Mica Mountain High School was born just four years ago during the pandemic. Now, theyre grown up and ready to play a game at the big boy’s table.

This Mica Mountain season actually began with the last game of last season.

That’s when the Thunderbolts beat CDO 26-7.

You know our kids didnt know in those first couple years what it took to be winner but now they understand,” Pat Nugent, Mica Mountain Football coach said.

They were just baby steps, but steps taken on their state-of-the-art fieldplus the step of hiring longtime-successful Tucson-area coach, Pat Nugent.

Without question the hardest thing in the first couple yearswe just had no culture,” Nugent said. “We were trying to install a varsity attitude to a bunch of sophomores.

John Garcia was one of the sophomores when Nugent came to coach.

Now a senior captain, Garcia has not only seen the turnaround, but has been a part of it.

It really helped that we all started together, like last year we felt like we could really make some noise in the playoffs,” Garcia said. “But we didnt get that opportunity.”

This year, the Thunderbolts are 6-0.

And who do they face this week? None other than the CDO team they defeated last year, who also has won their first six games of this season.

The atmosphere is going to be amazing and its just a great opportunity for these kids to play in a big-time high school football game,” Nugent said.

So, whats at stake on Friday? CDO and Mica Mountain are two of the highest ranked teams outside of the Top 8 according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Which means that Friday night’s winner will most likely be the only one left with a shot to play for an overall state title.

Game time is 7 p.m. at CDO High School, 25 W. Calle Concordia in Oro Valley.