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2022 Southern Arizona high school football preview: Nogales Apaches


5A Sonoran: Nogales

2021 record: 3-7 overall, 1-4 5A Sonoran (fifth)

Head coach: Jake Teyechea, 9-21 fifth season at Nogales and overall. Teyechea is a former Nogales standout who graduated in 2009 before attending Arizona State. During his time at the Tempe school, Teyechea served as the Sparky mascot. Before returning to Nogales in 2014 to be the coach of the freshman team, he was part of the Tempe Corona del Sol staff with Tom Joseph, who is now the head coach at Santa Rita. Teyechea coached Nogales’ offensive and defensive lines on the varsity team in 2015, then took over as the head junior varsity coach in 2016 while continuing his work with the varsity defensive line. In 2017, he led the Apaches’ freshman squad and assisted the varsity, which was coached by Kevin Kuhm.

Nogales coach Jake Teyechea is entering his fifth year as head coach at his alma mater (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Key returners:

  • RB/LB Benjamin Ley, 5-9, 165, Sr.
  • LB/FB Arturo Alvarez, 5-10, 190, Sr.
  • DT/OT Omar Sanchez Jr., 5-9, 190, Sr.
  • WR Alejandro Lopez-Romo, 5-8, 160, Sr.
  • TE/DE Baltazar Pacheco, 6-3, 200, Sr.
  • LB Carlos Bravo, 5-8, 175, Sr.
  • RB/LB Samuel Ocampo, 6-0, 170, Jr.

“The one thing I think I’m good at is instilling that Nogales pride and being as a former player, being under some great coaches that I had, I think that is one of the more important things for me to show them that there is pride in what we do and pride behind our colors (maroon and gold).” – Teyechea, a former Nogales player and Arizona State graduate

“It’s going to take a whole lot of work. I feel like this summer we put in a lot of work but there’s always room for improvement. I feel like this season, this is it for me, I’m going to end it with a bang.” — Sanchez

“I feel like we’re a lot more experienced — me and other players on the team. I feel like we’re a lot more ready for this year for our football season.” – Bravo on Nogales not playing a game in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I’ve been working, keeping the grind. It’s pretty amazing, I’m not going to lie. The chemistry. We have so much chemistry. We all love each other.” — Pacheco

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach/offensive coordinator: Jake Teyechea
  • Defensive coordinator: Gerry Garcia
  • Assistant: Joey Garcia
  • Assistant: Porifirio Mendoza
  • Assistant: Gabe Herrera

Notes: Nogales opens at rival Rio Rico (now coached by legendary Jeff Scurran). The Apaches are 13-0 against the Hawks since 1997, when Rio Rico opened its doors for the first time. … Jake Teyechea’s team is playing exclusively Southern Arizona schools. Desert View, with Nogales alum Robert Bonillas as head coach, visits on Oct. 7. … Senior LB Carlos Bravo (5-8, 175) is returning as the team’s leading tackler from last season. He amassed 92 tackles with an incredible 24 for loss (including 10 sacks). … Nogales’ passing game is looking to be more productive after producing 244 yards. The Apaches attempted only 106 passes in their 10 games last season. … Nogales is going after its first winning season since going 8-3 under Kevin Kuhm.

Keep an eye out for: TE/DE Baltazar Pacheco. Impressive size as a senior at 6-3, 200. He tallied 41 tackles with eight for loss including five sacks last season.

NOGALES (0-3, 0-0)

Apaches compete in the 5A Sonoran. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
DateOpponentW/LOvrReg
9/2@ Rio RicoL, 10-00-10-0
9/16BuenaL, 41-00-20-0
9/23@ SahuaroL, 21-70-30-0
9/30Mountain View
10/7Desert View
10/14@ Marana*
10/21Flowing Wells*
10/28@ Rincon/University*
11/4@ Sunnyside*
11/10Cholla*

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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

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