2023 High School Football

2023 football: 50 top Southern Arizona seniors — Marana linebacker Markus Gonzales

Today marks only 34 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. We acknowledge more than 50 quality seniors will play on high school fields locally this fall and we will report on them accordingly.

Markus Gonzales, 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, had a breakout season last year tallying 73 tackles, five for loss with 3.5 sacks. … He also had two pass deflections, a fumble recovery and a caused fumble. … Also an accomplished distance thrower in track and field with a mark of 123 feet and 5.5 inches in the discus and 43 feet and 9 inches in the shot put during the spring … He had nine tackles in Marana’s 26-17 over Phoenix Sunnyslope in the first round of the 5A state playoffs last year. … He also had nine tackles in Marana’s impressive wins over Cienega and Sunnyside last season.

Marana coach Phillip Steward on Gonzales: “Markus Gonzales will anchor our defense from the middle. Markus has had a great offseason and we are looking for him to help lead us this season bringing his experience to the young linebacker core. We are also looking for Markus to help shore up our run defense.”

Markus Gonzales has the size at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds and strength to be a force this season for the Tigers (Marana photo)

11. MARANA (5-5)

Head coach: Phillip Steward
Tigers compete in the 5A Southern. Bold are playoff games. Playoff games at 7 p.m.
8/25at SalpointeL1435
9/1at TucsonW437
9/8at HigleyL2429
9/15at Mountain ViewL3542
9/22Canyon del OroL2149
9/29at BuenaW550
10/6at SunnysideL617
10/20Desert ViewW498
10/27at Casa GrandeW429
11/9at ALA-Gilbert North


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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