2023 High School Football

2023 football: 50 top Southern Arizona seniors — Douglas athlete Emiliano Berthely

Today marks only 47 days until the kickoff of the 2023 Southern Arizona high school football season with games scheduled Aug. 18. AllSportsTucson.com is listing 50 of the top seniors in Southern Arizona during this stretch. This is not a ranking. This is a list in alphabetical order. We acknowledge more than 50 quality seniors will play on high school fields locally this fall and we will report on them accordingly.

Emiliano Berthely, 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds, is one of the most electrifying players in the state with his playmaking ability. Berthely is also one of the best all-around athletes to play football in the state. … In his breakthrough season last year, he rushed for 817 yards on 117 carries with six touchdowns while also making 28 receptions for 619 yards and three touchdowns. Including his work as a returner and cornerback, Berthely totaled 179.6 total yards a game last season. … He totaled 37 tackles, two for loss, including a sack and had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. … After rushing for 308 yards on 22 carries with four touchdowns in a victory over Cholla last September, he was honored with an Ed Doherty Award Nominee Medallion. … Coaches made him a first-team All-4A Kino selection last season. …

Douglas coach Hunter Long on Berthely: “Emiliano comes into his senior year the most experienced varsity player on the entire roster this season and with two very good years under his belt. He’s looking to close out his final year with a bang and get on the radar of many college football programs across the country. I wouldn’t be surprised if he propels himself to be an all-state selection this year. He’s extremely explosive and athletic with big-play potential at any given second. More importantly, he is just an overall great and respectful kid. He’s flown heavily under the radar as far as recruitment goes but will be catching plenty of eyes this season with another big year. He’s one of those guys that as a defensive mind, I’m glad I don’t have to game plan for him and that he’s on our side.”

Douglas senior Emiliano Berthely earned an Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallion last season (Douglas photo)


Head coach: Hunter Long (15-24, sixth year at Douglas and overall)

Bulldogs compete in the 4A Gila. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
8/30ALA - Ironwood------
9/6at Bisbee------
9/13at Sahuaro------
9/20Ironwood Ridge------
10/11at Cholla*------
10/18at Rio Rico*------
11/8at Sahuarita*------


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 seven years ago and is presently a special education teacher at his alma mater Sunnyside High School.

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