Another season of high school football has come and gone in northwest Tucson, with several notable moments from the year that was. 

Last week, we listed the region’s finest offensive players from 2019. This week, we delve into who stood out the most on defense and special teams in northwest Tucson. 

Defensive Linemen

1st Team: Tanner Wengert 

Marana senior

Stats: 64 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks

Wengert was a one-man wrecking crew for the Tigers on the defensive line, using his large frame to thwart opposing teams all year long. Wengert will leave a large hole in the interior of Marana’s defensive line for next year’s team, but coach Louie Ramirez should have plenty of players to try and staunch the gap come the fall.  

2nd Team: Mike Contreras

Mountain View senior

Stats: 42 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks

Contreras is the first of many Lions to find their name on this list, as Matt Johnson’s team featured a dominant defensive unit this season. Contreras did a great job plugging the hole up the middle on the defensive line, causing trouble for opposing teams all year, while also making some big-time tackles and sacks when the opportunity presented itself. Contreras was a larger- than-life presence on the line, warranting him a spot on this list. 

Defensive End

1st Team: Adam Maldonado

Canyon del Oro senior

Stats: 31 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, 1 interception

What Maldonado lacked in weight  at 180 pounds he more than made up for in speed, finishing the season with seven tackles for loss. The senior leaves Canyon del Oro with 41 tackles and 2.0 sacks in his career, but more than numbers alone, Maldonado can be counted on as one of the most threatening presences for opposing quarterbacks and running backs alike over the past few years. 

2nd Team: Shaun Buttigieg

Mountain View senior

Stats: 21 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks

Buttigieg was a standout two-way player for the Lions during his high school career, gaining 427 yards on the ground with five touchdowns in 2019, while also playing valuable time on the defensive line. His mixture of speed and strength allowed him to overpower opposing teams on the defensive side of the ball, which lands him on this list. 

Middle Linebacker

1st Team: Aaron Logsdon 

Mountain View senior

Stats: 79 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 3 QB hurries, 3 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble

Logsdon’s importance to the Lions’ defense is hard to quantify with stats alone. The senior was a tour de force as linebacker for Mountain View during his career, with 201 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in four years of varsity play. Logsdon’s presence will be sorely missed next season, but his legacy will live on among the Lions. 

2nd Team: Jackson Kubiak 

Pusch Ridge Christian 

Academy senior

Stats: 78 tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery

Kubiak was a solid linebacker for coach Jerry Harris and his team during his three-year varsity career, and the 2019 season showed his ability to wrap up tackles and deliver big hits when needed. The senior will be missed next year as the Lions look to find their next generation of defensive leaders. 

Outside Linebacker

1st Team: Octavio 

Audry-Cobos 

Ironwood Ridge senior

Stats: 77 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Audry-Cobos is the best all-around athlete in the northwest by a large margin, having taken significant snaps at quarterback, linebacker and in the secondary during his high school career. The fact that he isn’t being recruited heavily by Football Subdivision teams like Arizona and Arizona State is astounding, as the senior has shown he’s up to the task of playing virtually any position on the field. Audry-Cobos probably should have taken more snaps under center this year, but that’s neither here nor there at the end of his high school career. What’s clear is that Audry-Cobos is had a fantastic run at Ironwood Ridge, with a promising future in college—no matter what that entails. 

2nd Team: Kai Walsh 

Mountain View senior

Stats: 56 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

Walsh would normally be atop this list at his position in any other year, save for 2019. His ability to chase down quarterbacks and running backs is unmatched and his presence in the middle of the Lions’ defense will be sorely missed in 2020. Walsh is an incredible athlete that finished his career at Mountain View with 120 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks. He’ll be remembered as one of the best at his position at the northside school for a long while.  

Cornerback

1st Team: Ethan Seppala 

Canyon del Oro junior

Stats: 19 tackles, 5 interceptions

Seppala was the textbook definition of a ball-hawking cornerback this season, with interceptions in five of the Dorados’ 11 contests in 2019. The junior figures to be the Dorados’ defensive leader in 2020 after several experienced players graduate. Expect Seppala to answer the call, given his unique ability to read passes and snag interceptions once he tracks down those throws. 

2nd Team: Darren Stroman

Mountain View senior

Stats: 17 tackles, 3 interceptions 

Stroman was phenomenal in the secondary for the Lions this year, with three interceptions in 11 games. He finishes his Mountain View career with six interceptions and showed us all his unique ability to read route and make solid plays on the ball in the secondary. 

Safety

1st Team: Brandon Devoy

Mountain View senior

Stats: 67 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions

Devoy showed a unique ability to play the pass exceptionally well, while also dropping into the box and leveling a massive hit when needed. The fact that the Mountain View senior managed to finish with 17.0 tackles for loss from the safety position is eye-popping and shows that Devoy is more than capable of playing the position at any collegiate division in the future.  

2nd Team: Antone Brack

Pusch Ridge senior

Stats: 70 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions

Brack was phenomenal this season for the Lions defensively, finishing with four interceptions while also having 70 tackles to his name in 10 games. Expect Brack to find a role at a smaller college in 2020 but to show up and dominate, nonetheless. 

Kicker

1st Team: David Alvarado

Canyon del Oro junior

Stats: 5/6, long of 35 yards/40/42 PAT

 

2nd Team: Mason Whitaker

Ironwood Ridge senior

Stats: 4/6 field goals/28/32 PAT 

 

Punter

1st Team: Evan Lovett

Pusch Ridge junior

Stats: 27 punts, 984 yards (36.4 yards per attempt), 5 inside 20-yard line

2nd Team: Weylin Jenkins

Marana senior

Stats: 37 punts, 1,139 yards (30.8 yards per attempt), 5 inside 20-yard line

Region Offensive Player of the Year

Brandon Barrios

Ironwood Ridge senior running back

Region Defensive Player of the Year

Aaron Logsdon

Mountain View senior linebacker 

Region Coach of the Year

Dustin Peace

Canyon del Oro

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