High School football in Southern Arizona has arrived in 2022.
Eight games involving nine local schools will take place Friday and Saturday
AllSportsTucson.com has been previewing the teams on a Baja Arizona Tour with interviews and notes.
Highlights of Week 1 are discussed by myself and my brother Andy in our latest podcast (click on the player above).
Some of those highlights include:
- Sabino junior quarterback Cameron Hackworth ready to lead the Sabercats to a 3A state title
- Palo Verde, under new coach Jamal Chatman, playing its first varsity game since 2020 (no varsity team last year due to a lack of experienced players).
- Pusch Ridge with talented Class of 2023 prospects Tyler Mustain at linebacker and Will Way as an athletic lineman and new quarterback, junior Bubba Mustain (Tyler’s younger brother).
- Tombstone playing with only one senior.
- Benson transitioning from the Chris Determan to Dustin Cluff era after losing 13 consequential seniors from last year and moving from 2A to 3A.
- A loaded 1A South with St. David, San Manuel, Baboquivari and Valley Union starting their seasons.
3A Coolidge (6-4) at 3A Sabino (8-3), 7 p.m.
-First meeting. The two schools played in 1972 but that was the first year for Sabino at the JV level. Coolidge has been around since 1935.
3A San Tan Foothills (1-9) at 3A Palo Verde (DNP), 7 p.m.
-First meeting. San Tan started playing in 2009. Palo Verde did not have a season last year and the Titans are now in the 3A Conference.
2A Tombstone (2-7) at 3A Benson (9-3), 7 p.m.
-Benson leads the series 59-13 dating back to 1946. Benson has the last 16 victories dating back to 2007. The Bobcats are in the 3A Conference now.
1A Ray (2-4) at 1A St. David (10-2), 7 p.m.
-St. David is up 2-1 since 2015 but the two teams haven’t played since 2017 when Ray won 52-20.
1A Ft. Thomas (2-5) at 1A Baboquivari (2-4), 7 p.m.
-Baboquivari is up 3-2 in the series dating back to 2015 including a 24-12 win last year.
1A Anthem Prep (3-5) at 1A San Manuel (8-2), 7 p.m.
-First meeting. Anthem Prep started playing AIA games in 2015.
1A Hayden (5-4) at 1A Valley Union (4-5), 7 p.m.
-Only meeting never happened last year with Valley Union forfeiting a playoff game due to COVID regulations.
3A ALA West Foothills (First year) at 3A Pusch Ridge (8-3), 7 p.m.
-The first meeting with ALA West Foothills, located in Queen Creek, playing the first game in program history.
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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.