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2022 Southern Arizona high school football preview: Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks


5A Sonoran: Ironwood Ridge

2021 record: 6-5 overall, 4-1 5A Sonoran (second)

Head coach: Dale Stott, first year at Ironwood Ridge and overall as a head coach at the high school level. He is a 1976 graduate of Amphi High School, where he was a standout defensive lineman for the 1975 state championship team. While attending medical school at Arizona, Stott served as an assistant at Santa Rita from 1983-86. Stott, a certified strength and conditioning coach, was offensive line coach at St. George (Utah) Pine View High School from 2003 to 2013 and then from 2019 until last season. In between, he was coach of semipro teams in St. George. He also coached a pro team in Italy from December 2018 to August 2019.

Ironwood Ridge’s Dale Stott is entering his first year as a head coach at the high school level (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Key returners:

  • QB/DB Omar Robles, 5-9, 165, Sr.
  • WR/DB Nathen Gonzalez, 5-8, 185, Sr.
  • RB/LB Nasohn Jantz, 6-2, 205, Sr.
  • WR/DB Otto Hagele, 6-0, 170, Sr.
  • SB/LB Femi Adeleye, 6-2, 185, Jr.
  • OL/DL Sam Sotelo, 5-10, 220, Jr.

“The kids are great. It’s a great place to coach. I’m really happy to be there. We have a great culture. What we’re trying to establish is we’re a friendly brotherhood of players who look out for each other and really pull together.” — Stott

“I took the leadership role this year. Really trying to get these guys motivated and get to work. I think we’ll have a great first game (against Mica Mountain on Thursday). I’m excited to run the ball and see what we can do.” — Jantz

“I think so far it’s been going pretty well (coaching change from James Hardy to Dale Stott). At first, it was hard losing Coach Hardy because he was a really great coach, he loved us, but so far, Coach Stott has been treating us right, making sure we’re doing the right things and keeping us straight.” — Adeleye

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach: Dale Stott
  • Assistant: Scott Cortese
  • Assistant: David Damiani
  • Assistant: Egan Esay
  • Assistant: Emiliano Araiza
  • Assistant: James Childs
  • Assistant: Joshua Hyde
  • Assistant: Will Kreamer

Notes: After attending medical school at Arizona, new Ironwood Ridge coach Dale Stott did his internship in family practice at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix followed by a three-year residency in Anesthesiology at the California-Davis Medical Center, where he was named Chief Resident. Stott later served on the clinical faculty at Utah’s Medical School. In 1998, he relocated to St. George, Utah, where he and his wife Deborah, a critical care registered nurse, founded Zion Pain Management Center. … Stott played on the 1975 Amphi state championship team along with assistant David Damiani. Both speak highly of the late Jerry Loper, the Panthers’ head coach at the time of the state title. Former Arizona QB Jim Krohn was on that legendary team. … Stott’s staff includes two former head coaches — Scott Cortese of Flowing Wells and Catalina Foothills and Will Kreamer of Santa Rita, Sahuaro and Tucson High. Cortese will coach against the Caballeros when Ironwood Ridge visits Flowing Wells on Oct. 7. … Stott replaces James Hardy, who stepped down after three seasons at Ironwood Ridge. He is now the offensive line coach at Cypress Lakes (Texas) High School in the Houston area. … After opening against upstart Mica Mountain in the season opener Thursday, the Nighthawks travel to Campo Verde and Desert Edge, both of which advanced to the state playoffs last year. … Gone is 1,000-yard rusher Jordan Thomas, who transferred to CDO for his senior season, and Arizona baseball recruit Andrew Cain, a senior, is no longer listed on the Nighthawks’ roster after having 24 receptions for 394 yards last season.

Keep an eye out for: SB/LB Femi Adeleye, who has good size at 6-2 and 185 and is only a junior. With nearly 30 players from last year’s roster no longer at Ironwood Ridge, Stott will have to count on young players such as Adeleye who can develop into one of the best talents in Southern Arizona.

IRONWOOD RIDGE (0-3, 0-0)

Nighthawks compete in the 5A Southern. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
DateOpponentW/LOvrReg
9/1Mica MountainL/28-00-10-0
9/9@ Campo VerdeCancelled0-10-0
9/16Vista GrandeL, 31-170-20-0
9/23@ Desert EdgeL, 50-00-30-0
9/30Sunnyside
10/7@ Flowing Wells
10/14Desert View*
10/21Cienega*
10/28@ Mountain View*
11/4@ Tucson*
11/10Buena*

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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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