Verrado High School’s football field sits in the shadows of the White Tank Mountains.
The Vipers’ football program is climbing but they understand they’ve still got work to do to get to the peak despite a 9-2 finish last fall. One of those losses was a 40-7 blowout to neighbor Desert Edge in Goodyear.
“There are a lot of really good programs out [west] that are dragging us along right now,” VHS head coach Derek Wahlstrom told Sports360AZ.com last week as spring workouts concluded. “We aspire to be like the Westview’s have been. Like the Desert Edge’s. Like the Millennium’s in years gone by.”
Despite the talent-rich schools around them in the west Valley the Vipers believe there is reason for optimism heading to the fall thanks to game-breaking wide receiver Xavier James who will see action at cornerback during his senior season, as well.
“Last year was our best year,” James explained. “[We know] we still have some work to do.”
The Vipers lose trusted and productive running back Ross Dietz and wide receiver Nathan Roehl but Wahlstrom says, despite not having the services of two of his top playmakers, the goal moving forward is simple.
“We want to build the premiere program in the west Valley,” he explained. “We’re not going to shy away from that.”