2022 Southern Arizona high school football spotlight: Sahuarita Mustangs

4A Gila: Sahuarita

2021 record: 1-8 overall, 0-4 3A South (last)

2022 record: 0-1 overall

Head coach: Jake Price, 1-9 second year at Sahuarita and overall. He took over at Sahuarita last season after Don Watt departed after three seasons. A student at Northwestern State at Natchitoches, La., Price relocated to Tucson and attended Arizona to live closer to his mom’s family that resided in Douglas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Education at Arizona in 2004 and was an assistant coach at the high school level since. Price has coached under the likes of Gary Minor, who made Ironwood Ridge a winning program from scratch after it opened in 2001, Andy Litten at Marana and Matt Johnson at Mountain View. Price left Tucson in 2018 because his wife Kiki’s employment took her to Dallas. He experienced the spectacle of high school football in Texas, serving as an assistant at Community High School there. A year later, he and Kiki and daughter Cyra were forced to move back to Tucson because of health reasons within his family.


Sahuarita coach Jake Price gathers his team during a recent practice (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Key returners:

  • RB Brady Radovich, Sr.
  • WR/SS Santiago Caudillo, Jr.
  • LB Ashton Ward, Sr.
  • DT Jackson Lathom, Sr.
  • DB Hunter Bell, Jr.
  • LB Hayden Niedt, Jr.

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach/offensive coordinator: Jake Price
  • Defensive coordinator: Jeff Bollnow
  • Offensive coordinator: Carlos Guerrero
  • Consultant: Paul Schmidt Jr.
  • Wide receivers: Terrence Bryant
  • Stats: Burton Tingle

Notes: Defensive coordinator Jeff Bollnow coached under Pat Nugent at Cienega before coming to Sahuarita last year. He is also the son of longtime local high school referee Kirby Bollnow. Jeff Bollnow reportedly was set to replace legendary Chris Determan at Benson at head coach earlier this year but backed out after the public backlash of Determan not being retained. Bollnow will be a head coach somewhere soon. … Sahuarita is playing exclusively a Southern Arizona schedule. The Mustangs moved from the 3A South to 4A Gila after petitioning the AIA for the move. Sahuarita coach Jake Price believed it was more practical to keep their games within the Tucson area rather than take lengthy bus trips to Safford and Thatcher, especially when the Mustangs are trying to build funding for their program. … Price and Walden Grove coach Corey Noble have agreed to play this year’s rivalry game Nov. 4 between the Sahuarita schools at Sahuarita High School rather than Walden Grove because the venue is larger for more fans to attend and push increased revenue. Noble, a Sahuarita grad, is open to keeping the annual game at Sahuarita High School going forward for that reason. The schools are in the same region for the first time with the Mustangs moving to 4A and they will play each other for the first time since 2015. … LB Ashton Ward is coming off a 100-tackle season in 2021 for the Mustangs. Ten of those tackles were for loss. He will challenge for being the top tackler in Southern Arizona this season as a senior.

Keep an eye out for: DT Jackson Lathom, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound developing senior who is coming off a season in which he had 24 tackles, four for loss.

SAHUARITA (0-10, 0-5)

Mustangs compete in the 4A Gila. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
9/2BuenaL, 27-90-10-0
9/9ChollaL, 14-110-20-0
9/23@ Rincon/UniversityL, 14-60-30-0
9/30@ EmpireL, 14-60-40-0
10/7@ PuebloL, 44-00-50-0
10/14Rio Rico*L, 27-70-60-1
10/21Catalina Foothills*L, 53-70-70-2
10/28@ Sahuaro*L, 52-00-80-3
11/4Walden Grove*L, 56-70-90-4
11/10Amphi*L, 26-170-100-5


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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