2023 High School Football

2023 Southern Arizona High School Football Spotlight: Mountain View Mountain Lions

5A Sonoran — Mountain View Mountain Lions

2022 record: 4-6 overall, 2-3 in 5A Southern (third)

Head coach: Matt Johnson, 15-18, fifth year at Mountain View and 128-79 overall in his 20th year

Matt Johnson enters his 20th year as a head coach in Southern Arizona with stops at Rincon/University, Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge and now Mountain View (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Key returners:

  • QB Will Howell, 6-3, 192, Sr.
  • RB/S Stevie Mene-bie, 6-3, 186, Sr.
  • LB Nicholas Horrocks, 6-0, 190, Jr.
  • OL/DL Mosese Hala’ufia, 6-6, 245, Sr.
  • WR/KR Justin Holguin, 6-0, 153, Sr.
  • LB Eros Montano, 5-10, 190, Sr.
  • CB/P Julian Palmieri, 5-10, 175, Sr.




Coaching staff:

  • Head coach/defensive coordinator: Matt Johnson
  • Associate head coach and wide receivers: Ray Reid
  • Offensive coordinator: Zach Wolf
  • Offensive line: Ralph Flores
  • Offensive skills: Roy Stewart
  • Defensive backs & special teams: Stephan Reed
  • Special teams: Ben Ambrosio

Notes: Matt Johnson, an offensive tackle at Amphi during the Vern Friedli era, has experienced stops at Rincon (22-21 from 2003-06), Catalina Foothills (6-5 in 2008) and Ironwood Ridge (85-35 from 2009-18). Johnson coached Ironwood Ridge to a state championship in 2012 and was there for 10 years before becoming the coach at Mountain View in 2019. After playing at Amphi, he went on to play for NAU in 1992. He served as an assistant under Friedli from 1997 to 2000. He was an assistant at Flagstaff Coconino for a season and then returned to assist at Amphi again in 2002. He moved on to be the head coach at Rincon/University for four years before returning to assist at Amphi once again. Johnson coached at Catalina Foothills in 2008 before another local football legend, Will Kreamer, hired him to replace Gary Minor at Ironwood Ridge in 2009. … Johnson is among the few Southern Arizona head coaches this year who have won a state title. The others are Dustin Peace (CDO) and Jeff Scurran (Rio Rico). Johnson captured a title with Ironwood Ridge in 2012, Peace with CDO in 2009, Scurran with Sabino in 1990, 1992 and 1998. … QB Will Howell has grown to 6-foot-3 and 192 pounds and expanded his skills to become more of a threat as a mobile thrower. He completed 96 of 169 pass attempts for 1,181 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. He rushed for 234 yards on 55 carries. …  Johnson traditionally schedules a difficult non-region schedule and this year’s is no different. Mountain View opens at Gilbert (6-5 last season) before hosting Scottsdale Horizon and Mountain View alum Andy Litten on Sept. 1. Horizon won the 4A state title two yars ago. That game might have to be moved to CDO if Mountain View’s field with a new layer of turf is not ready. The Mountain Lions also face Marana (10-2 last year) and Walden Grove (8-2) before playing their 5A Sonoran schedule.

Keep an eye out for: RB/S Stevie Mene-bie, who has good size and athleticism at 6-foot-3 and 186 pounds. Rushed for 707 yards on 105 carries with 11 touchdowns last year.

28. MOUNTAIN VIEW (2-4, 1-0)

Head coach: Matt Johnson
Mountain Lions compete in the 5A Sonoran. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
8/25at GilbertL, 27-210-10-0
9/1HorizonL, 52-00-20-0
9/8at Sunrise MountainL, 53-140-30-0
9/15MaranaW, 42-351-30-0
9/29Walden GroveL, 35-211-40-0
10/6Flowing Wells*W, 35-142-41-0
10/27at Tucson*------
11/3at Ironwood Ridge*------


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 Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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