The preseason high school football All-Southern Arizona team continues today with No. 6 on our list of 22 players.
Check out a video clip on KVOA (Channel 4) tonight at 6 and 10. The team was chosen by the Arizona Daily Star and the staff at KVOA and will be revealed daily through Aug. 22.
Mito Mendivil • QB/K • 5-7, 160 • Empire, Sr.
• Who he is: Mendivil said he considers himself more of a wrestler than a football player. He calls wrestling his first love and hopes to wrestle in college. (He took third place at 145 pounds at last year's individual state tournament.) But don't get him wrong, he loves football, too, and his dad, Jorge, is Empire's coach. At 5-7, Mendivil realizes he doesn't have a future at quarterback but wouldn't mind a shot at becoming a college kicker - he handles all of the kicking duties for Empire. More than anything, you could call Mendivil a gamer. As undersized as he is, he plays beyond his physical limits and prides himself in taking full responsibility for everything that happens when he's on the field - good or bad.
• Proof he's good: He led Empire to the state quarterfinals last season, the furthest the Ravens had been in their short history. Even with Cody Woody in the backfield, who rushed for an incredible 1,678 yards - second to Canyon del Oro's Ka'Deem Carey locally - Mendivil managed 1,131 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air. This year, though, those totals could be much higher. With Woody gone, much of the offensive load will fall on Mendivil, and all signs point to the senior having a successful year. Mendivil says four of Empire's five starting linemen had plenty of playing time last season, and even with top receiver Bryant Jeffries gone, tight end Noah Smith and receiver Cody Smith figure to catch a lot of passes.
• He said it: "I want to take the weight on my shoulders and throw a lot more - maybe throw three, four touchdowns a game, and then people will know we're not just a running team anymore. I love the pressure. I don't think I'd be myself if I didn't have a little pressure on me. That way I know I can carry my team."
Michael J. Craven
On StarNet: Follow the High School Preseason All-Southern Arizona football team at go.azstarnet.com/allstars
• What: Day 6 - Mito Mendivil
• When: 6 and 10 p.m.
• TV: Channel 4