Sabino to host Sahuaro on Thursday

August 13, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Coaches for Charity held a kickoff luncheon on Saturday for several football teams.
(Andy Morales/

The 2016 high school football season starts next Thursday night, Aug. 18, with Sabino hosting longtime rival Sahuaro with 12 more games involving teams from Southern Arizona taking place the next night.

Coaches for Charity held a kickoff luncheon on Saturday involving teams from Sabino, Sahuaro, Sunnyside, Nogales, Rincon, Pueblo, Buena and Tucson. Former University of Arizona and Chicago Bears standout Lance Briggs was the keynote speaker.


Sahuaro at Sabino


Sabino comes in ranked No. 2 in the 3A Conference while Sahuaro is competing in the 5A Conference.

The last five games: Sabino leads series 4-1 with Sahuaro winning in 2014 (21-13). The Sabercats have outscored the Cougars 149-72 in the last five meetings.

Sabino was 8-2 last year while Sahuaro finished 5-6.


SABINO (Jay Campos)


Drew Dixon: QB/WR senior, University of Arizona commit

“It’s great we get to start off against Sahuaro. They are a good team and it’s an east side rivalry. We need to keep our streak going.”

Nathan Cosmas: OG/DT senior.

“Our standards are high and our expectations are always high. We have good chemistry and we feel we are making good progress.”

William Offerman: RB/LB junior.

“We have a lot of natural talent and I know we work the hardest. WE are on track to have a great year.”


SAHUARO (Scott McKee)


Justin Barnett: MLB/FB senior.

“We have good leadership this year with better leadership. We bonded together in California over the summer.”

Matt Paquette: S/RB senior.

“We will see how well we can compete with the Sabino game. It’s about bragging rights and I hope to be able to help my team out.”

Francisco Jimenez: DT/T senior.

“We worked hard on and off the field this summer. Our leadership has improved this year.”


Sunnyside at Nogales


Since 2009: The two teams have only met four times since 2009 with the Blue Devils taking all four games, outscoring the Apaches 162-67.

Sunnyside was 6-5 last year and Nogales was 8-3.




Joe Hernandez: LB senior.

“We lost a lot of talent but that has also brought us together as a team. We look to make noise this year and it put a lot of hunger in us.”

Josh Flores: LB senior.

“We look for revenge in the first game because their coach came in and guaranteed us a good season before he left for Nogales. They have a big line but I feel we are ready to do a good job. Our defense is still strong.”


NOGALES (Kevin Kuhm)


Ricky Paredes: FS/QB/UTY senior

“We are a young team for sure but I have a lot of confidence in our team. Chemistry is building with a lot of leadership and we are on the same page.”

Anthony Silva: WR/SS senior

“I’m looking for a good season. We put a lot of work in and a lot of our younger guys know the game. We also have a chip on our shoulder coming from near the border. People don’t tend to think of us as contenders.”


Rincon/UHS at Pueblo


Last five: Rincon leads 3-2 since 2004 but the Warriors have won the last two meetings.

Rincon was 1-9 last year and Pueblo was 7-4.


RINCON (Cody House)


Mario Verdugo: QB senior.

“I’m expecting a good season under coach (Cody) House. He is changing the culture here and players are buying in and working hard to compete for our school. I think we are going to surprise people.”

Eric Petronella: WR/DE junior.

“We are looking for a really good season and we had a good scrimmage. We gave up scores on simple mistakes and we can fix those. Our new coaches are getting us ready.”


PUEBLO (Brandon Sanders)


William Bertsch: RB/LB senior.

“We lost of few individuals but a lot of guys are stepping up to fill the empty spots. I expect us to do big things this year.”

Michael Beltran: C/NG senior

“We have a lot of young guys on the team but we got to know each other. I was the only sophomore on the team when coach (Brandon) Sanders came on. He took me under his wing and he totally flipped the program around.”


Buena at Tucson


Last five meetings: Tucson is 4-1 against Buena with the last loss coming in 2010.

Buena went 0-10 last year while Tucson finished 7-4.


BUENA (Joe Thomas)


Robert Johnson: WR senior

“We are more together this year. Everyone was concerned about individual accomplishments last year but coach has changed our culture. I think it will be a big difference this year.”

Timothy Jones: MLB/TE sophomore

“We will be better and stronger than last year. I’m going to help out by getting off the blocks and getting a lot of tackles.”


TUCSON (Justine Argraves)


Jorge Flores: QB/FS senior.

“We have a lot of chemistry this year. We went to NAU to a team camp and it really brought us together. Me and Bryan (Lopez) bring the intensity and we bring the best out of our team.”

Bryan Lopez: MLB senior.

“I expect good things from us this year. 6A football is still football. We work hard and are full of determination. We can’t take any team for granted.


All games set for 7 p.m.


Thursday, Aug. 18

Sahuaro Cougars at (2) Sabino Sabercats


Friday, Aug. 19

(10) Valley Union Blue Devils at (1) Bagdad Sultans

Marana Tigers at (7) Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks

Sunnyside Blue Devils at Nogales Apaches

Tanque Verde Hawks at Palo Verde Titans

Rincon/University Rangers at Pueblo Warriors

(10) San Tan Foothills Sabercats at San Manuel Miners

Florence Gophers at Santa Rita Eagles

Ray Bearcats at (3) St. David Tigers

(5) Salpointe Lancers at St. Mary's Knights

Baboquivari Warriors at (8) Trivium Prep Crimson Knights

Buena Colts at Tucson Badgers

(6) Thatcher Eagles at Willcox Cowboys Preseason Rankings



1. Hamilton

2. Desert Ridge

3. Mountain Pointe

4. Chandler.

5. Pinnacle

6. Brophy Prep

7. Skyline

8: Basha

9. Desert Vista

10. Westview



1: Desert Edge

2. Centennial

3. Chaparral

4. Paradise Valley

5. Williams Field

6. Queen Creek

7. Ironwood Ridge

8. Sunnyslope

9. Verrado

10. Cienega



1. Saguaro

2. Marcos de Niza:

3. Sunrise Mountain

4. Catalina Foothills

5. Salpointe

6. Casa Grande

7. Bradshaw Mountain

8. Canyon Del Oro

.9. Estrella Foothills

10. Mingus Union



1. Snowflake

2. Sabino

3. Show Low

4. Northwest Christian

5. Pusch Ridge

6. River Valley

7. American Leadership

8. Yuma Catholic

9. Blue Ridge

10. Payson



1. Round Valley

2. Santa Cruz

3. Benson

4. Tempe Prep

5. Scottsdale Christian

6. Thatcher

7. Paradise Honors

8. Phoenix Christian

9. Tonopah Valley

10. San Tan Foothills



1. Bagdad

2. Superior

3. St. David

4. Williams

5. Mogollon

6. Salome

7. NFL Yet

8. Trivium Prep

9. Joseph City

10. Valley Union