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Hamilton football a model of consistency in D-I

The Hamilton High School football team doesn’t expect to win in the regular season. They expect to win in the post season.

Head coach Steve Belles learned that the moment he stepped on campus.

“When I had an interview with (principal) Fred (DePrez) one-one-one,” Belles said this week, “he goes ‘I don’t care if you lose in the regular season, just win your last game.’ And I was like, ‘All right, that’s kind of a tall task.'”

Belles has lost his last game only twice in the six years since he took over in 2006, including last year when Hamilton got upset 45-19 by Desert Vista in the 2011 AIA Division I State Football Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The defeat ended Hamilton’s 53-game winning streak which had resulted in three straight state championships (2008-’10).

A year later, the Huskies find themselves back in the state finals for the 10th time in 12 years.

“Consistency in terms of coaches, administration; and not just talking about putting into (the program), they actually do it,” Belles, who has coached Hamilton to four of its six state titles, said in explaining the school’s success in football.

“I don’t think we’re ever content with where we are.”

Saturday, Hamilton (11-2) will play Mountain Pointe (12-1) at University of Phoenix Stadium. The game kicks off at noon and will be broadcast on Arizona Sports 620.