High school football: Cyprus Pirates 2012 preview

Published: Sunday, July 29 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

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Note: Cyprus finished with a 0-9 overall record and was 0-5 in Region 6 in 2011. It didn't make the 4A playoffs.

MAGNA – There’s no easy way to put it, quite frankly. Cyprus football struggled mightily last year.

The Pirates were outscored by 236 points in 2011 — including a 223-66 mark in Region 6 alone — during their winless 0-9 campaign. The travails prompted Cyprus administration to dip into the coaching carousel, bringing in Scott Wooldridge from Nampa, Idaho after six years at the helm of Nampa High.

Wooldridge’s hiring quickly sparked excitement around the community, spurring a large turnout for a padded camp in Idaho.

“The culture at Cyprus: There’s a lot of pride in this town,” Wooldridge said while walking on the track during summer conditioning. “From what I understand the town comes out in droves to watch this team play on Friday nights. Win, lose or draw they’re here. We just have to put the school back with the community.”

The culture at Cyprus has already begun renovations with a “crew system.” Wooldridge separated players in groups of four or five players and throughout the year groups will earn points that potentially lead to prizes such as pizza parties. The system requires players to be accountable for academics, punctuality and effort.

“We haven’t had success. The culture of trying to find some success — sometimes that’s difficult to do,” Wooldridge said. “It’s all little things. If you do the little things right, the big things find a way into becoming good things.

“All kids want to win. There’s not doubt about it,” he continued. “The kids are hungry to get going. We had a good camp. The kids started to come together. They’re great kids.”

The task of remodeling a program with new philosophies in virtually every aspect is daunting. However, Wooldridge isn’t concerned with anything beyond Aug. 17, directing his unwavering attention strictly on the season-opener against Murray.

"Right now it’s just Murray,” Wooldridge said. “Murray is our main focus right now. Our kids just have to come out and play football. It’s that old fashion thing — Xs and Os — and whoever comes out at the end with the higher score wins. Murray wants the same thing we do. It just comes down to putting guys on the field and hoping the coaches do the right thing and the players play well and we come out on top.”

Cyprus Pirates at a glance

Coach: Scott Wooldridge enters his first season as the coach of the Pirates with 20 years of coaching experience including six years as the head coach of Nampa, Idaho. Wooldridge played his college ball at Western Oregon as an offensive guard.


(Zone-read offense)

Cyprus will primarily be a running team in the new system — fitting in nicely with the ground-dominated Region 6 landscape.

Dennis Kamakana III returns under center after taking over the quarterback reigns early last year as a sophomore. An athletically gifted runner, Kamakana should thrive in the read-game.

“We’ve implemented a new system. He’s just picked it up right away,” Wooldridge said of Kamakana. “He’s doing the best he can and the best he can is pretty good.