Friday night’s (Sept. 20) football game at Show Low just might be the most important contest that Kayenta Monument Valley has played in quite some time.
The Mustangs are 3-0 and trying to prove they belong in the same territory as Show Low, a perennial contender in Division IV.
Show Low, meanwhile, has dropped two of its first three games, including last week’s 33-12 setback to Division III defending champion Queen Creek.
The central character in this evolving drama is Redmond Delmar. At 6-feet-4 and 185 pounds, the senior casts a long, strong shadow as Monument Valley’s quarterback.
Redmond’s school is located in the Native American community of Kayenta, in northeast Arizona. Media tentacles unfortunately seldom reach that far on a regular basis, compared to those players and teams in the large metropolitan areas.
He is a versatile athlete, a welcome trait, especially for his position. He also plays basketball and pitches for the baseball team, where according to Monument Valley football coach Bryan Begay, his fastball reaches the upper 80s (mph).
His numbers suggest that he is more than capable of playing football at the collegiate level. He has received attention from about 10 schools, he said, including some in Division II. He hopes to become an electrical engineer.
In his third season as a starter, Delmar has completed 42 of 60 passes for 778 yards, 12 touchdowns and just one interception, according to MaxPreps. Including this year’s numbers, his career total to this point is 404 of 532 for 4,767 yards with 59 TDs and 29 interceptions.
“He has worked very hard to get to this point, particularly over the last year,’’ Begay said. “He wants to play college football and he has made a commitment to that.
“He has made a lot of improvement in his read progression, is more accurate and is great in terms of leadership. He’ll say what he needs to say when he walks to the team, but he also leads by example. He is at the point of, “Just follow me. I will show you the way.’ ’’
Delmar is a 3.5 (grade-point average) student, and is following in the footsteps of his older brother, Jonathan, who was the team’s quarterback from 2007-09.
“They are similar in ability. Redmond is taller and probably stronger. He sees things with a good overall perspective. He looks forward to playing in the big games, and that’s what we have this week,’’ Begay said.
Delmar respects Jonathan’s ability.
“He taught me a lot of stuff, pretty much everything I know, from mechanics, reading defenses, how to manage the game,’’ Redmond said.
Begay has been proactive over the years in helping his players and program improve and achieve greater notoriety. Part of that has come from having the Mustangs participate in summer passing competition. This summer, the team played all over the state, against many of the bigger schools, as well as in the San Diego area.
Delmar played very well.
“It really helped us out, learning what each other’s strengths are, what we need to do to get better. We have started out the season pretty good, but there are still things we need to work on,’’ Delmar said.
He enjoys being in a leadership role.
“I know everyone depends on me,’’ he said. “I like being the one that people look up to.’’
As far as mechanics are concerned, he said, “I think I’ve gotten better, my release has gotten quicker.’’
The Mustangs sometimes employ a no-huddle offense, which Delmar says keeps opponents “on their heels.’’
The team has been going over every aspect of its game plan this week as it prepares for Show Low.
“It takes a lot for us to prepare, but we feel we are going to be ready,’’ Delmar said. “Show Low is pretty aggressive. They know their assignments and they have good coverage. We want to move the ball. Our line has done a great job blocking this season.’’
He is well aware of what a victory would do for the program.
“It would give us a name, particularly in our division,’’ he said. “It would make us a lot more visible, maybe even make us a contender.’’
With Delmar leading the way, anything appears to be a possibility.