Pumas potent and ready to pounce

Perry’s Varsity football team heads on to the field for their first game of the season.

Three points. That all it takes to turn a loss become a win. With the lights glaring down, the pressure is on for the kicker. Two things can happen: they make the field goal or they do not. It’s all on the line for this one moment- those three points.

When football games come down to the wire, those extra points after a touchdown or those three point field goals are essential to the outcome of the game. Senior Christian Zendejas is Perry’s own “game changer.”

“Anytime you have a kicker who is accurate and can trust putting him in at crunch time, he can be a game changer” said Varsity Football Coach Preston Jones.Not only is Zendejas a kicker, he also dabbled in playing soccer. However, he decided to pursue football from the help of his dad.

“First I started with soccer,” Zendejas stated. “My dad was a kicker, so that’s kinda how I got into it. He taught me everything…for football. I learned everything he told me.”

Having a role model right home, Zendejas has been able to transfer his knowledge of the game on to the field.

“He is very very accurate, he is consistent,” said Jones. “He is in knowledge of the game…A lot of times you have kickers in a program that don’t do a lot of work the other boys do, and he never misses a workout.”

Being inspired to follow in his dad’s footsteps, Zendejas has made a name for himself in the football community, attending two football camps over the summer.

“I went up to [University of] Oregon [and] I won the camp…now I’m on their roster list and ASU’s roster list as well,” Zendejas said. “I came in first in field goal and kick off and at ASU I came in first also.”

Not only is Zendejas an accomplished kicker, he is also known for being a valuable teammate.

“I think of him as a very valuable part of our team,” Senior defensive end Marcus Powell said. “I don’t think of him less than any other player, but at the same time he is part of the team, he is a brother.”

Now, with the new season starting the Pumas are potent and ready to pounce as well as full of new hopes and expectations.

“We are in a new region now, which is all the chandler schools, us and brophy, which is very difficult,” said Principal Dan Serrano on what to expect for the upcoming season.

So far, the Pumas are 2-0, with their home victories over Desert Vista (30-24 OT) and Millenium (52-28). “I hope it grew the team’s confidence. They were already confident, but to get a win over a top ten team should increase their confidence,” sayed Jones.

As far as what to improve on, many believe that communication is an issue. Senior defensive end Neal Kallen believed the team needs to “work on communication.” Senior middle linebacker Clayton Nocella agreed, and said the only way to correct the communication within the team is to “just practice, you can’t really mimic a game time scenario, you just have to do it,”.

Jones claimed that the boys’, “mental and physical preparation” were key contributors to the team’s first victory.

In the fall sports press conference Powell said, “we are kind of getting tired of being compared to them [Chandler, Hamilton] as being the underdogs.”

This season will  be a deciding factor in whether or not the football team will continue to be seen as ‘underdogs’ to their competitors.