2023 High School Football

2023 football: 50 top Southern Arizona seniors — Walden Grove quarterback Gabriel Smith

Today marks only 10 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.

Gabriel Smith, 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, is coming off a highly prolific season, one of the best in the state. He completed 167 of 248 pass attempts for 2,591 yards 27 touchdowns and only three touchdowns. Also rushed for 170 yards on 36 rushes with three touchdowns. … He passed for at least 200 yards in all but one game last season, and in that one, a rout of Sahuarita, he played minimally to allow others to play. … Passed for a career-high 467 yards, while completing 23 of 27 passes, with five touchdowns and no interceptions in a 49-42 win over Mountain View last season. … Coaches selected him the 4A Gila Offensive Player of the Year and an All-4A Kino first-team selection.

Walden Grove coach Corey Noble on Smith: “Gabe is motivated, talented and passionate about the game of football. He’s helped take our program to a new level and makes everyone better every day. He has been our unquestioned leader and we couldn’t be more pumped to see the success he’s gonna have his senior year!”

Walden Grove quarterback Gabriel Smith (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

11. WALDEN GROVE (6-4)

Head coach: Corey Noble
Red Wolves compete in the 4A Kino. Bold are playoff games. Playoff games start at 7 p.m.
8/25at Northwest ChristianL2638
9/22Desert ViewW336
9/29at Mountain ViewW3521
10/20at Catalina Foothills*W4934
10/27at Mica Mountain*L721
11/3at Canyon del Oro*L921
11/9at Northwest Christian


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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