K’ Ramirez put up school record breaking numbers last year. A late season injury would cut him just short of his total yard goals of ‘2k’ but it’s back to business this time around.
Yeah, just you know not letting the negativity get to us. We hear it just okay we shut it off. Go back to do we gotta do.”
Ramirez is looking to keep the hype going after an explosive year. But it’s not about just about the statistics, for CV it’s about consistency.
Coach Johnson says this year is no different from any other year though.
“It’s no different in terms of our identity and our goals. We want to compete, we want to be the best in the league– we always do. And our objective is to work hard and let the chips fall where they may.”
Ramirez also says, the culture is what sets them apart from any other teams.
‘We just don’t let the energy go low and keep everybody up. Just keep bringing them up and don’t let them fall down.”
Despite being crowned DVL Champs, Coach Johnson says it wasn’t enough for his team and their goals
“Well, you know we had a good season last year, we definitely did. We we wanted to go further in the postseason certainly. So there’s a lot of things that we felt was left on the field.”
CV knows it won’t be an easy road.
“This is going to be a competitive season, a lot of competitiveness in the DVL this year and we are well aware of it. So we’re working hard to take that extra step– we want to be better.”
And Coach Johnson says, the work is being put in by his guys .
“We know we’ve got to earn something and that is earned through hard work. These guys understand that and they they put a lot of work in and they’ve worked hard throughout the offseason and over the summer in the heat and all the way up until every day during this summer summer ball camp.”
But one thing they’ve been about and are still about is player development.
“For us, we’re looking at these guys coming up ‘hey, this is your moment you trained for this you’ve been working toward.'” says Coach Johnson. “You know, our quarterback for example. He’s been in the program since he was a freshman playing on the lower level and working his way up and now it’s his time.”
Ramirez says, “[This year] everybody stepping up and doing what they’re what they’re told, you know. You signed up to play, just got to do what you got to do.”
All in all, CV is ready to hit the field this Friday against Xavier Prep.
“We wake up 4:30 in the morning, just for these moments on Friday night,” says Calderon. “When those lights turn on, that switch turns on. There’s nothing much to say but we’re ready.”