Tanque Verde in state playoffs for first time, Willcox No. 4 seed in 2A bracket

Tanque Verde coach Jay Dobyns and the Hawks started 0-4 before winning five straight games that put the Hawks in position for their first state playoff appearance (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Tanque Verde has progressed from the depths of high school football in Southern Arizona to now qualifying for its first state playoff appearance in the 16-year history of the school.

When Jay Dobyns took over the Hawks in 2020 they were 14-66 in the previous eight seasons. They are 15-8 under him with the historic accomplishment of making the postseason.

The Hawks (5-5) are seeded No. 15 in the 2A state bracket released Saturday morning. Dobyns’ team will play at Morenci (9-1) in the first round on Friday.

Willcox (8-2) defeated Tanque Verde 55-6 on Friday night to claim the 2A San Pedro championship and automatic bid to the state playoffs. It is the first region championship for Willcox since 2010.

The Cowboys will host St. Johns (6-4) on Friday.

Willcox and Tanque Verde are the only 2A San Pedro teams to make the playoffs.

Pima (9-1) is the No. 1 seed. The Roughriders earned the 2A Salt title by defeating Morenci 21-20 on Friday night.


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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