All 22: PV Trojans Ready To Fight On

It’s late afternoon as the sun sets to the west of Paradise Valley High School in north Phoenix. On the steamy turf players work drills with their respective position coaches. However, these groups (or in some cases, group) are more of three or four, not eight or nine like at some programs with similar enrollents. It’s the new normal for Trojans’ head coach Greg Davis who has just 22 varsity players competing at the 5A level.

“We’ve always had lower numbers but this year is alarming,” Davis said to Sports360AZ.com. “I’m calling other coaches and asking them how many they have out [for football]. It seems the numbers are down right now. Here at PV I’ve put out announcements, ‘Hey come on out.'”

Davis and his staff have had to get creative at practice using junior varsity players to work into drills and run scout team simply due to the lack of bodies. Paradise Valley’s enrollment is close to 2,000 students. 

The good news is the Trojans are, despite the low numbers, loaded with experience. Several of the juniors and seniors have been playing varsity for two, sometimes three seasons.

Davis and his team know they can’t use their small roster as an excuse on Friday nights.

In short, it is what it is.

“His message was, other teams don’t care,” talented junior quarterback Ben Finley explained to Sports360AZ.com. “They’re going to come out and play the same way against our 22 guys. We’ve got to be ready for that and that’s what we’ve done.”

Paradise Valley opened the season with a 50-8 blowout win at Central as Finley threw three touchdowns and running back Tristin Lee rushed for 102 yards and a score.

“We know that on every given play we can work and we can trust that the people next to us are going to be doing what they need to be doing,” senior defensive lineman Dylan Duggan said to Sports360AZ.com. “We’re going to make sure we’re competing.”

It seems only fitting few do more with less than the 2018 Paradise Valley Trojans.

All 22.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.