Last season, Tucson High School started on a surge, winning its first five games, outscoring opponents 217-32.
However, everything turned on a dime as the Badgers lost four straight games in which they were outscored 172-17 losing three road games during the stretch putting them at 5-4 for the season.
Tucson would end its season by winning a game against Phoenix Trevor Browne finishing at 6-4 and just missing the Class 6A state playoffs.
The Badgers’ season opener is Friday with Tucson hosting Phoenix Maryvale. Last season, the same two teams opened the season at Maryvale. In that game, the Badgers won 63-6 getting one of their two road wins.
Going into the 2019 season, Tucson will have a bunch of new faces on the offensive side of the ball making for somewhat of an unknown to how productive the offense will be. Gone is quarterback Jesus Montano and top receiver Wyatt Campos, but one returner is solid — senior running back Gary Love Jr., who rushed for 813 yards on 150 carries last season.
On the flip side, the Badgers bring back a ton of experience, making the defense the potential heartbeat of the 2019 season. Senior linebacker Michael Goodacre is the top tackler from a year ago returning. He had 58 tackles. Defensive back Andres Delgado, a senior, returns after tallying 28 tackles, including two for loss.
The Badgers have 23 seniors and 24 juniors on their roster.
Look for great things from senior offensive tackle and defensive tackle Jacob Bracamonte, who is a legitimate 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds (as he’s listed by Tucson).
Friday’s game is featured as one of the four games in the Coaches for Charity Kickoff Classic.
At a banquet to honor former Arizona Wildcats player Julius Holt, I had the chance to talk with Tucson coach Justin Argraves about the upcoming season.
With just missing the playoffs, it’s clear that Tucson High is eager for the season to finally kick off not only to chase the postseason but to embark on a quest toward the ultimate goal — a state title. That’s the beauty of opening week — every team has the same goal in mind and the same chance as anyone else at this moment.
The first game of the season overall will be Flowing Wells at Canyon del Oro Thursday night. Then, things get going the following night with intriguing games across the Coaches for Charity schedule including Maryvale-Tucson, Rio Rico-Pusch Ridge and Buena-Catalina Foothills.