Panthers’ football players who are ‘Under the Radar’

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Matthew Zavala, Richard Ochoa and Michael Salazar are under the radar and are set to have a breakout season. Mila Besich-Lira | Sun

Superior Sun

The following list includes players from the Superior football team who we believe will have breakout seasons in 2014.

Richard Ochoa, Senior, OL/DL – 5’10” 190

Ochoa is one of the few upperclassmen on the Panthers’ roster in 2014. He’ll anchor the offensive and defensive lines this season. His strength, speed, and athleticism should allow him to be a force on both sides of the ball. He averaged four tackles per game in 2013 and recorded one fumble recovery. His leadership will be as valuable as his performance on the field. Ochoa will be counted to lead by example, which will be crucial to the development of the freshmen and sophomores on this year’s team.

Michael Salazar, Junior, RB/DB – HT/WT Unlisted

This is Salazar’s first year in the Panthers’ program and he figures to make a dynamic debut in 2014. His greatest assets are his speed and quick feet. His ability as a playmaker makes an area of strength for the Panthers last season even stronger this year. Salazar joins a backfield which includes QB Nicolaus Cruz and RB Edgar Galindo, all of whom can be nightmares for opposing defenses. On defense, Salazar should help improve a unit looking to make a dramatic improvement from its 2013 performance.

Matthew Zavala, Senior, WR/LB – 5’11” 182

It’s hard to label a guy who was the 2013 Superior High School Male Athlete of the Year as “Under the Radar,” but we did because we expect Zavala to have the best season of his career in 2014. A four-year varsity player, he is bigger, stronger and faster than in any of his previous seasons as a Panther. On offense, Zavala played primarily at receiver and took some snaps at quarterback. As a receiver he averaged almost 13 yards per reception and scored one touchdown. He threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns as a quarterback. He was most valuable on defense last season, earning first-team All-Section recognition. The Panthers will need even more production from Zavala on both sides of the ball this season. We believe he’ll come through…big time.

Andy Luberda (398 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Mt. Vista School holds Meet the Teacher night

    14 hours ago
    by

    Monday, Aug. 3, was Meet the Teachers evening at Mt. Vista School. Parents, grandparents and the kids met up with friends as well as their teachers.


    ‘Museum Meet Up’ held at the Acadia Ranch Museum

    14 hours ago
    by

    San Manuel Miner Every month, representatives of museums and organizations from around Pinal County “meet up” to exchange ideas, news, event information and work to promote museums and tourism in


    Capstone Mining makes donation to the Superior Optimist Club

    14 hours ago
    by

    Capstone Mining recently made a $1,000 donation to the Superior Optimist Club. The club is working hard to raise funds through its upcoming casino night to support all of its


    Superior kids head back to school

    14 hours ago
    by

    Guess what, kids? Your parents are super-excited that you are finally back in school! Superior students boarded their buses early last week and set off the most joyous jig their moms


  • Stories Just For You

    New teachers welcomed to Ray Schools

    16 hours ago
    by

    Ray District Schools welcomed back students today and also welcomed three new teachers.


    More trouble for Kearny Police Department; transparency meeting planned

    17 hours ago
    by

    The Town of Kearny has been undergoing a series of changes with the local police department.


    Oracle Schools Foundation presents first Levenson ‘REACH’ Award

    18 hours ago
    by

    Alan Levenson began his association with the Oracle School District seven years ago tutoring Mountain Vista School students in reading.


    San Manuel Airport gets much needed improvements

    18 hours ago
    by

    San Manuel Miner The San Manuel Airport is undergoing renovations as part of the first project of the new master plan for the airport.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather