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2022 Southern Arizona high school football spotlight: Salpointe Lancers


6A East Valley: Salpointe

2021 record: 11-3 overall, 5-0 5A Southern (first place)

2022 record: 0-1 overall

Head coach: Eric Rogers, 18-5 third season at Salpointe and overall. Rogers has coached over the last 21 years in all but five seasons at Salpointe. He is a CDO graduate who played college football at New Mexico State and Connecticut before a brief professional stint in arena football. His first coaching job was coaching linebackers at Salpointe under legendary coach Dennis Bene from 2002 to 2007. He took a break from coaching before returning in 2010 as the Tucson High freshman coach. He then returned to Bene’s staff from 2011 to 2015 before coaching linebackers at Pima College under Jim Monaco in 2016 and 2017. He returned to Salpointe for a third time in 2018. After Bene retired at the end of the 2019 season, Salpointe hired Rogers as head coach.

Linebackers Conner Raetzman (center) and Nate Spivey (behind him, left side of photo) are two players coach Eric Rogers will rely on to lead the defense (Chris Kidney, Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

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Key returners:

  • WR/DB/ATH Gabe Felix, Sr.
  • OLB Conner Raetzman, Sr.
  • RB/LB Sean Madrid, Sr.
  • CB Jaxson Greene, Sr.
  • CB/S Mason Sanchez, Sr.
  • QB Fredo Sotelo, Sr.
  • RB Dailan Goodman, Sr.
  • LB/RB Elias Roberts, Sr.
  • TE/DE Damian Coley, Sr.
  • OL Luis Arellano, Sr.
  • DE/TE Elijah Rushing, Jr.

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach: Eric Rogers
  • Strength coach: Carla Garrett
  • Defensive coordinator: Pat Ryden
  • Linebackers: Rick Berkbigler
  • Offensive line: Chris Lundin
  • Defensive line: Shawn Wasson
  • Running backs: Zach Neveleff
  • Safeties: Jeff Pierce
  • Offensive coordinator/tight ends: Nolan Swett
  • Offensive line: Alex Rios
  • Kickers: Pierre Arnaud
  • Cornerbacks: Joe Bernier
  • Quarterbacks: Scott Mohr
  • Wide receivers: Alec Musa
  • Defensive assistant: Stoney Pelletier
  • Social media/stats: Alec Bon
  • Academic coordinator: Derrick Gory

Notes: DE Elijah Rushing is one of the most highly-sought recruits of top college programs Southern Arizona has ever produced and he is only a junior. Almost 30 Division I programs have offered him a scholarship, including Arizona, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Washington and Wisconsin. … Moving from the 5A Southern to the 6A East Valley, Salpointe will play more Phoenix-area schools (the Lancers play only two teams from Southern Arizona — Cienega and Mica Mountain). Coach Eric Rogers, in his third season leading the program, and his team will have to play the first two games of the season in the Phoenix area as well as the last two. In between is a pivotal three games at home in a row from Oct. 21 to Nov. 4 against region opponents Williams Field, Tolleson and Mesa Mountain View. … With Treyson Bourguet off to Western Michigan, his understudy last year — senior Fredo Sotelo — is now the starting quarterback. Sotelo got off to a good start in Salpointe’s 23-20 overtime loss last week at Scottsdale Chaparral. He completed 19 of 34 pass attempts for 204 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in his first career start. … WR Gage Felix, a senior, in 14 varsity games to this point has 49 receptions for 674 yards and seven touchdowns. He could realistically amass at least 800 yards receiving this season. … Offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Nolan Swett, a middle-school teacher, has a background of coaching in college. He was the wide receivers coach and passing-game coordinator at Montana, offensive coordinator at Dickinson College and wide receivers coach at Georgetown before joining Rogers’ staff. … Defensive coordinator Pat Ryden has a background of being Rincon/University’s head coach and a defensive coordinator at Pima College (on the same staff as when Rogers coached there).

Keep an eye out for: RB/LB Nate Spivey, a 6-foot and 200-pound sophomore who led Salpointe with 12 tackles at Chaparral. Coach’s dream with a 3.7 GPA.

SALPOINTE (2-2, 0-0)

Lancers compete in the 6A East Valley. *Region game. Games are at 7 p.m.
DateOpponentW/LOvrReg
9/2@ ChaparralL, 23-20 OT0-10-0
9/9@ Boulder CreekW, 35-221-10-0
9/16BashaL, 46-141-20-0
9/23@ CienegaW, 37-132-20-0
10/7Mica Mountain
10/14@ Red Mountain*
10/21Williams Field*
10/28Tolleson*
11/4Mesa Mountain View*
11/10@ Queen Creek*

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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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