2023 High School Football

2023 Southern Arizona High School Football Spotlight: Amphi Panthers


2022 record: 2-8 overall, 1-4 in 4A Gila (fifth)

2023 record: 1-1 overall

Head coach:  Jorge Mendivil, 34-52, 10th season at Amphi and 115-99 overall in 22nd season with stops also at San Manuel and Empire.

Imanol Silva is on a path to be a four-year starter at Amphi (MaxPreps photo)


Key returners:

  • QB/FS Imanol Silva, 6-0, 165, Soph.
  • RB/LB Jacob Espinoza, 6-2, 225, Jr.
  • RB/LB Frederico Luna, 5-8,150, Sr.
  • SB/SS Rudy Rios, 6-0, 175, Sr.
  • WR/DB DeAngelo Mendoza, 5-10, 150, Jr.
  • OG/DT Fausto Sinohui, 6-0, 220, Sr.
  • OT/DT Jaime Charles, 6-2, 295, Sr.
  • OT/DT Marco Martinez, 6-3, 295, Sr.


Notes: Jorge Mendivil is a 1996 graduate of Arizona with a major in Spanish and minor in Math. He was referred to San Manuel to be its head coach by Warner Smith, a former Miner standout, when he was on the same staff with Smith at Flowing Wells. Mendivil was 27 at the time. After coaching at San Manuel from 2000 to 2004, Mendivil coached at Empire, opening that school in 2006. He moved on to Amphi in 2014. … RB/LB Jacob Espinoza rushed for 499 yards on 125 carries with 10 touchdowns last season. He also tallied 74 tackles, including three for loss, and had an interception. Started as a freshman and produced 456 yards on 74 carries and 65 tackles with six for loss with two interceptions. Nephew of Arizona softball great Laura Espinoza. … Former Arizona offensive lineman David Watson is the uncle of Jacob Espinoza through marriage with Laura. Their son David Watson Jr. is a former Amphi standout who was with the Arizona program from 2018 to 2021. He transferred to Adams State last season and is back in Tucson helping to coach the Panthers’ linemen and along with his father. … Amphi is looking to bounce back after going 2-8 last year following a 14-9 record the previous three seasons.

Keep an eye out for: QB Imanol Silva, who produced as a freshman last season. Played in all 10 games as the starting quarterback. Completed 82 of 155 pass attempts for 1,131 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Best game was a 15-of-31 performance for 268 years with three touchdowns and no interceptions against Catalina Foothills.


Head coach: Jorge Mendivil (40-54, 11th season at Amphi and 121-101 overall in 23rd season overall).

Panthers compete in the 4A Gila. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
9/6at Independence------
9/13Flowing Wells------
9/20at Canyon del Oro------
10/4at Douglas*------
10/18at Rincon/University*------
10/25Rio Rico*------
11/1at 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 five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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