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High School Football Preview: The Kickers & Punters

Adrian Alvarado (Courtesy Photo)

THE KICKERS

The kicking game could be the difference between a playoff run or a short season. Some teams have one athlete who handles all kicking duties but some programs have the luxury of a place kicker, a person who handles kickoffs and a punter.

For Walden Grove, Nathan Alvarenga scored 55 points on two field goals and 49 extra points while Adrian Alvarado handled kickoff duties for the Red Wolves with 3,300 yards kicking on 60 attempts with eight touchbacks. Salpointe’s Dominic Chakraborty handled field goals with 86 points scored on four field goals and 74 extra points while Braden Rosen did kickoffs with 5,977 yards on 94 kickoffs and 72 touchbacks.

Of these four kickers, only Alvarado remains. In fact, over 60 of the top kickers from Southern Arizona graduated. That’s a huge hit and it takes time to find a reliable long snapper, a holder and a kicker.

KICKERS
Carlos Quintera, Jr. Flowing Wells (7/10 FGs; 42 Points)
David Alvarado, Sr. Canyon del Oro (5/6; 35)
Juan Velazquez, Sr. Nogales (5/9; 47)
Gabriel Romero-Davis, Jr. Rio Rico (4/7; 28)
Angel Roman, Sr. Santa Cruz (3/5)
Vicente Romero, Sr. Marana 1/1 (47)
Saef Akram, Sr. Rincon/UHS (35 Points)
John Goodwillie, Jr. Pusch Ridge (21)
Riquelme Villalobos, Sr. Sahuaro (19)
Camden Miller, Jr. Bisbee (15)
Steven Bishopp, So. Sabino (12)
Hayden Hallett, Jr. Pusch Ridge (11)
Tristan Spalding, Sr. Palo Verde (8)
Adrian Alvarado, Sr. Walden Grove (6)
Mundo Esparza, Jr. Benson (4)
Carlos Contreras, Jr. Cholla
Dominic Avant, Sr. Buena
Jaxon Sabourin, Sr. Rincon/UHS
Davin Ethington, Jr. Santa Cruz

PUNTERS
Evan Lovett, Sr. Pusch Ridge (37.2 average)
Hunter Ogle, Sr. Santa Cruz (36.7)
Sebastian Felix, Sr. Cienega (33.1)
Anthony Trujillo, Sr. Desert View (32.9)
Keyon Taylor, Jr. Buena (32.3)

KICKERS FROM SOUTHERN ARIZONA

(Kyle Day Family Photo)

Former Sahuarita standout Kyle Day was the quarterback, strong safety, punter and kicker for the Mustangs. As a junior, Day kicked a state-record 54-yard field goal in a state semifinal loss to Coolidge in 2004. He made 15 field goals that year with most coming from 40 plus yards away and three from over 50 yards. He walked onto the University of Arizona in 2006 and he earned a scholarship in 2009 as part of the program’s special teams unit.

He later served as an assistant coach for the Mustangs but he is now roaming the sidelines for Walden Grove where he is overseeing the progress of senior Adrian Alvarado and junior Ethan Itule. Alvarado has eight scholarship offers: Clarke, Concordia, Culver-Stockton, Millikin, Otterbein, Saint John’s, Simpson and Trine.

LINK: THE LINEMEN

LINK: THE RECEIVERS

LINK: THE RUNNING BACKS

LINK: THE QUARTERBACKS

(BW Creative)

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. 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 and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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