4A1 Kino Region Preview

Can Sabino make a run at the 4A1 state title again?

4A1 Kino Region




This region is a mixture of last season's Kino and Sonoran. Tradition would tell me that Sabino and Cienega are the favorites and I pick it that way but they both take some heavy losses and things may be up for grabs.




1. Sabino

2. Cienega

3. Sahuaro

4. Nogales

5. Desert View

6. Flowing Wells




Sabino- Sabino has been one of the top teams in all of Arizona for years. Their trip to the title game last year was no fluke. They scored over 35 points per game and did not give up more than 10 until the state championship game against Saguaro.


There will be some hard times and a need to regroup. Gone is QB Justin Randall, gone is RB Chris Lundgren's 1300 yards rushing, gone are the top five rushers, gone are the top four receivers, gone are their top five tacklers and top three sack leaders. Sabino does return two of the top two way linemen in the region in Lucas Volk and Jason Nottingham and they return a very solid kicking.


No one said getting back to the title game would be easy but I like the Sabercats chances at winning this region.


Key Losses: RB Chris Lundgren, OL Mike Dillon, OL Clint Napier, DL Joe Labrie, LB Ben Hannah, DB Travis Graham


Key Returners: OL/DL Lucas Volk, DT Jason Nottingham


Cienega- Let's not get it twisted, Cienega has many holes to fill. They lose their QB, RB, WR, K and top OL/DL. The reason I have Cienega picked to finish this high is simply because they have been one of the class teams of Southern Arizona and I believe that coach Nemer Hassey will continue to get it done in Vail.


Sixteen sophomores played on varsity last year and will be sorely needed to fill some of these gaps left by graduation. This is a team that averaged over 30 points per game and I cannot see them falling off too much.


Key Losses: QB Joe Arreguin, RB Jesus Short, WR Bryce Burnett, OL/DL Kurt Vanderkolk, K Dean Stock, OL Manny Carrillo, DL Chris Atkins, LB Nick White, DB Anthony Abeyta, DB Javier Toscano


Key Returners: LB Greg Taylor, OL/DL Zach Davila


Sahuaro- Going 6-4 in the regular season and making a trip to the playoffs is a successful season no matter who you ask. Last year they faced some tough teams and more then held their own.


Sahauro losses RB Casey McGrew and his 1700 yards rushing but two way all region pick Ricky Soloman has the capability to pick up where McGrew left off. Soloman and LB Danny Alvarez will two of Southern AZ's top defenders.


Sahuaro plays their fair share of tough games but I can see them going .500 again.


Key Losses: RB Casey McGrew, OL Justin Eikenberry, OL Carlos Reyes, OL Mark Palenzuela, DB Kiefer Thornton, DL Max Genung, DL Josh Marrufo


Key Returners: OL Brett Jividen, LB Danny Alvarez, RB/DB Ricky Soloman,


Nogales- Many people were surprised when Nogales went 7-4 last year. They were a senior dominated squad that won some close games and had their best year in recent memory.


The bad thing is that over 20 seniors depart from that team including most of their offensive line. QB Miguel Maldanado returns as does his top receiver, junior Andy Garcia. LB Abel Sanchez is back to lead the defense along with DB Edgar Villegas.


Repeating last year's 7 win season may be tough for Nogales but they have plenty of winnable games on their schedule.


Key Losses: OL Ben Bachelier, RB Daniel Navarro, TE Kyle Marquez, LB Fernando Martinez, DL Lucas Macias, DL Nick Valenzuela


Key Returners: QB Miguel Maldanado, WR Andy Garcia, LB Abel Sanchez, K Juan Espedequeta


Desert View- New head coach Jim Monaco inherits a team that went 3-7 last year. Three of their losses were by seven points or less so things would have looked much better had a few balls bounced their way. Twenty players are back including all region LB AJ Willis. Willis will also start in the backfield and is a threat to take it to the house at any time.


The defense looks salty with Willis, DB Lee Abraham and DL Rene Robles back. The offense takes a huge hit with the departure of dual threat QB Nico Hosthenhausler.


DV has some winnable games on their schedule and I would not be surprised to see them surpass last year's three win total.


Key Losses: OL David Vargas, QB Nico Hosthenhausler, DL Joesph Martinez, WR Michale Spencer, K Dan Williams, HC David Rodriguez


Key Returners: LB AJ Willis, DB Lee Abraham, DL Rene Robles, HC Jim Monaco


Flowing Wells- Bottom line is Flowing Wells struggled last season to a 1-9 record. Their lone win came over a winless Tucson team. They were held to 14 points or less all 9 of their losses and only 14 those players return.


Key Losses: RB Carlos Valenzuela, WR Craig Hogan


Key Returners: QB Mike Knitkowski



24-7Football.com Preseason All Kino Region Team


QB- Miguel Maldanado- Nogales

RB- Ricky Soloman- Sahuaro

RB- AJ Willis- Desert View

WR- Andy Garcia (JR)- Nogales

WR- Lee Abraham- Desert View

TE- Jared Nielson- Flowing Wells

OL- Zach Davila- Cienega

OL- Brett Jividen- Sahuaro

OL- Lucas Volk- Sabino

OL- Will Walker- Cienega

OL- Jason Nottingham- Sabino

K- Bobby Bird- Sabino

Return- Ricky Soloman- Sahuaro


DL- Lucas Volk- Sabino

DL- Jason Nottingham- Sabino

DL- Rene Robles- Desert View

DL- Zach Davila- Cienega

LB- Danny Alvarez- Sahuaro

LB- Greg Taylor- Cienega

LB- AJ Willis- Desert View

DB- Edgar Villegas- Nogales

DB- Ricky Soloman- Sahuaro

DB- Lee Abraham- Desert View

DB- Mark Dragosolovich- Sabino

P- Ruben Aguilar (JR)- Sahuaro


Coach of the Year- Jay Campos- Sabino

Offensive Player of the Year- Ricky Soloman- RB- Sahuaro

Defensive Player of the Year- Lucas Volk- DL- Sabino


4A1 Kino Region Top 10 Players


1. Ricky Soloman- RB/DB- Sahuaro

2. Lucas Volk- OL/DL- Sabino

3. AJ Willis- RB/LB- Desert View

4. Zach Davila- OL/DL- Cienega

5. Lee Abraham- WR/DB- Desert View

6. Andy Garcia (JR)- WR- Nogales

7. Brett Jividen- OL- Sahuaro

8. Greg Taylor- LB- Cienega

9. Edgar Villegas- DB- Nogales

10. Jason Nottingham- OL/DL- Sabino

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