2019 Football Preview: Morenci Wildcats

It’s that time of year again to get into football season mode and there is no better way than interviewing coaches to find out what they think about their teams. It is still early in their evaluation process as most of the area teams have only been practicing as a team for about 10 days. I sent out the same questionnaire to all area coaches and I will publish each team’s preview as they are returned. If you don’t see your favorite team in this year’s season preview, that means the coach never responded.

The first to reply was brand new Morenci Head Coach Joe Garcia. Garcia takes over for Dave Gallegos who departed after two successful seasons. Under Gallegos the Wildcats were 17-7 and won a playoff game in both seasons. Garcia was the defensive coordinator under Gallegos and his squad held Thatcher to just 15 points last season, the lowest of any other team.

Garcia is going to hang his hat on the Senior class this season. The Cats have half of their offensive line and their quarterback returning this year and according to Garcia they have done and outstanding job of setting good examples for younger players to follow.

Morenci doesn’t have stats posted from last season but here is a list of players to  watch this season:

Omar Ortega-OL/DL
Zach Esparza-OL/DL
Brandon Blair-QB
Carlos Bray-RB/LB
L.T. Morey-RB/DB
Richard Trott-OL/DE
Paul Daniel Moreno- LB/RB
Angel Arrellin- WR/DB

Offensively the Wildcats will relay on the running game again this season. Expect a heavy dose of Blair, Bray and Morey on a nightly basis for the Men in Black.

On the defensive side of the ball last year the Cats only gave up more than 20 points twice. They held their opponents to single digit scores 5 times, including two shutouts. They will definitely hang their hat on this side of the football.

Morenci might have the toughest schedule in 2A this year. Of their 10 regular season games, 8 of their opponents made the state playoffs last year. It helps that all but one team in the 2A Black made the playoffs last year but nonetheless it will be a tough schedule and it will be tough right away as they will host the 3 time defending state champion, Thatcher on August 23rd to kick off the season.

Morenci Schedule

August 23rd vs Thatcher

August 30th @ Santa Rita

September 6th @ Benson

September 12th @ Willcox (Thursday)

September 20th vs Santa Cruz

September 27th vs Bisbee

October 4th @ Cobre, New Mexico

October 11th BYE

October 18th @ Round Valley

October 25th vs Pima

November 1st @ St. Johns