It seems like yesterday Rathen Ricedorff was connecting with Darius Aguirre in the back right corner of the endzone to win the Valley of the Sun Bowl. And with a blink of an eye, camp is back underway.
With a magical 2016 season in the rearview mirror for Ryan Felker and his Mesa Thunderbirds, the T-Birds look to embark an another victorious season that will hopefully land them in the realms of a bowl game.
Mesa will look to replace the 2016 NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year Rathen Ricedorff and a stacked defense that will need to fill all 11 positions from last season.
But you won't find a more confident person in the whole world to take on that task than Coach Felker and his staff.
Mesa wasn't even ranked in the pre-season polls last season but finished the season as the fifth ranked team, being as high as fourth at one point during the season. So overcoming challenges is the least of Felker's worries.
"We have a lot of solid players coming back and solid new guys coming in, we're excited," said Felker.
Along with Mesa in the pre-season polls, other teams from the Western States Football League are Arizona Western (#1), Eastern Arizona (#19) and Snow College (#20), proving once again why the WSFL is one of the toughest conferences in the country.
The T-Birds begin the season with a bye then have their season opener at home against Phoenix College. Click on the link below to see the complete 2017 Mesa Thunderbird football schedule.