Class 2A-1A Southern Arizona Football Career Coaching Records and Team Information

Richard Sanchez was so successful as a coach at Sunnyside for 18 years that he still has a winning percentage of .699 after going winless while trying to resurrect Santa Rita’s program last season.

Before the Eagles went 0-10, Sanchez’s winning percentage was at .731 with a 158-58 record, all at Sunnyside from 1993 to 2010. Sanchez coached the Blue Devils to state championships in 2001 and 2003 and took them to the state title games in 2000 and 2006.

His 158 career victories trails only Salpointe’s Dennis Bene’s 174 wins among active Southern Arizona coaches. Bene enters his 19th year as a head coach while Sanchez is the dean of all football coaches in Southern Arizona entering year No. 20.

Little-known fact around Tucson: Benson’s Chris Determan is one of the best locally entering his 19th year as a head coach with a career record of 117-77-1.

Bene, Sanchez, Determan, Cienega’s Pat Nugent (127-54 in his 14th season) and Mountain View’s Matt Johnson (113-61 in his 16th season) are the only coaches in Southern Arizona with at least 100 head coaching victories in their careers.

Amphi’s Jorge Mendivil (99-96 in his 19th season) can reach that mark with win at home against Buckeye Union on Friday night.

Class 2A San Pedro

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1A South

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Capsules of 2A-1A teams that have information available:

2A San Pedro


Chris Determan, 19th year
Benson (2003-18), 110-65-1
*Wall, S.D. (1996-97), 7-12
Total: 117-77-1
*9-man football

Returning starters on offense, 2018 stats: Sr. RB Carson Barney 5-7, 165 (507 rushing yards 5 TDs); So. G Ryan Francione 510, 165; So. T Joe Jackson 6-0, 265. Sr. G Colton McFarland 5-10, 180;Sr. G Josh Sparkman 5-11, 170; Sr. QB Talon Palmer 5-9, 175; Sr. RB D’ondre Villalobos 5-9, 175 (646 rushing yards 9.9 ypc 13 TDs, 118 receiving yards 2 TDs). Returning starters on defense, 2018 stats: Sr. LB Carson Barney 5-7, 165 (61 tackles); So. DE Ryan Francione 5-10, 165 (43 tackles); So. DT Joe Jackson 6-0, 265; Sr. DT Colton McFarland 5-10, 180 (56 tackles); Sr. DE Josh Sparkman, 5-11, 170; Sr. LB Corey Thum 5-7, 145 (47 tackles); Sr. DB D’ondre Villalobos 5-9, 175.

Benson High School (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Chris Vertrees, 10th year
Bisbee (2010-18),49-48
Total: 49-48

Returning starters on offense, 2018 stats: Sr. WR D’Marco Chavez (5-9, 170); Jr. RG Christian Contreras (6-3, 280); 10th, Left Tackle, Eddie Holly, 6-4, 230; Sr. LG, Max Mendez, 6-2, 245; Sr. C Alex Miranda, 5-10, 235; Sr. TE/H-Back Bug Molina, 5-10, 205; Sr. WR Dano Lopez 5-10, 180 (1,009 receiving yards and 11 TDs); Sr. WR CJ Sherman 5-8, 150 (430 receiving yards 5 TDs); Sr. RT Carlos Silva 6-4, 260; Sr. RB Hunter Perry 5-11, 172 (327 rushing yards, 439 receiving); Sr. QB Frank ‘RJ’ Wright 5-10, 170 (701 yards passing). Returning starters on defense, 2018 stats: Sr. OLB David Ballesteros 5-9, 150; Jr. NT Christian Contreras 6-3, 280 (54 tackles); Sr. DT Jonny Dabovich 5-9, 220; Sr. SS D’Marco Chavez 5-9, 170 (64 tackles); Sr. OLB Bug Molina, 5-10 205; Jr. ILB Tyler Schasteen 5-9, 182; Sr. CB CJ Sherman, 5-8, 150; Sr. S Hunter Perry 5-11, 172 (59 tackles); Sr. DE Carlos Silva 6-4, 260. Also keep an eye on: Fr. FB Diego Chavez 5-10, 150; So. DT/OG Tino Greene 5-10, 210; So. OG/DE EJ Hernandez 6-2, 240; So. OLB/OT Jesse Schabacker 6-3, 170.

San Manuel

Damon Lovato, Second year
San Manuel (2018), 4-6
Total: 4-6

Santa Rita

Richard Sanchez, 20th year
Santa Rita (2018), 0-10
Sunnyside (1993-2010), 158-58
Total: 158-68


Jerome Rhoades, Sixth year
Tombstone (2019), 0-0
Camp Verde (2016-17), 7-12
Payson (2003-05), 19-13
Total: 26-25


Alonzo Highsmith Jr., Third year
Willcox/Bowie (2017-18), 12-10
Total: 12-10

Alonzo Highsmith Jr. (Arkansas Photo)

1A South


Pete Delgado, First year
Baboquivari (2019),0-0
Total: 0-0

St. David

Braden Davis, Third year
St. David (2017-18),6-11
Total: 6-11

Valley Union

John Estelle, Fourth year
Valley Union (2016-18),15-13
Total: 15-13


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

1 Comment

1 Comment


    August 23, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    If only people knew the real Coach Sanchez.
    Ask him about his SSHS Freshman PE class, 6th period, 1982-83 school year.
    How he was allegedly was missing a pair of handball gloves, and everyone had to come up with 45 cents to pay for it. If not, then we would be running laps for the rest of the year, this was in April.
    Ask him if it was just a coincidence that the soda machine, in the locker room, that he gave out free drinks, cost 45 cents.
    Ask if he cared about all the threats of bodily harm, from several stustudents. Ask if he remembers,
    Ask if this was the only time he extorted money from students.
    Ask him if he deserves any respect from anyone.
    Ask what he is going to do, to make this right

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