Ten Southern Arizona high school quarterbacks who passed for at least 1,000 yards in 2021 are slated to return this fall.
Those who passed for more than 1,000 yards who exhausted their eligibility from last year: Trenton Bourguet of Salpointe, Tyler Haynie of Ironwood Ridge, Oscar Barraza of Desert View, Miles Kinney of Empire, Jason Stevens of Walden Grove, Connor Smith of Catalina Foothills and Ryan Fontaine of Pusch Ridge.
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Marana senior Elijah Joplin is the top returning passer with 2,658 yards last season while completing 194 of 279 pass attempts (.695 percentage) with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His ability to play this season is in question because of an eye injury suffered during the summer while playing 7-on-7 football.
St. David senior Ryan Gooding (playing in 1A eight-man football) and Sabino junior Cameron Hackworth (one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state) are the other returners who passed for more than 2,000 yards last season. Gooding had 2,468 passing yards and Hackworth 2,174.
Those who came close to 2,000 yards included CDO senior Caden Dawes (1,807) and Cienega senior Brayden Cherry (1,785). Dawes and Cherry emerged in a big way after not being the regular starting varsity quarterback in 2020.
In terms of emerging, keep an eye on Mica Mountain’s Jayden Thoreson and Tombstone’s Aliaz Dyson — both of whom were freshmen last season who experienced success, each passing for almost 600 yards.
2022 Southern Arizona Passing LeadersStats compiled from MaxPreps provided by coaches and schools. *Denotes Class 1A (8-man football) player.
|Bubba Mustain||Pusch Ridge||Jr||2,637||164||257||.638||30||5||13|
|Gabriel Smith||Walden Grove||Jr||2,591||167||248||.673||27||3||10|
|Ryan Gooding||St. David*||Sr||2,299||124||189||.656||47||6||11|
|Jayden Thoreson||Mica Mountain||Soph||1,695||133||215||.619||20||8||10|