2021 Southern Arizona High School Football Preview: Walden Grove

Walden Grove leaders (left to right): Duncan Hoover, Ronnie Berg, Jeffrey Handlong, Jason Stevens and coach Corey Noble (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

4A Kino: Walden Grove

2020 record: 3-1 before COVID-19 cut the season short, fourth straight season with a winning record.

Head coach: Corey Noble, 27-10 fifth year at Walden Grove and overall. Noble also serves as a social studies teacher at Walden Grove.

Key returners:

  • QB Jason Stevens, 6-2, 165, Sr.
  • QB/WR Caleb Lyden, 5-10, 165, Jr.
  • WR/DB Duncan Hoover, 6-2, 190, Sr.
  • RB/LB Matthew Enriquez, 5-9, 175, Sr.
  • WR/DB Colby Gaines, 5-9, 160, Sr.
  • WR/DB Stuart Taylor, 5-10, 150, Sr.
  • RB/CB Zachary Young, 5-8, 175, Sr.
  • DE/OT Jeffrey Handlong, 6-2, 200, Sr.
Jason Stevens is one of the top senior quarterbacks in the state (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach: Corey Noble
  • Associate head coach/offensive line: Brandon Neilson 
  • Offensive coordinator/kickers and punters: Kyle Day
  • Special teams coordinator/defensive line: Jeff King
  • Defensive line: Zach Davila
  • Running backs: Anthony Shalvay
  • Wide receivers/defensive backs: Robert Cash
  • Linebackers: Ken Quillin
  • Strength/Conditioning: Jeremy Lai and Jen Meza
  • Academics: Carl Nelson
  • Academic tutoring coordinator: Christina Bohan
Corey Noble is in his fifth season as head coach at Walden Grove after serving as an assistant previously (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Notes: Walden Grove opens against Pusch Ridge Friday after its original opponent, Palo Verde, canceled its season last week due to lack of experienced players at the varsity level playing a 4A schedule. The game against the Lions, who are 1-0 after winning at Benson last week, will be held at Marana Mountain View. Pusch Ridge’s field is not quite done with its renovation. … WR/DB Duncan Hoover aspires to a Division I player and he has the physicality and skills to reach that level as a wideout and safety. Look for opponents to stay away from his side of the field and have trouble defending him because of his strength and athleticism. … QB Jason Stevens is continuing Walden Grove’s history of productive players behind center. In his first varsity starts last year, in four games because of the pandemic, Stevens completed 65 of 106 passes for 809 yards with nine touchdowns and only one interception. Two years ago, Alex Lopez passed for 2,301 yards completing 143 of 225 pass attempts as a senior. … Talented wideouts Alex Culbertson and Ty McDermott exhausted their eligibility as did linebacker Sebastian Adamski. Hoover (29 catches for 359 yards with four touchdowns in his career) will be a top target. He was also the third-leading tackler last season with 18. Senior LB Ronnie Berg, whose football IQ is impressive, is the top returning tackler with 30 last season. … Former Arizona punter/receiver Kyle Day is Walden Grove’s offensive coordinator and he also coaches punters and kickers individually. His star pupil from last season, PK Adrian Alvarado, has also graduated and is now with the Sonoran Sidewinders junior college team.



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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