Walden Grove quarterback Alex Lopez completed 29 touchdowns in 11 games last year.

The Star is counting down the top football players in Southern Arizona in the weeks leading up to the season.

Today: Alex Lopez

The rundown: Lopez is a 6-foot, 182-pound senior quarterback at Walden Grove.

Who he is: Lopez has one main goal heading into his senior season: leave behind the best legacy he can. The accolades, he said, will come.

“It’s not that we’re in a small school, here in Sahuarita, but as long as you play hard and good, you’ll get recognized wherever you are,” Lopez said.

Sure, the quarterback would like to buff up his stats this year, maybe break a few school records and be a top-five passer in the state. But he also wants to help develop the team chemistry.

Lopez said the team chemistry struggled last year, and noticed his team’s morale would often disappear following a couple of mistakes.

“This year a lot of seniors are gone, but the young guys are pretty good,” Lopez said. “So, we’re just building them up, getting them better and ready for this year so we can all play as a team and get some wins.”

Proof he’s good: Last season, Lopez stepped up as the team’s starting quarterback and made the role his own, completing 157 of 269 passes for 2,655 yards and 29 touchdowns in 11 games.

Although Lopez hasn’t received a college offer yet, multiple schools — including UTEP, Eastern Washington and Western New Mexico — have taken notice.

“I dream of going to a Power 5 (school), but whatever team wants me, I’ll be happy to play there,” Lopez said.

He said it: “He’s an amazing athlete. Last year he played just quarterback for us, this year he won the appeal with us to get on the field for some defense, too. He’s too talented not to. He’s a kid who’s continuing to work to be a better leader and he’s challenging himself. He’s excited and really trusting the process and paying attention to the details. I feel like he’s grown up a lot in these last two years. It’s incredibly impressive for a kid that has, truthfully, only played two years of quarterback.” – Walden Grove coach Corey Noble

Contact reporter Norma Gonzalez at 520-262-3265 or ngonzalez@tucson.com.

Sports reporter

Norma started at the Star in 2017. She's a sports reporter covering all types of beats. She graduated from the University of Texas–Pan American in 2014 and recently graduated from the Associated Press Sports Editors Diversity Fellowship program.