Desert View’s historic football success reaping benefits for entire school

Desert View Class of 2022 football standouts (left to right): Jose Roman, Ricky Santiago, Oscar Barraza and Alvaro Chaparro (Curtis Dutiel/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

The success of Desert View’s school-record 10 wins and quarterfinal appearance in the 5A state playoffs last season continues to have a positive residual effect, the mark of an established program.

Desert View’s 11-year coach Robert Bonillas, also the school’s athletic director, spoke to a gathering of students, including some members of the football team, on Friday afternoon at the school’s auditorium with six of his senior players with him on stage celebrating their signing with a college football program.

Marcelo Zambrano was also part of the ceremony signing to attend Arizona to be part of the Wildcats’ cheerleading team.

“When trying to put this together, I heard the comments it’s not the Georgias or the Alabamas, the Michigans, the schools we would all like as kids to participate with,” Bonillas, a former Nogales standout who played tight end at Arizona under Dick Tomey, told the gathering. “But you have no idea what another opportunity, another option to have after high school will feel like unless you put in good work all four years.

“We’re trying to build this. As we move on, a few of you guys are going to continue your education and playing at the next level. It’s not easy. It’s like a full-time job. You’ve gotta love it as much so you are able to survive all of that.”

Desert View’s football players signing with colleges on the stage included four players bound for Presentation College, an NAIA school in Aberdeen, S.D. — quarterback Oscar Barraza, wide receiver/defensive back Ricky Santiago, running back/linebacker Abdulahi Yusuf and linebacker/defensive end Alvaro Chaparro.

Carlo Arvizu, a linebacker, signed with Los Angeles Pierce Junior College and Jose Roman, a lineman, signed with Arizona Christian (an NAIA school based in Glendale).

Two other Class of 2022 standouts for Desert View — running backs Serge Gboweiah and Carlos Alvarez, both 1,000-yard rushers in their careers — were in attendance. Gboweiah is close to signing with a program and Alvarez mentioned he will attend Arizona and will possibly try to walk on.

Kathy Dong, Desert View’s freshman academy principal and athletics administrator, told the crowd that the “vision is to continue to pile the masses of athletes that we have on this stage.”

“It starts with these guys,” said Dong, who will be the principal at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate, a feeder school to Desert View, next school year. “You guys are just the beginning of so much legacy that happens here. You already have established legacy, so we are celebrating that today.

“You have established a legacy because you worked hard through your entire high school career. You put in the time. You put in the effort.”

Desert View senior Marcelo Zambrano along with football standouts Abdulahi Yusuf (center) and Carlo Arvizu (Curtis Dutiel, Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Success begets success. Bonillas mentioned he has seen a difference in not only the euphoria around the football program after its historic success but on the campus and other athletics teams.

“I’m seeing the kids a little bit more motivated academically in the classroom,” Bonillas said. “They’re more inclined to keep going and playing football. They realize they can compete at a high level now. It’s balancing everything else out — their lives, their academics, their athletics.

“I can see a very good trend that we have going on. … It’s exciting for us as coaches. Obviously, I’m excited as the AD that we can bring a little bit more pride and it can spread out. I can see our other teams also being more competitive. Football was competitive so that started to set the tone.”

The following are the Desert View student-athletes who were honored Friday for signing with a college:


Marcelo Zambrano

Desert View Class of 2022 cheerleader Marcelo Zambrano signs with Arizona Cheer (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Jose Roman OL/DL

Desert View Class of 2022 lineman Jose Roman signs with Arizona Christian (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Carlo Arvizu, LB

Desert View Class of 2022 linebacker Carlo Arvizu signs with LA Pierce JC (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Oscar Barraza, QB

Desert View Class of 2022 QB Oscar Barraza signs with Presentation College (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Alvaro Chaparro, LB/DE

Desert View Class of 2022 linebacker Alvaro Chaparro signs with Presentation College (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Ricky Santiago, WR/DB

Desert View Class of 2022 WR/DB Ricky Santiago signs with Presentation College (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Abdulahi Yusuf, RB/DB

Desert View Class of 2022 RB/LB Abdulahi Yusuf signs with Presentation College (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. 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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top