Simons says, "Hump": Coach Tim Simons and Clovis High, arguably the Central Section's most perfect marriage of all time, had not one losing football record in 24 years, delivered 218 victories, five section titles, 11 league championships and a winning percentage of .775 from 1976-99.
If there was a barrier to clear, it was hard to identify, considering Simons went 7-3 with the Cougars in his first season (1976) and won a section title (12-1) three years later.
Now fast forward to Clovis North, which Simons has cradled since its infancy.
The Broncos are 6-10 in two seasons -- 5-7 with their first varsity in 2009 and 1-3 with their first senior class this year, losing their games by a total of seven points. And that has included 35-31 to No. 4 El Diamante and 35-34 to No. 10 Frontier.
"Our program has a good foundation," Simons says, "and our lower-level teams have had spectacular success, but we haven't gotten over the hump as a varsity team yet."
Clearly not discouraged, at 68 years old and facing a schedule that calls for a nonleague game at No. 11 Memorial tonight, then No. 2 Clovis West and the Broncos' first journey into the powerful Tri-River Athletic Conference, Simons says: "We're not over the hump, and the question is, when? I'm thinking soon."
PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
OTHER GAMES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Selma (3-0) at Washington (2-1): Kane Cooper, averaging 13 yards a carry, can fly for the Bears, but they may not want to get into a track meet with a Washington cast featuring quarterback Sean Stell (716 yards passing, six TDs) and running back Yaffet Thomas (296 yards rushing, five TDs).