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Monaco accepts Pima challenge

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Jim Monaco era of Pima College Football starts Saturday when the Aztecs open their 2014 season on the road against Phoenix College.

Monaco will have the challenge of managing a mega-young roster in his first season on the job. Pima has just 19 sophomores on its listed roster of 99 players.

Monaco spent the previous two seasons as the defensive line coach at PCC under Pat Nugent who left earlier this year after five campaigns leading the program.

Pima went 5-5 in 2013. Their best seasons since a 9-3 mark back in 2004.

The team figures to be led returning running back Anthony Thompson (Surprise, AZ) who ran for 157 yards as freshman.

Kian Homme figures to get the first snaps at quarterback. He's been in a heated battle with redshirt freshman Rasheem Parks.

Monaco has brought in Ryan Scherling as his offensive coordinator. Scherling's used a spread concept to light up scoreboards throughout Southern Arizona in his three seasons as head coach at Buena High School in Sierra Vista.

Pat Ryden returns as defensive coordinator and will depend on sophomore rush end Kendall Huey (Tacoma, WA) to provide leadership for Pima's young defense.

The Aztecs have eight games on their schedule this season including their Week 2 home opener against Eastern Arizona.

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