The High Desert Storm Arena Football team has one home game left this season, and it’s win or go home.
The question is, who’s paying attention?
This season has been a frustrating season for both the team and the fans.
There have been many changes to the league this year, and not all of them are building confidence it can survive.
“First game, nice turnout,” said High Desert Storm head football coach Chuck Jones. “The last two games at home (were) kind of iffy. So, we are ready to get back to our roots and get this place packed.”
Several different teams canceled their games against the Storm this year, leaving fans asking for refunds and players irritated at the situation. However, right now, they are still in the hunt for a championship and preparing for a long future.
“All I could do was just apologize, just promise them a better season this season, better opponents next season, and it just being a lot better,” said Jones.
The league was also in question as the number of teams playing was cut in half, but head football coach Chuck Jones says that won’t be the case next year.
“So there were six last year,” he said. “There were three this year. A few teams took a year to resettle. So next year those teams are coming back, and we’re adding a few more too.”
For now, the team isn’t looking ahead. They are focused on playing the Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks.
Wide receiver Maurice Ashley says X’s and O’s aren’t everything. Sometimes it’s a packed house, a large crowd, that makes all the difference between winning and losing.
“It puts a battery on your back, I always say,” said Ashley. “It makes you want to go out there and play for them, more incentive to win. Playing in front of a big crowd is what you dream of as a kid.”
If they beat the Valley Skyhawks, they play the Idaho Horseman in the championship game, and a victory would make this tough year worth it for all.
“Getting a ring would definitely put a mark on this season for sure,” Ashley said. “Memorable season, for sure.”
The Storm play the Skyhawks on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo.
The team is already recruiting players for next year, holding tryouts at the year’s end, and discussing doubling the number of conference teams.
Something you wouldn’t do if the end were near.
Meet head coach Chuck Jones. Player, coach, teacher.