Featured

2022 Southern Arizona high school football preview: Tanque Verde Hawks


2A San Pedro: Tanque Verde

2021 record: 7-3 overall, 3-1 2A San Pedro (tied for first)

Head coach: Jay Dobyns, 10-3 third year at Tanque Verde and overall. Dobyns is a former Sahuaro High School and Arizona football standout who turned to coaching after a storied career as a federal agent. He also has become an author and motivational speaker.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS ALLSPORTSTUCSON.COM’S 2022 HIGH SCHOOL PRESEASON COVERAGE

Key returners:

  • RB/LB Brayden Scott, Sr.
  • T/DE Jack Endean, Sr.
  • C/DT Aidan Vimmerstedt, Sr.
  • T/DT Dylan Petrick, Sr.
  • TE/DE Brendan Vimmerstedt, Sr.
  • WR/CB James Torok, Sr.
  • DE/T Eli Clausen, Jr.
  • OL/DL Race Erickson, Sr.
  • QB Toby Herfkins, Jr.
Jay Dobyns is determined to lead Tanque Verde to the state playoffs for the first time in program history (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“We’re fighting to become relevant. We have a small sample size, two seasons. We’ve had some success but not what we expect. We play Morenci the first week of the season, which is everybody’s No. 1 (team) in 2A. We play Pima in our third week, which is everybody’s second pick for the state championship. We’re going to find out really quick if we are meeting our goals and if we’re relevant. We have a really great unit of kids. Fun to coach. They enjoy themselves at practice. They enjoy their teammates. They make my job really easy.” — Dobyns

“I’m confident; the young guys are really working. We’re really clicking. We’re really meshing and I’m just beyond blessed to be a part of this team.” — Endean, an Oklahoma State commit who is in his second season with Tanque Verde after spending his first two years with Salpointe.

“When I first came here, I was told we wouldn’t win any games, and we didn’t. We went 0-10. Dobyns and his coaching staff came in and they really taught me to become a leader. I’ve taken that the last three years. Now, being a captain, it’s become easy now leading this team. I couldn’t do it without my teammates. They’re really easy to lead.” — Scott, referring to Tanque Verde going winless in 2019, a year before Dobyns was hired.

Former Arizona and NFL lineman Jeff Kiewel has some good size and experience to work with on Tanque Verde’s offensive line (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Jay Dobyns
  • Associate head coach/defensive coordinator/defensive backs/wide receivers: John Williams
  • Staff consultant: Bob Vielledent
  • Offensive line: Jeff Kiewel
  • Running backs: David Adams
  • Running backs/linebackers: Scooter Sprotte
  • Defensive line: Chris Lopez
  • Defensive backs/wide receivers: Van Brandon
  • Wide receivers: Jack Dobyns
  • Assistant: Chris Tompkins
Former Salpointe standout Jack Dobyns has returned to Tanque Verde to coach with his father after a one-year stint as an assistant at Odessa (Texas) High School last year (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Notes: Tanque Verde lists junior Grayson Bradshaw at QB along with two freshmen — Anthony Torgeson and Rocco Haggard. The Hawks used two seniors at the position last season — Lucas Franklin and Brendan Gamen, who combined for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. … Dobyns again has a star-studded coaching staff that includes former Arizona standouts Jeff Kiewel, David Adams, Van Brandon, Scooter Sprotte and Chris Lopez. His son Jack has returned to be an assistant after spending last season on the staff at Odessa (Texas) High School. “I have a rock-star staff of coaches who handle all the heavy lifting,” Jay Dobyns said. “The kids do whatever we say. The kids on our team, if I told them, ‘You have to climb on the roof of the school today and jump off on your head to get better,’ they would ask where the ladder is.” … Tanque Verde finished 7-3 last season and was rated the 12th-best team in the 2A by AIA’s point system. The Hawks did not qualify for the state playoffs, however, because region winners are allowed to leap over at-large teams. Dobyns’ team landed at No. 17. The 2A state playoffs consist of 16 teams. “That was frustrating,” Dobyns said. “I believe those kids had earned a spot in the playoffs, to be one of the top 16 teams in the state. The system is what it is and the algorithm computes who comes in the way it does. I’ve been preaching since I got here to these kids, ‘We don’t make excuses. We don’t lay blame. We don’t look for someone to point a finger at. If there is a problem, let’s go fix it ourselves.’ That’s the intent this year — don’t leave it up to the computer.” … Tanque Verde plays three of its first four 2A San Pedro games on the road before finishing with a home game against Willcox, which very well could be a showdown for the region title. … LB Brayden Scott, a senior, is returning as one of the top tacklers in Southern Arizona recording 88 last season.

Keep an eye out for: The Vimmerstedt twins who are seniors — Aidan, a lineman, and Brendan, a tight end and defensive end. They are another set of captains for Dobyns who have played through the hard times to the promise of what Dobyns and his staff have brought to the school. They are very physical and durable at their positions.

Grayson Bradshaw (11) and Rocco Haggard (6) have worked at QB during fall camp (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

TANQUE VERDE (2-4, 1-0)

Hawks compete in the 2A San Pedro. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
DateOpponentW/LOvrReg
8/26@ MorenciL, 44-00-10-0
9/2Valley LutheranL, FFT0-20-0
9/9@ PimaL, 43-00-30-0
9/16San Tan CharterL, 16-70-40-0
9/23North Pointe PrepW, 60-01-40-0
9/30@ Santa Rita*W, FFT2-41-0
10/7Catalina*
10/14@ Bisbee*
10/21@ Tombstone*
10/28Willcox*

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!

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
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Comments
To Top