2022 Southern Arizona High School Football Highlight: Tucson Badgers

5A South: Tucson

Record 2021: 1-9 overall, 0-5 6A East Valley (last place)

Record 2022: Overall 1-0

head coach: malcolm nelson, 1-0 in his debut season at Tucson and overall as head coach. He is a former assistant defensive coach with the Tucson Sugar Skulls professional indoor soccer team when he played in 2019 Marcus Coleman was head coach. Nelson replaces experienced coach Richard Sanchez, who resigned from the position after one season for unknown reasons. Nelson has 18 years coaching experience, primarily in arena football, and has worked as a personal trainer. He worked as an assistant coach at North Carolina high school. He attended Clemson and Kent State and was a member of the football team at both schools.

Tucson’s contingent is the same as before legendary coach Richard Sanchez retired, coaches say (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Key return:

  • WR Amier Bowlds, sir
  • RB Prince Mugishajr.
  • WR Kwame couchsir
  • QB Devin Neumansir
  • WR Dominik Canosir
  • LB Desmond Benitezsir
  • DB Darius Sauls, sir
  • RB Marquis Princesir

coaching staff:

  • head coach: Malcolm Nelson
  • Assistant: Andrew Peralta
  • Assistant: Anthony Peralta
  • Assistant: Angel Espadas
  • Assistant: Chris Boudy
  • Assistant: Ikaika Pina
  • Assistant: Josh Powell
  • Assistant: Kevin Haywood
  • Assistant: Richard Drow

Remarks: Sanchez’s departure means Tucson goes from one of the most experienced coaches in southern Arizona with a career record of 162-86 (with two Sunnyside state titles) in 22 years as a head coach to a coach in his early tenure as a program manager. Malcolm Nelson, who is coaching on an interim basis, said he sees his role as a delegate and advisor to Sanchez’s staff, who opted to remain with the Badgers after Sanchez resigned. Many of the players have warmed up to Nelson and mentioned that he is not a “micromanager”. … Tucson won its opener Friday, 29-21, beating visiting Mesa Dobson, a Region 6A East Valley opponent last year. The Badgers were reclassified from the AIA to the 5A Southern starting this season. Tucson has won seven of its last eight opener games. … Tucson hosts South Mountain, coached great by Arizona Byron Evans, on September 23. The teams played at Tucson High last year with the Jaguars winning 26-20. … Another notable game is Tucson, which ends its season on Nov. 10 in Cienega, which has a former Badger coach Justin Argraves. The Cienega sophomore coach was Tucson’s coach for 10 years before transferring to the Vail School. … Tucson’s coaching staff indicated that the Badgers had no defectors after Sanchez retired. The program is primarily challenged by keeping players eligible and healthy.

Watch out for: RB Prince Mugisha, a 5-11, 185-pound junior who has good height, athleticism and durability and carries the ball out of the backfield. With two more successful seasons, his future looks bright.


Badgers compete in the 5A Southern
*Region game

date Opponent time w/l Rec
9/2 dobsonian W, 29-21 1-0
9/9 @ horizon 19 o’clock
23.9 south mountain 19 o’clock
30.9 @ Catalina Foothills 19 o’clock
10/7 @ sunny side 19 o’clock
14.10 mountain view* 19 o’clock
21.10 @ desert view* 19 o’clock
28.10 buna* 19 o’clock
11/4 ironwood back* 19 o’clock
11/10 @ Cienega* 19 o’clock


Javier Morales, Publisher, Writer and Editor of ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com, is a past Arizona Press Club honoree. 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 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 is also the author of the book The Highest Form of Living, available on Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is currently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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