During his days at Amphi in the 1970s, Steve Doolittle (87) played at quarterback and punter as well as in the defensive backfield and on the offensive line. He also caught 25 passes during the Panthers' 1975 state title run.


Over the next four weeks, the Star will count down the top 10 football players from each major Southern Arizona high school program:

School: Amphitheater

The best: Steve Doolittle

Achievements: Longtime Panthers coach Vern Friedli could not have asked for a better do-it-all player who never left the field. At 6 feet 5 inches and 250 pounds, Doolittle may have been born to be a lineman but played every position, from the defensive backfield to the offensive line to punter and even quarterback. He graduated in 1977, went on to start at numerous positions, including tight end and linebacker, at Colorado before being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1981.

From the archives: "He's big, fast, got good hands, intelligent, brave, loyal. It sort of sounds like the Boy Scout oath." - Friedli, in the Sept. 29, 1976 Arizona Daily Star

The big number: 9. Doolittle started the final nine games of his senior year at quarterback and led Amphi to the state semifinals. A year earlier, he caught 25 passes for 389 yards as the Panthers won the 1975 state title under former coach Jerry Loper.

Follow online: View a slideshow of the top 10 football players in Amphitheater's history at azstarnet.com/sports/football/high-school-and-prep/

Amphi's top 10

With rank, name, position and graduating year:

1. Steve Doolittle, ATH, 1977

2. Mario Bates, ATH, 1991

3. Michael Bates, ATH, 1989

4. Riki (Gray) Ellison, RB/LB, 1979

5. Jon Volpe, RB, 1986

6. Arlen Bethay, RB, 1980

7. Jim Krohn, QB, 1976

8. Bob Hart, QB, 1950

9. Sam Merriman, OL/LB, 1979

10. Sam Molina, QB, 1980

- Daniel Gaona