Sunnyside showcases four college football signees

Four Sunnyside players bound for a college football program on a stage at the school’s auditorium Wednesday rekindled the image of Blue Devil football dominance the southside has experienced over the last 45 years.

“We’re trying to get the trajectory of the program back to a state-championship level,” Sunnyside coach and alum Glenn Posey told family members of the four players. “We took great strides this year because of these kind of guys,”

Posey turned and looked at receivers Anthony Galvez (bound for Simpson College) and Dominic Murrieta (Southwest Baptist), linebacker Andrew Gonzalez (Muskingum) and defensive back Ikaika Piña (Nebraska Wesleyan). Ruben Peralta, another receiver, is mulling over his options and should make a commitment soon.

Sunnyside football players and wrestlers gather around the Blue Devils’ four signees (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

It is no coincidence that three receivers from Sunnyside are headed to the next level — Posey was an all-state wideout as a senior in 1987 who went on to play at NAU.

Posey played for the Blue Devils when the program was attempting to rekindle the success of Paul Petty in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

The likes of Sam Giangardella, Harry Holt, David Adams, Fred Sims, George Duarte, Jon Horton and Jerry Beasley provided Sunnyside with an array of talent rarely seen at Southern Arizona high school in a six-year span (50-13 from 1976 to 1981).

Terry Seward, a Petty disciple, had a 49-25 record from 1982 to 1988 with Posey, Bobby Valdez and Hendricks Johnson his most significant standouts.

After Don Fuentes took Sunnyside to the playoffs in two of his three years from 1990 to 1992, Richard Sanchez became the head coach and he instilled his winning culture leading the program to the state championship in 2001 and 2003.

A large gathering of Ikaika Pina’s family attended the signing ceremony (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sanchez coached Sunnyside greats David Coronado, Xavier Smith, Michael Smith and Philo Sanchez (his son) from 1993 to 2010.

The first round of the Posey era as coach began in 2011, and he did not have a losing season through 2015, when he left to become an assistant at Pima College.

Posey returned home in 2019 and struggled with a 3-7 record. He mentioned at the time that he was forced to cut some talented players because they did not buy into his disciplined system.

“We’re super proud of the progress of our program,” Posey said Wednesday, “and the only way that happens is with good kids. You can’t just manufacture that. It takes good kids who lay the foundation of the program that set the expectations.

“They bring the level of the program up and when you get the level of the program up you can piggy-back off that, the kids behind, they see that happening, the seventh and eighth graders that are watching, the little brothers. They say, “If they can do it, I can do it.’ That was the steps the program took in the 90’s to have the years we had in the 2000’s. We’re trying to get back in that trajectory.”

Here are the photos and video interviews of the signing ceremony at Sunnyside:

Sunnyside receiver Anthony Galvez signed with Simpson College (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sunnyside receiver Dominic Murrieta signed with Southwest Baptist (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sunnyside linebacker signed with Muskingum University (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sunnyside defensive back Ikaika Pina signed with Nebraska Wesley (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


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.

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