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Pima practices, plans for future games, even as uncertainty surrounding program mounts
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Pima football

Pima practices, plans for future games, even as uncertainty surrounding program mounts

Christian Maddox was born in Tucson, moved to South Carolina at age 4 and moved back to the Old Pueblo to play cornerback for the Pima College football team.

It was a perfect fit for many reasons.

Maddox’s father, Richard, was a captain on the UA’s Desert Swarm team of 1992. His older brother, Aaron, turned a successful Pima career into a full ride to the University of Colorado. He enrolled there in December.

Christian and Aaron Maddox’s older brother will enroll in — and play at — Pima next season.

Christian Maddox may or may not suit up for the Aztecs again next season. If not, it’s because he’s accepted a scholarship offer to a four-year school. The UA, South Carolina and Texas Tech are all showing interest.

“But I couldn’t do it without Pima,” he said. “This was the best school I could have chosen.”

But Pima may not be an option for future football players.

In February, the Maricopa County Community College District announced it would eliminate the football programs at Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Glendale community colleges starting in 2019.

Pima officials are weighing whether to follow suit. With few in-state teams to compete against, Pima would be forced to travel further — and more frequently — for games. Expenses are likely to skyrocket.

The Aztecs may have just one season left. Saturday’s spring game may have been their last.

Still, Pima coach Jim Monaco said he’s preparing for the upcoming season as if the future of the program isn’t in question.

“We’re not sure what’s going to happen. We’re hoping for the best, we’re working hard to make sure it works out to our advantage, but we can’t plan for it not to happen,” he said. “So, we’re going to try to win a conference and get all these kids graduated and moved on.”

Returner Sam Moala said he’s entering the upcoming season with the same mentality as last year. He won’t let the uncertainty affect him.

“I’m good. I should be good,” Moala said.

However, Monaco said he believes the grim future of Pima football will not become a reality. He said the school’s chancellor, board and staff are all working hard to make sure football isn’t cut.

Monaco believes the program has a chance.

“We’re going ahead like we’re going to go,” Monaco said. “And I think, when it comes down to it, I believe the chancellor and the board will make the right decision. And I think it will be to keep football and let us see what we can do with everything that we’ve promised.”

Maddox said it’s devastating that Pima may not have a football program after the 2018 season. He’s even made phone calls to connections back home in an attempt to save the program.

“I love Pima football. I can’t imagine it not being here,” Maddox said. “It’s just an outlet for kids that need a second chance.”

Contact reporter Norma Gonzalez at 520-262-3265 or ngonzalez@tucson.com.

Sports reporter

Norma started at the Star in 2017. She's a sports reporter covering all types of beats. She graduated from the University of Texas–Pan American in 2014 and recently graduated from the Associated Press Sports Editors Diversity Fellowship program.

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