2021 Southern Arizona High School Football Preview: Mountain View

Defensive tackle Isaac Sanchez (55) is one of the many seniors on Mountain View’s roster (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

5A Sonoran: Mountain View

2020 record: 1-1 before COVID-19 protocols shut down the season, 6-5 the previous season with a 5-0 region record.

Head coach: Matt Johnson, 7-6, third year at Mountain View and 120-67 overall in his 18th year. Johnson coached Ironwood Ridge to a state championship in 2012 and was there for 10 years before becoming the coach at Mountain View in 2019. Johnson played for legendary football coach Vern Friedli at Amphi before moving on to play for NAU in 1992. He served as an assistant under Friedli from 1997 to 2000, was an assistant at Flagstaff Coconino for a season and then returned to assist at Amphi again in 2002. He moved on to be the head coach at Rincon/University for four years before returning to assist at Amphi once again. Johnson coached at Catalina Foothills in 2008 before another local football legend, Will Kreamer, hired him to replace Gary Minor at Ironwood Ridge in 2009.

Key returners:

  • WR/CB Dillon Arvayo, 5-10, 155, Sr.
  • LB Reid Ryan, 6-3, 195, Jr.
  • OT/DT Sam Hala’ufia, 6-4, 255, Sr.
  • RB/CB Deven Sanchez, 5-7, 150, Sr.
  • C/DT Pablo Pena, 6-1, 285, Sr.
  • DE/OT Isaac Sanchez, 5-8, 230, Sr.
  • OT/DE Vicelio Sanchez, 6-4, 218, Sr.
  • RB/DB Delawrence Wells, 5-11, 165, Sr.
  • QB/LB Gerardo Pelayo, 5-8, 175, Jr.
Josh Roman (5) is a junior challenging for the Mountain View starting quarterback position (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach: Matt Johnson
  • Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Zach Wolf
  • Defensive coordinator/linebackers: Raymond Reid
  • Defensive line: Shaun Lara
  • Wide receivers/safeties: Mike Good
  • Running backs: Stephan Reed
  • Offensive line: Ralph Flores
  • Wide receivers/linebackers: Paul Acosta
Matt Johnson coaching for his third year at Mountain View after coaching 10 years at Ironwood Ridge (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Notes: Johnson will coach his first quarterback at Mountain View other than Giovanni Ciaccio, who has exhausted his eligibility after being the starting quarterback the last two years. Backup Gerardo Pelayo, a junior, only threw nine passes last year and completed five for 33 yards. Top RB Kollins Opoku-Appoh has also graduated. On defense, the Mountain Lions must make up for the loss of linebacker Daylin Smith, who also graduated. … Johnson does return 18 seniors who have mostly played under his system the last three seasons, including potential big-time recruit Sam Hala’ufia (6-4, 255), an offensive and defensive tackle who won the state title in the shot put and discus in the spring. Hala’ufia is also a talented cello player. … Mountain View is scheduled to play at Marana in the rivalry game for “The Boot” set for Sept. 3. The two programs have not met since 2014, when Mountain View beat Marana 53-2. The Mountain Lions have never lost to Marana. The series record is 6-0 in Mountain View’s favor. … The Mountain Lions play their first three games on the road so their home opener is not until Oct. 1 against Phoenix Notre Dame Prep. They have only four home games this season.

Mountain View’s Sam Hala’ufia is one of the top returners in the state (Andy 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. 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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