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PUSCH RIDGE LIONS
2021 RECORD: 8-3
- Pusch Ridge enters Year Three of the Kent Middleton Era with good performances in his first two years with the program. He went 16-5 in those two years with a trip to the 3A state playoffs in both years, including the semifinals in 2020. Some of his leaders, in their third year under him, are seniors in the 2022 season including defensive end/tight end Will Way, linebacker Tyler Mustain and cornerback Bryce Jewell.
- The Lions play four non-region games before opening 3A South play on Sept. 16 against new member Benson at home. Pusch Ridge defeated the Bobcats 34-21 on the road in last season’s opener.
- The Lions have five non-region games overall — one of them will be late in the season on Oct. 14 at home against Valley Christian, which finished 11-2 with a loss to eventual 3A state champion Snowflake in the semifinals last season.
- The four non-region games early in the season are against ALA – West Foothills (in the season opener at home Aug. 19), Paradise Honors (at home Aug. 26), at Mohave (Sept. 2) and at Catalina Foothills (Sept. 9). ALA – West Foothills, located at Waddell on the far westside of the Phoenix area, will be in its first season as a varsity program. Paradise Honors was 4-6 last year, and Mohave and Catalina Foothills were each 5-5.
- After hosting Benson, the 3A South schedule also includes playing at Thatcher (Sept. 23), hosting Sabino (Sept. 30), traveling to Palo Verde (Oct. 21) and hosting Safford (Oct. 28).
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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.