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2022 Southern Arizona high school football preview: Douglas Bulldogs


4A Kino: Douglas

2021 record: 2-6 overall, 1-3 4A Gila (fourth)

Head coach: Hunter Long, 5-14 fourth year at Douglas and overall. Long returned to his alma mater to become the head coach in 2019. Hunter, 29, was a three-year starter for Douglas as a fullback and linebacker during his varsity career from 2007-10. After being an all-state selection as a senior, Long played at Victor Valley College in Victorville (Calif.) before playing his last season as a walk-on defensive lineman with the Wildcats in 2014 when they won the Pac-12 South title.

Douglas alum Hunter Long is entering his fourth season as head coach at his alma mater (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Key returners:

  • QB Aiden Rodriguez, 6-3, 240, Sr.
  • RB/LB Vicente Cardona, 5-10, 190, Sr.
  • RB/WR/LB Emiliano Berthely, 5-9, 155, Jr.
  • QB/LB Diego Ybarra, 5-11, 180, Sr.
  • RB/WR/CB Alex Corrales, 5-7, 150, Sr.
  • C/DT Ben Sandoval, 6-2, 230, Sr.
  • WR/C Dakota Sandoval, 5-10, 180, Sr.

“Being from Douglas, you have to work twice as hard as anywhere else. We’re tucked away in this little corner. Whole lot of people have never heard of us, never going to make that trip down here. If you want to really shine and make a name for yourself, you’ve got to be a guy, you’ve got to work your butt off.” — Long

“It’s going to be fun. They’re going to try to come get us but they’re not ready for what we have coming to them. (The Pick) will stay here.” — Rodriguez on Friday’s game at rival Bisbee

“I feel like my role is more of an all-around player. I can play any position coach wants to put me at. As long as I can execute that position, that’s what my role is.” — Berthely

“I like to bring them together, talk to them and guide them through. Just let them know that I’m there for them as well as the other coaches.” — Sandoval on his role as a senior captain

“It’s been good. He shows a lot of explosiveness, a lot of teaching skills, footwork. He stresses (pride for playing for Douglas) a lot, especially we’re a small town, playing against these bigger schools, they don’t think we’re much good. So we want to be better and show everyone we’re the top dogs.” Cardona

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach/defensive coordinator: Hunter Long
  • Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Serge Rivera
  • Running backs/linebackers: Bobby Long
  • Offensive line/defensive line: Zack Jensen
  • Wide receivers/defensive backs: Daniel Castillo
  • Defensive backs: Jason Sanez
  • Offensive line/defensive line: Richard Ross

Notes: Douglas opens against Bisbee Friday in the renewal of the rivalry that will have its 153rd meeting. Douglas leads the series 80-64-8 since it began in 1906 at the old Don Luis Park in Bisbee. The Pumas kept The Pick in six of the previous nine years the teams played before last year, when Douglas won 24-21 at home. … QB Aiden Rodriguez, 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, is a right-hander and third baseman who is a college prospect in baseball. He at first was going to give up football after playing last season but was talked into returning by a teammate. … Douglas is in search of its first winning season on the field since 2011, when it finished 7-3 under Dick Keith. The Bulldogs were 8-2 in 2018 but they had to forfeit six of the wins because of the use of ineligible players. … Douglas does not have its home opener until Sept. 23 against Rio Rico, after traveling to Bisbee and Cholla. The Bulldogs have scheduled a freedom game with Glendale Independence on Sept. 30. The Patriots went 1-8 last season. Independence is to be commended for accepting the long trip to Douglas.

Keep an eye out for: RB/WR/LB Emiliano Berthely, a 5-9 and 155-pound junior who had a considerable amount of playing time last year. Tough, durable player rushed for 166 yards on 26 carries with three touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 80 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 27 tackles and an interception.

DOUGLAS (4-6, 1-4)

Bulldogs compete in the 4A Kino. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
DateOpponentW/LOvrReg
9/2@ BisbeeW, 10-81-00-0
9/16@ ChollaW, 41-02-00-0
9/23Rio RicoW, 25-213-00-0
9/30Independence L, 28-203-10-0
10/7@ Carl HaydenL, 36-193-20-0
10/14CDO*L, 49-63-30-1
10/21@ Mica Mountain*L, 53-73-40-2
10/28Empire*W, 27-144-41-2
11/4@ Pueblo*L, 41-204-51-3
11/10Vista Grande*L, 56-264-61-4

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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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