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2021 Southern Arizona High School Football Preview: Sahuaro


Javez Blair (16) and Alexander Vales (1) are expected to be senior leaders for Sahuaro (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

4A Kino: Sahuaro

2020 record: 0-3 in a season cut short because of COVID-19.

Head coach: Scott McKee, 70-54 in 13th season at Sahuaro and 82-94 overall in 18th season. McKee has enjoyed success with the Cougars, especially in the last three seasons with a 19-9 record. He started his coaching career at Pueblo, a difficult place to sustain a winning program, with a 12-40 record from 2004 to 2008. McKee was an all-state lineman at Sabino who went on to walk on at Arizona and played under the late Dick Tomey, whom McKee idolizes. McKee runs his own painting business McKee’s Quality Painting and has been known to paint homes or businesses of clients until the early hours of the morning before waking to head to Sahuaro.

Key returners:

  • LB/TE Jordan Pfeiffer, 6-4, 225, Sr.
  • FS/RB Javez Blair, 5-11, 190, Sr.
  • LB/FB Nathan Goerke, 6-1, 210, Sr.
  • DT/OT Kyle Arnold, 6-3, 285, Sr.
  • OT/DT Max Hollis, 6-5, 305, Sr.
  • WR/CB Alexander Vales, 6-0, 160, Sr.
  • CB/RB Furshawn Nichols, 5-7, 160, Sr.
  • DE/FB Logan Stell, 6-0, 210, Sr.
Scott McKee is entering his 13th season at Sahuaro, where he is 70-54 (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach: Scott McKee
  • Offensive coordinator: Johnny Rodriguez
  • Defensive coordinator: Doug Holland
  • Offensive line/defensive line: Miguel Zamaro
  • Assistant: Kevin Randall
  • Linebackers: James Brindley
  • Defensive backs: Lucious Miller
  • Assistant: Luke Regina

Notes: Sahuaro’s opener Sept. 2 against Pueblo was postponed until Oct. 29 because of COVID-19 protocol and the Cougars faced uncertainty because of players having to be quarantined heading into Friday’s game at Phoenix Arcadia. … Sahuaro’s all-star lineup of coaches includes longtime defensive coordinator Doug Holland, who was at Sabino when Scott McKee played for the Sabercats. Holland was a principal of a high school in Oregon before returning to Tucson and helping McKee’s program. … Johnny Rodriguez, the offensive coordinator trying to make Sahuaro more of a passing threat. His experience includes assistant coaching stints at Paradise Valley, St. Mary’s, Glendale Community College, New Mexico Highlands, Greenway, Agua Fria and Sunnyside. He was the head coach at Bradshaw Mountain, St. Mary’s (where he led the team to a region championship) and O’Connor. Rodriguez also was the head coach at Tempe High School in 2006 and led the Buffaloes to the playoffs in 2008 for the first time in seven years. He coached in the Tucson area for the first in 2018 as an assistant at Sunnyside under Roy Lopez. … Lucious Miller, former head coach at Rincon/University, is another established coach on McKee’s staff. … McKee’s father Larry is a legendary coach and administrator who has been featured in our All Sports Tucson Talk Podcast “Southern Arizona Coaching Memories.” … Highly productive running backs Izaiah Davis, Jamir Gasaway and Trevion Watkins have all graduated, paving the way for RB Javez Blair to being a featured back as a senior. … The Cougars will also have a new starting quarterback with Devyn Roberts exhausting his eligibility. Angel Hightower, a 6-foot and 165-pound junior, is a potential replacement.

Assistants Johnny Rodriguez, Doug Holland and James Brindley watch practice with head coach Scott McKee (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Schedule:

(AZPREPS365)

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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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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