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2022 Southern Arizona high school football preview: Tombstone Yellow Jackets


Tombstone coach Dominic Bonilla (center) is in his second year of coaching his alma mater (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

2A San Pedro: Tombstone Yellow Jackets

2021 record: 3-7 overall, 0-5 2A San Pedro (last place)

Head coach: Dominic Bonilla, 3-7 second year at Tombstone and overall. Bonilla played three seasons at Tombstone for legendary coach Mike Hayhurst and one for Joseph Thomas as a senior in 2012. Thomas was an assistant before replacing Hayhurst. Bonilla later became an assistant for Thomas at Buena before the Tombstone job opened following the 2020 season. Thomas, also a Tombstone grad, urged Bonilla to take the job to start getting head coaching experience.

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Key returners:

  • CB/RB Adrian Torres, 5-6, 140, Jr.
  • QB/DB DJ Elias, 5-10, 170, Soph.
  • RB/WR/DB Jmiah Wallis, 5-10, 165, Soph.
  • OL/DL Isaac Villalobos, 6-6, 270, Sr.
  • WR/DB Brendyn Downing, 5-9, 160, Soph.
  • WR/DB Logan Stevens, 6-1, 155, Jr.
  • RB/LB Sebastian Jones, 5-9, 165, Soph.
  • OL/DL Calvin Smith, 6-2, 180, Jr.
  • C/DL Zach Montgomery, 5-10, 210, Jr.

“Everyone who is coming back the know what to expect day in and day out. They’re getting the new guys up to speed a lot quicker than normal. … Majority of the team is sophomores and juniors. We have a good building block. We’ve got good pieces in every position.” — Bonilla

Tombstone sophomore DJ Elias is the Yellowjackets’ new QB this fall (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

“I feel after that first year (under Bonilla), we all got bonded and understand each other more. Everything goes with the flow more.” — Elias

“It’s been fun (playing for Bonilla). He’s a really good coach. Better than most of the coaches that I’ve grown up with. I feel really connected. I can trust him.” — Wallis

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach: Dominic Bonilla
  • Offensive coordinator: J.D. Downing 
  • Defensive coordinator: Adrian Dyson
  • Offensive line: Justin Shook
Tombstone sophomore Brendyn Downing is one of the Yellowjackets’ top returners as a sophomore (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Notes: Tombstone has a change at QB after Aliaz Dyson transferred to Buena to play for Thomas. Dyson, who rushed for 300 yards and passed for 586 yards last year as a freshman with the Yellowjackets, must sit out the Colts’ first five games per AIA transfer rules. … QB/DB DJ Elias, who is the top returning receiver from last season, is transitiong to QB to replace Dyson. … RB/DB/WR Jmiah Wallis led Tombstone with 72 tackles last season as a freshman. Elias was next with 54. … Tombstone opens Aug. 19 at former 2A rival Benson, which moved to 3A since last school year.

Keep an eye out for: OL/DL Isaac Villalobos, a 6-foot-6 and 270-pound senior tackle on both sides of the ball. A towering presence who will be essential for Tombstone’s running game. Has the physical tools to be a force on the line. Villalobos is the lone senior listed on Tombstone’s roster that is heavy with juniors (nine) and sophomores (19).

TOMBSTONE (2-2, 0-0)

Yellowjackets compete in the 2A San Pedro. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
DateOpponentW/LOvrReg
8/19@BensonL, 20-160-10-0
9/2@ Sequoia PathwayL, 32-140-20-0
9/9GlobeW, 47-81-20-0
9/16@ St. John Paul IIW, 56-02-20-0
9/23Morenci
9/30@ Catalina*
10/7Bisbee*
10/14@ Willcox*
10/21Tanque Verde*
10/28Santa Rita*

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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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