Marcos de Niza Football Spring Training: Preparing for Successful Season

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Temperatures are on the rise, but that doesn't seem to bother these Marcos de Niza football players. They're creating their own heat on the field and working hard to prepare for their upcoming season.

“First day of spring ball, everybody's excited, got a little pep in their step so we're pretty excited,” said coach Roy Lopez

“It's high tempo, very high tempo right now,” said senior running back Mauriece Lee about the first day of spring training.

“We're gonna be ready this year. We have a lot of young kids stepping up, we're gonna give a run for everyone's money, we're coming hard and gonna play aggressive,” said corner and safety and number one recruit in Arizona, Priest Willis.

“Padre football's gonna be exciting this year, the class of 2013 is extremely loaded,” Senior wide receiver Paul Elvira added.

Elvira, who his teammates coin as the "man with the hands," said it just right. The Padre squad is loaded with key players this season. Lee has already verbally committed to the University of Arizona, and Willis is up to 31 scholarship offers so far. The Padres have an impressive A-list squad yet they remain humble.

LiAna: "You're the number one recruit in AZ right now, how does that feel, is that a lot of pressure"?
Willis: “No, I just stay humble and I just try and look at it as, I haven't done anything yet, this season has to come up and I have to prove myself once again on the field.”

Elvira: “I love to stay humble, I believe that every ball that comes my way is mine.”

LiAna: "You've verbally committed to UofA does that take some of the pressure off of the season?”

Lee: “Yes, ma'am just to focus on the high school team that's pretty much it.”

And although they stay grounded they do have a strong focus and big goals this season

Elvira: “Huge goals this season, our goal obviously is to get that state championship that's something Marcos has never been able to do and I believe that this year is one of the greatest years we have that chance to accomplish our goal.”

Willis: “We got a lot of weapons and we're using them & we should be fine.”

Coach Lopez: “We're really trying to emphasize discipline on every play, play fast, play physical and get to the ball.”

Coach Lopez says his main focus right now is the improving the process & playing one game at a time

LiAna: “You guys are actually coined to be one of the teams to take the state championship, is that a lot of pressure? Are you focused on that?”

"You know, we're not, it's a goal but we're not gonna get caught up in December,” said coach Lopez.

It's a season that these Padre boys are anxiously awaiting

Lee: “We're ready for this season.”

Elvira: “Football is everything at this school and I believe that everyone is gonna see how good Marcos de Niza is gonna be this year.”

Willis: “You guys are gonna be happy when you see us play.”

Coach Lopez: “We're gonna stay humble and the Lord will guide us the right way.”