New football season, new head coach


Melissa Shumway

Varsity Football team charges across Spring Valley High’s field to open their first game of the the 2022 season.

Football season began with a game in Las Vegas against Spring Valley. The team won their first game of the season, finishing at a score of 19-14. Anticipation is high for the 2022 football season, with the new head coach Joseph Ortiz.  The teams began to prepare for the 2022 season in January when they were introduced to Ortiz. Since then, the athletes have been getting used to the altered atmosphere that Ortiz is bringing about. 

Ortiz attempts to build the bonds within the team, making it known that he is here to make it, “More of a family type atmosphere, that we’re all in this together.” He improves the connections throughout the team with, “yoga and pilates, … dance competitions, … a lot of team meetings and team bonding exercises … so it’s not just always football.” As the new head coach warms up to his team, he voices that “It feels like home. It feels like- like I’m having a blast here wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I really like it here. It’s been a really good time.” 

The mentality within the team evolves with Ortiz now running the show.  Junior Kolton Coleman on the varsity football team noted how, “[Ortiz has] impacted us a lot. [He] has given us a chance to, like, be ourselves.”  The new head coach is allowing the athletes to improve their skills in a way they enjoy. Another varsity football player, junior Korey Woods, added that Ortiz is implementing a “mentality of like going out there and having fun like playing with a kind of swag,” and has “added a lot more excitement when we’re playing,” all of which have made the team more lively and willing to play. The game is becoming less of “a job” Woods claims. 

Coleman highlights how Ortiz is providing the players with “more options with clothes,” as well as utilizing fundraiser money for “stuff to improve the game,” all of which have been added together to improve the football environment, giving the athletes incentive to better themselves.

With Ortiz’s new training techniques, Coleman believed that players all together are, “more determined to go make a tackle or go catch the ball,” using the “different workouts and stuff to improve [their] hands, feet, [and] speed” that Ortiz implements to strengthen the skills of the players on the team. 

Not only is the team as a whole evolving, each and every player is stepping up to train harder than they did last year. In particular, Woods is improving his skills by “ lifting a lot more, trying to get stronger, and stay stronger,” preparing for the season to ensure that he can give the team his personal best. In addition, Coleman “continue[s]  to condition everyday extra after practice, … continue[s] to work on [his] footwork … and continue[s] to work on [his]  hands” with drills that consist of ladders, sprints, and practicing throws with the quarterback. 

The next upcoming football game is against Desert Vista on Friday, Sept. 9. This will be the first conference game for the Puma’s Varsity team, and everyone is anxious to see how the game will pan out. Players on the team are hyped and ready to go, Coleman declares that “Our team is way more confident , we’re prepared, very prepared, and I think we’ll go into this game with another win”.