2022 Southern Arizona high school football spotlight: Cholla Chargers

5A Sonoran: Cholla

2021 record: 1-8 overall, 0-4 5A Southern (last)

2022 record: 1-1

Head coach: Virgil Henderson, 10-23 fifth season at Cholla and 10-33 overall sixth season. Henderson is on his second stint with the Chargers after coaching two years at the school in 2014 and 2015. His first experience as a head coach was in 2013 at Rincon on an interim basis.

Cholla coach Virgil Henderson is in his fifth season overall coaching the Chargers’ program (Cholla photo)


Key returners:

  • QB Juan Guerrero, Jr.
  • RB/DB Malachi Eafon, Sr.
  • DE Angelo Mesa, Sr.
  • LB Daylen Corley, Sr.
  • DB Rocco Sotelo, Jr.

Coaching staff:

  • Head coach: Virgil Henderson
  • Assistant: Cristian Villaescusa
  • Assistant: Stan Porter
  • Assistant: Noah Silva
  • Assistant: Omar Pierre
  • Assistant: Tony Salvatore
  • Assistant: Demetrius Bowie

Notes: Cholla senior RB Malachi Eafon is the nephew of former Arizona football and basketball player Kelvin Eafon, who played for Dick Tomey and Lute Olson. … The Chargers’ last winning season was in 2015 when they finished 6-4 under coach Virgil Henderson. That team included linebacker Cristian Villaescusa, who is now an assistant under Henderson. Villaescusa went on to play for Pima College before the school disbanded the football program. … Cholla has only four home games scheduled to go with its six road games. The trips included long bus rides to Sahuarita, Sierra Vista against Buena and to Nogales. … Henderson has coached with some of Southern Arizona’s greats: Dennis Bene at Salpointe, Matt Johnson at Ironwood Ridge and Mountain View, Gary Minor at Ironwood Ridge and Richard Sanchez at Sunnyside. He is one of the best players Catalina High School has produced as a star running back/defensive back (Class of 1987).

Keep an eye out for: WR/CB/KR Ciarin Williams, a senior who is a basketball standout who is playing his first year of football. Henderson works for campus security at Cholla and talked Williams into trying out for football. He had an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown against Pueblo in his first game. He is now trying to further his football career into college.

CHOLLA (2-8, 1-4)

Chargers compete in the 5A Sonoran. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m. +Game at 10 a.m. at Desert View
9/2@ PuebloL, 42-200-10-0
9/9@ SahuaritaW, 14-111-10-0
9/16DouglasL, 56-491-20-0
9/23@ BuenaL, 51-71-30-0
10/7Vista GrandeL, 53-131-40-0
10/14@ Flowing Wells*L, 55-231-50-1
10/21Rincon/University*W, 30-192-51-1
10/29@ Sunnyside*+L, 61-132-61-2
11/4Marana*L, 78-192-71-3
11/10@ Nogales*L, 42-212-81-4


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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