2021 Southern Arizona High School Football Spotlight: Mica Mountain

Mica Mountain coach Pat Nugent is embarking on his 19th season as a head coach with stops including Flowing Wells, CDO, Pima College and Cienega (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

4A Independent: Mica Mountain

2020 record: The Thunderbolts’ freshman-junior varsity program beat Mountain View 55-20 in their only game experience last year because of COVID-19 protocol.

2021 record: No varsity games played yet — first of that kind in program history happening Friday with Coolidge visiting. The record in the junior varsity schedule is 3-0 with wins of 40-0 over San Tan Foothills, 59-14 over Salpointe and 35-0 over Buena.

Longtime local coach Al Alexander, who was an associate head coach under Dennis Bene at Salpointe, is Mica Mountain’s offensive line coach (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com_


Head coach: Pat Nugent, first season at Mica Mountain, a school in Vail in its second year of existence playing varsity football games for the first time this season. That includes Friday’s home game against Coolidge — the first varsity game in program history. Nugent is in his 19th year as a head coach with a career record of 138-57, the third-most wins among active coaches in Southern Arizona trailing only veterans Tom Joseph (170-92 in 24th season overall) of Santa Rita and Richard Sanchez (161-79 in his 22nd season) of Tucson High. Nugent is an Arizona grad who served as a student manager with the Wildcats when the late Dick Tomey was head coach. His coaching stints include at Flowing Wells, CDO, Pima College and Cienega.

Key contributors:

  • RB Josiah Thornwell, Fr., 5-7, 185
  • RB/DE Kaspen Colbert, Jr., 6-2, 220
  • OG/LB Kason Colbert, Soph., 6-1, 220
  • RB/LB Octavio Vidrio, Jr., 5-10, 180
  • WR/CB Xavier Johnson, Soph., 5-10, 145
  • OL/DL KJ Ellsworth, Soph., 6-2, 285
  • RB/CB Zach Brent, Jr., 5-8, 170
Kaspen Colbert (9) and brother Kason (55) are two standouts who have transferred from Georgetown (Ky.) Great Crossing High School to Mica Mountain (Photos by Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach/offensive coordinator: Pat Nugent
  • Defensive coordinator/linebackers: Brett Darling
  • Offensive line: Al Alexander
  • Defensive line: W.T. Jeffries
  • Wide receivers: Zach Ortiz
  • Cornerbacks: Mark Teixiera
  • Safeties: Ian Mattix
  • Tight ends: Garrett Roznovsky
  • Running backs; Rode Santa Maria
Pat Nugent and his staff are preparing Mica Mountain for its first varsity game Friday at home against Coolidge (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Notes: Mica Mountain will play its first full varsity season next year at the Class 4A level with the likelihood of moving to Class 5A in 2024-25. … The Thunderbolts have a few assistants Pat Nugent brought with him from Cienega, including Brett Darling, Al Alexander and Garrett Roznovsky. Former Empire coach W.T. Jeffries and assistant at that school, Mark Teixiera, have shifted over to the new Vail school. … Alexander is coaching at Mica Mountain after his first stint as offensive line coach with the Tucson Sugar Skulls this summer. … Brothers Kaspen Colbert (6-foot-2 and 220 pounds) and Kason (6-1 and 220) moved to Tucson in the spring from Great Crossing High School in Georgetown, Ky., which is a suburb of Lexington. Both are college prospects from SEC Country who relocated here because their father was hired by a local correctional facility. … Kaspen started at fullback for Great Crossing as a freshman late in the 2019 season. … Mica Mountain’s campus is picturesque with the Rincon Mountains to the east, including Mica Mountain near the football field. The athletic facilities are set on their own similar to a college facility. Phase II of the construction will start soon to expand the weight-training facility and move the wrestling room to a separate building. … Mica Mountain’s first varsity game against Coolidge is the first of its kind in Southern Arizona since Empire started in 2006 as an independent under Jorge Mendivil. In Empire’s third year in 2008, Mendivil coached the Ravens to a 7-4 record and spot in the state playoffs. Expect a similar rapid progression of Mica Mountain under Nugent. .. Nugent’s oldest daughter Ysabella Nugent remained at Cienega for her senior season. She is on the Bobcats’ golf team presently. Another daughter, Jayden, is a freshman playing for the Mica Mountain volleyball team. … Nugent also helps the Mica Mountain football program by doing the team’s laundry in huge industrial-sized washing machines and dryers.




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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