2023 High School Football

2023 football: 50 top Southern Arizona seniors — Salpointe linebacker Orlando Gonzalez

Today marks only 33 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.

Orlando Gonzalez, 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, had a breakout season last year as a junior and figures to bolster the second line of defense behind Salpointe’s ultra-talented defensive line of ends Elijah Rushing and Keona Wilhite and nose tackle Luis Cordova. … Gonzalez tallied 97 tackles, including seven for loss (2.5 sacks) last season. … He also had an interception, fumble recovery and caused fumble. … In the 6A quarterfinal loss to eventual state champion Gilbert Highland, Gonzalez had eight tackles, including a sack, an interception and a caused fumble. … Athletic and strong, he can bench press 305 pounds, squat 475, power clean 275, run the 40 in 4.7 seconds and broad jump close to 9 feet.

Salpointe coach Eric Rogers on Gonzalez: “Orlando has been working extremely hard this off-season. He is up to 225 pounds now and has really worked on his speed and explosiveness. He is a quiet leader. Never misses a day. Shows up with the lunch-pail mentality and just outworks people. He is tough, physical, hard-hitting and will be a key player for our football team this year.”

Salpointe’s Orlando Gonzalez had nearly 100 tackles last year with seven sacks (Salpointe photo)


Head coach: Eric Rogers
Lancers compete in the 6A Central. Bold are playoff games. Playoff games at 7 p.m.
9/1at Bishop Alemany (CA)W5221
9/8at Shadow RidgeW4924
9/15Valley VistaW506
9/29Desert VistaW3424
10/6Corona del SolW2920
10/13at LibertyL049
10/20Mountain PointeW3526
10/27at SaguaroW2114
11/3at Brophy PrepL1214
11/9Corona del SolW410
11/17Williams FieldW3525


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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