The Douglas, Marana and Nogales school districts will have a football season, according to coaches and the schools, which means Douglas, Marana, Mountain View and Nogales will start preparing this week for scheduled openers Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.
“The players are fired up,” Marana coach Louie Ramirez said. “They were juiced after practiced tonight when I let them know. They’re hungry. They’re eager to hit somebody else and showcase what they can do and get back under the lights.”
“We are good to go,” Nogales coach Jake Teyechea mentioned. “The kids are excited, my coaches are excited and our town is excited. Can’t wait to see our teams (freshman, junior varsity and varsity) hit the field.”
Marana and Mountain View are scheduled to play their opener Nov. 6 in the “Battle of the Boot” rivalry game at Mountain View.
Douglas is slated to open at Walden Grove on Oct. 30.
Douglas, Nogales, Marana and Mountain View join Southern Arizona public schools Rio Rico, Cienega, Empire, Sahuarita and Walden Grove in the move toward opening a football season using the AIA’s COVID-19 metrics and adhering to the strict mitigation procedures.
DHS Football in full pads beginning Phase 4 today! Getting closer and closer to the season opener on 10/30 at Walden Grove! #DHSFootball
Flowing Wells athletic director Mark Brunenkant, the school’s former football coach, told AllSportsTucson.com tonight the Caballeros are “moving in a positive direction” toward a season. A decision to play might happen by Wednesday, he said, after consulting with parents about the COVID-19 health-safety standards, including requiring the players to learn only remotely until after the season concludes.
Sunnyside and Desert View will learn of their fate at next Tuesday’s Sunnyside School Board meeting. The board will also discuss and potentially vote on other contact sports in the winter such as basketball, wrestling and soccer.
Desert View was scheduled to play at Nogales and Sunnyside at Ironwood Ridge on Oct. 30 but those games have been canceled. If the Sunnyside School Board approves football, the openers for both schools will be Nov. 6.
Marana’s previously scheduled opener against Salpointe on Oct. 30 has also been canceled to allow for enough time for physical contact before playing. Mountain View’s scheduled game with Flowing Wells that date is also canceled.
“I was looking forward to get after it on the 30th, but it’s out of my control,” Ramirez said. “We would be ready to play. (Marana) wants us to have two weeks of full contact before that. I get it, so we’ll start the 6th.”
Salpointe and Pusch Ridge are private schools that started their seasons on Oct. 2 along with Buena of the Sierra Vista School District.
Marana has been practicing with shoulder pads and helmets since Sept. 28 but has not yet engaged in physical contact.
“We’ve been working out since Phase I about two months ago, so the guys are anxious,” Ramirez said. “Playing Mountain View will be great for the community of Marana. We’re not sure of the spectator situation yet but it is a game people are looking forward to watching.”
Marana’s six-game schedule may increase to seven games at the end of the season. Schools will be allowed to schedule one more game after the present slate concludes Dec. 10.
“The last weekend on (Dec.) 18th we might be able to pick up another game,” he said. “At least we’re playing the season and we’re going to give the kids an opportunity to get on the field and compete against somebody else.”
Here are the proposed schedules for each Southern Arizona school starting Oct. 30 with notes (italicized schools have yet to announce they are going forward with contact drills and competition):
- Sahuarita at Amphi
- Buena at Casa Grande
- Cienega at CDO
- Douglas at Walden Grove
- Empire at Rio Rico
- Pusch Ridge at San Tan Foothills
- Amphi at Douglas
- CDO at Desert View
- Catalina Foothills at Ironwood Ridge
- Palo Verde at Catalina
- Cholla at Tucson … Virgil Henderson returns to Cholla sideline as coach
- Nogales at Cienega
- Empire at Pueblo … Jake Allen makes his debut as Pueblo’s coach
- Flowing Wells at Sunnyside
- Marana at Mountain View … The Battle of the Boot Rivalry
- Rincon/University at Tanque Verde … The start of the Jay Dobyns era as head coach at Tanque Verde and Khyree Copeland at R/U
- Rio Rico at Santa Rita
- Sabino at Sahuarita
- Sahuaro at Walden Grove
- Mountain Ridge at Salpointe
- ALA-Ironwood at Pusch Ridge
- Flowing Wells at Amphi
- Cienega at Buena … Much-anticipated game of two local powers
- Ironwood Ridge at CDO … Amphi School District rivals face off
- Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills
- Catalina at Rincon/University
- Pueblo at Cholla
- Desert View at Sunnyside … Duel of the District
- Douglas at Rio Rico
- Tanque Verde at Empire
- Marana at Walden Grove
- Salpointe at Mountain View
- Nogales at Tucson
- Santa Rita at Palo Verde
- Sahuaro at Sabino … Intense eastside rivalry
- Florence at Pusch Ridge
- Rincon/University at Amphi
- CDO at Catalina Foothills
- Tanque Verde at Catalina
- Cholla at Santa Rita
- Marana at Cienega
- Ironwood Ridge at Desert View
- Sahuarita at Douglas
- Sabino at Empire
- Palo Verde at Flowing Wells
- Sahuaro at Mountain View
- Rio Rico at Nogales … Rivalry near the border
- Sunnyside at Tucson
- Walden Grove at Pueblo
- Salpointe at Desert Mountain
- Empire at Amphi
- CDO at Marana
- Cholla at Catalina Foothills
- Catalina at Pueblo
- Cienega at Sunnyside
- Mountain View at Desert View
- Douglas at Nogales
- Rio Rico at Flowing Wells
- Ironwood Ridge at Rincon/University
- Palo Verde at Tanque Verde
- Walden Grove at Sabino … WG’s strong defense vs. Sabino’s potent offense
- Tucson at Sahuaro
- Santa Rita at Sahuarita
- Amphi at Catalina
- CDO at Sahuaro
- Sabino at Catalina Foothills
- Desert View at Cholla
- Mountain View at Cienega
- Empire at Douglas
- Flowing Wells at Ironwood Ridge
- Sunnyside at Marana
- Nogales at Walden Grove
- Pueblo at Palo Verde
- Tucson at Rincon/University
- Rio Rico at Sahuarita
- Tanque Verde at Santa Rita
- Amphi at Rio Rico
- Walden Grove at CDO
- Catalina Foothills at Palo Verde
- Santa Rita at Catalina
- Ironwood Ridge at Cienega
- Marana at Desert View
- Sahuarita at Empire
- Rincon/University at Flowing Wells
- Tucson at Mountain View
- Pueblo at Sabino
- Sahuaro at Sunnyside
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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.