Before going to UA, Ka'Deem Carey finished with 5,702 yards rushing and a state-record 87 TDs in his CDO career.


Over the last 26 days, we’ve ranked the top 10 football players to come from each major high school in Southern Arizona.

Some of you strongly agreed with the picks, some completely disagreed and some probably thought we were flat-out crazy.

Where was Marion Bates on Amphitheater’s list? How about Antrel Bates, who wasn’t related to the Bates brothers but arguably just as good as any of them with the Panthers?

How could Ralph Zarate, a Parade All-American from Tucson High, get left out of the Badgers’ top 10? And Salpointe Catholic’s Fernie Mendoza; where was he?

The list can go on and on. But it’s because Southern Arizona has tons of history when it comes to high school football.

We could argue about who is the best all day, but instead, we want you to decide.

Starting next month, we will conduct Facebook polls on our Arizona Daily Star page to begin assembling an all-time, All-Southern Arizona football team.

The offense will consist of two quarterbacks, four running backs, four receivers, six linemen and two kickers. The defense will have five linemen, five linebackers, six defensive backs and two punters.

It’s essentially up to you to pick the 36 best former football players to come out of Southern Arizona.

I thought we had a tough task coming up with the top 10 from each school.

When fellow reporters Kyle Johnson, Jason Harris and I took on this task, we knew it’d be tough, and we knew it would be controversial.

We were right on both.

However, we also knew it would be awesome, too.

The galleries of the top 10 lists will remain on our website. If you ever get the urge to know who the top 10 players to come from Cholla or Ironwood Ridge or Palo Verde or Sabino were, you can go on and check the photos and details.

If you see a photo is missing and would like to send us one, please don’t hesitate. If you disagree with the list so much it makes you sick, leave a comment with your thoughts and don’t forget to participate in our poll.

It will be set up similar to the Pizza Madness contest; only you will be able to write in players if you feel they should be included. The picks won’t be limited to those who made our top 10s.

Rather than deciding between Rocco’s Little Chicago and Brooklyn Pizza, you can help determine if Sunnyside’s Fred Sims was a better running back than Canyon del Oro legend Ka’Deem Carey or Cholla’s Vance Johnson. Or if Santa Rita’s Anthony Sanders was a better quarterback than Sahuaro’s Reggie Robertson or Desert View’s Adam Rodriguez.

It’s your turn to decide on the players. I’ll stick to deciding on the pizza.

Contact high school sports coordinator Daniel Gaona at or 807-7761. On Twitter @DanielGaona13