2021 Southern Arizona High School Football Preview: Amphi

Amphi junior Seth Mavita is challenging for the starting QB spot (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

4A Gila: Amphi

2020 record: 4-0 before season was cut short by COVID-19 protocol.

Head coach: Jorge Mendivil, 26-38 seventh season at Amphi and 107-86 overall in 20th season overall with stops also at San Manuel and Empire. Mendivil is a 1996 graduate of Arizona with a Major in Spanish and minor in Math. He was referred to San Manuel to be its head coach by Warner Smith, a former Miner standout, when he was on the same staff with Smith at Flowing Wells. Mendivil was 27 at the time. After coaching at San Manuel from 2000 to 2004, Mendivil coached at Empire, opening that school in 2006. He moved on to Amphi in 2014.

Key returners:

  • QB Kiko Trejo, 5-7, 170, Sr.
  • TE/LB Nathaniel Carissimi, 5-8, 165, Sr.
  • RB/LB Keagan Haynes, 5-11, 175, Jr.
  • RB/LB Ashton Haynes, 6-1, 155, Sr.
  • WR/DB Paulino Sanchez, 5-11, 130, Jr.
  • T/DE Jayden Corral, 6-4, 210, Sr.
  • RB/LB Emmanuel Saenz, 5-7, 170, Sr.
Amphi linebacker Emmanuel Saenz is a key returner for the Panthers (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach/quarterbacks: Jorge Mendivil
  • Defensive coordinator: Greg Sandoval
  • Offensive coordinator: Edgar Dominguez
  • Offensive line: David Watson
  • Defensive line/offensive line: Roland Youngley
  • Defensive backs: Brad Downs
  • Running backs/linebackers: Mo Espinoza
Former Arizona offensive lineman David Watson is the head junior varsity coach at Amphi (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Notes: Amphi will host Flowing Wells at 7 p.m. Thursday in a Coaches for Charity game. … Former Arizona lineman David Watson, whose son David Jr. played at Amphi and is now a redshirt sophomore with the Wildcats, is the junior varsity head coach. He coaches the offensive line during varsity games. Watson and Arizona softball great Laura Espinoza met in college and have been married since. … RB Kiko Trejo is one of the best returning Class of 2022 prospects in the state after rushing for 479 yards on 45 carries with six touchdowns in four games last season. He shared the rushing load last year with Isiah Hill, who graduated. Hill rushed for 561 yards on 58 carries with five touchdowns. … Trejo, the son of late Arizona running back Leo Mills, improved his recruiting stature during the summer participating in the Football University (FBU) Top Gun Showcase in Florida. … The Panthers’ program has undergone a resurgence since Mendivil went 0-10 in his second season in 2015. Amphi went 8-3 with a playoff berth in 2016 and the Panthers are 9-5 in the last two seasons after going 5-15 in 2017 and 2018. … DE Jayden Corral, a junior, is the leading tackler returning with 18, including one for loss. He also had two quarterback hurries. … Amphi has six home games, including the first four weeks of the season with its first road game not occurring until Oct. 8 against Casa Grande Vista Grande. The Panthers originally were scheduled to play at Flowing Wells to open the season but the Caballeros’ field is not yet ready after undergoing a renovation.

Kiko Trejo is taking on more of a leadership role this season (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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