Poston Butte Looks to Take Next Step in Year Two Under Moro

We’ve seen it many times before.The improvement of a team’s record in its first two seasons with a new head coach at the helm.

The Arizona Cardinals improved from 10 – 6 in 2013, Bruce Arians first year as head coach, to 11 – 5 in 2014.

Arizona State football went from 8 – 5 (2012) to 10 – 4 (2013) under Todd Graham.

The Sun Devils’ basketball team finished 21 – 13 in Herb Sendek’s second season after going 8 – 22 during his inaugural season (2006-07).

The Poston Butte football team hopes to experience the same second-year improvement that those teams had after a successful first year under head coach Paul Moro. The Broncos went 7 – 4 last year, tying the school record for wins in a season and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

With spring practice and their now-annual camp in the White Mountains behind them, both Moro and the players admit they’re further along this year than they were at the same time a year ago.

“The players are aware of what to do,” Moro told “They’re moving a lot faster…and the kids are well-advanced from where they were a year ago.”

“It’s been real great,” said Broncos’ senior safety Sergio Hernandez, who picked up a scholarship offer from Adams State University in May. “We’re way more advanced than we were last year. Before he got here (last year) – a couple of months before spring ball – we didn’t know much; we were learning the system. But now it’s much faster and we’ve been at it for a year now so it’s been great.”

Since his arrival, Moro has been steadfast about teaching his players more than football; he also teaches life lessons. He says learning to deal with hardship in life breeds success on and off the field. He trusts that process also builds good football players since he believes life parallels football –both are filled with adversity.

“We want to teach our players to be accountable, dependable to each other, responsible, and learn how to work hard and work together,” he said. “If we’re doing those things then we’re making progress both on and off the field. The main thing is we’re going to be very competitive and our players, hopefully, are going to know how play the game of football a lot better than they did a year ago.”

Even though Moro would never acknowledge it before hand, this season could be a record breaker for the legendary coach. He is the second-winningest coach in Arizona high school football history and won 13 state titles during a 30-year coaching career at Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside, Arizona. He enters the 2015 season with 326 wins – six shy of surpassing former Amphitheater coach Vern Friedli’s 331 wins.

“He’s never mentioned the record to us himself,” said senior linebacker Chase Taylor, who also holds an offer from Adams State. “But we all know and it’s something that’s on most of our agendas so, yeah, it would be nice to get him that record.”

The Broncos will have their chance to put their coach atop the record books soon enough. Perhaps too soon for Moro, who acknowledged that it’s been a short summer with Poston Butte set to start its new school year on July 20. Nonetheless, the offseason hasn’t gone by fast enough for some of the Broncos’ players.

“I’m just excited for the season to get started,” Taylor said. “I’ve been gnawing at the bit since last season ended because it was sort of a rough way to go out, I think. I’m excited to get back after it and back on the field.”