TUCSON – The Sunnyside High School boys’ soccer team continues to be one of the best in not only Old Pueblo but all of Arizona.
The Blue Devils have gotten a lot better this season thanks to four more players from the border region Douglas, AZ / Agua Prieta, Sonora.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Douglas Unified School District has been forced to stop its sport. Douglas High School players who didn’t want to lose a year of competition have now moved more than a two-hour drive to Sunnyside High School in Tucson.
Senior Kiki Escalante, who played for the Douglas High School college boys soccer team since his first season, is excited about the chance to plan another state title game (this time with Douglas High School, then with Sunnyside). .
“It was a challenge,” said Escalante, “I honestly wanted to play my senior year in Douglas.”
However, with the sport canceled due to coronavirus at his Cochise County school, Sunnyside was the best option.
“Even if it’s not with Douglas, I want to feel like I know what it is like to win a championship,” said Escalante. “I want to win a national championship with this team. It doesn’t matter who it is.” how i win it “
Escalante lives with his grandmother on the south side of Tucson near Sunnyside High School, and his Douglas High teammate Miguel Sosa does the same.
“Kiki’s grandmother gave me the opportunity to stay with them,” said Sosa. “It was pretty great and I’ll stay with them for as long as the season lasts.”
Two other former Douglas High players (Oscar Valenzuela and Adrian Arciniega) recently joined the Blue Devils – something coach Casey O’Brien welcomes.
“Apart from what they are as football players, they are good kids,” said coach O’Brien. “Each and every one of them is really respectful and responsible. They showed up every day and worked hard.”
O’Brien added, “You see how much this means to you, your senior year, this experience, I think it’s kind of bleeding into the other kids on the team.”
Despite their new affiliation with Blue Devil, one thing remains the same for these Douglas players: “Once a bulldog, always a bulldog,” said Escalante.