Salpointe’s Jacob Ksiazek is top defender one third in


Jacob Ksiazek (Andy Morales/

Jacob Ksiazek (Andy Morales/

As many defenders know, weekly recognitions are usually reserved for offensive accomplishments such as rushing yards, passing yards and touchdowns. So, as we are crossing one third into the season, let’s take a look at the top defenders from Southern Arizona so far.

Stats must be from MaxPreps, the only recognized stats. Perfect chance to get your coach on board.

Total Tackles
42: Jacob Ksiazek, Sr., Salpointe
31: Michael Jewitt, Sr., Sunnyside
26: Adrian Valenzuela, Jr., Tucson High
26: Jacob Valdez, Sr., Buena
25: Stephen Downs, Jr. Palo Verde

3: Jacob Ksiazek, Sr., Salpointe
3: Maurice Garcia, Sr., Salpointe

2: Joe Kidd, Sr., Marana

Of course common statistics do not tell the whole story. Take Salpointe standout and University of Arizona commit Justin Holt for example. Teams have noticeably designed plays to be run away from the defensive lineman.

Still, Holt has collected 21 tackles (four for a loss) and 1.5 sacks. He also has one fumble recovery he returned for 17 yards.

If you have a defender that has been missed due to lack of stats or other special circumstances send the name in.

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at



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