Safford dominates 3A South Region awards

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Samuel Tobias runs past a defender on his way to the end zone against Sabino. Tobias was selected as the 3A South Region Player of the Year.

Bulldogs win coach, player, and defensive player of the year

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

PHOENIX – The Safford Bulldogs went unbeaten in 3A South Region play this year to capture the title for the first time in 21 years. Along with that accomplishment, the Arizona Interscholastic Association listed its All-Region awards and Safford dominated the results.

Region Player of the Year

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Safford running back/linebacker Samuel Tobias was named the 3A Region Player of the Year.

Samuel Tobias (running back, linebacker) was named the 3A South Region Player of the Year. Tobias was instrumental in the region-winning game against Sabino, scoring three times and recording at least two sacks on defense.

Tobias had an outstanding year on both offense and defense and was one of the fastest players on the field this year. Tragically, his season ended last Friday in the game against Sabino, when he took a helmet to the back which reportedly broke two vertebrae.

Jon Johnson Video/Gila Herald: Samuel Tobias gives an interview at the end of this highlight video of the Bulldogs win over Florence. Tobias is also featured in numerous highlights.

Region Coach of the Year

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Safford head coach Eric Hjalmarson was named 3A Region Coach of the Year.

Eric Hjalmarson was named the 3A South Region Coach of the Year. This year, the Bulldogs only allowed 43 points while scoring 334 on their way to an 8-2 overall record, 5-0 in region play.

Jon Johnson Video/Gila Herald: Safford head coach Eric Hjalmarson talks about his coaches, athletic director and team at the end of this highlight video of the Bulldogs winning the 3A Region with a victory over Sabino.

Region Defensive Player of the Year

Jared Garcia was named the 3A South Region Defensive Player of the Year. If you are a fan of the Gila Herald’s highlight videos, you’ll know Garcia’s name as he has earned a spot in each video for his “hit of the night” as he routinely comes out of nowhere to level opposing offensive players with big, punishing hits.

3A All-Region First Team

Other Bulldogs on the 3A All-Region First Team include:

Jared Garcia – defensive back, Brannon Jurado – defensive lineman, Samuel Tobias – linebacker, Dylan Dorrell – linebacker, Zach Juarez – offensive lineman, Jordan Turner – offensive lineman, Justin Torrio – placekicker, CJ Scrivner – running back

3A All-Region Second Team

Bulldogs on the 3A All-Region Second Team include:

Angel Atencio – defensive back, Ivan Granados – defensive lineman, Robert White – linebacker, Justin Torrio – punter, Mason Duros – quarterback,

3A All-Region Honorable Mention

Bulldogs on the 3A All-Region Honorable Mention list include:

Fernando Gonzales – defensive lineman, Gage Mejia – offensive lineman, Bryant Montoya – receiver/tight end, Robert White – running back

The Gila Herald salutes all of the Safford Bulldogs on their accomplishments this year.

The Bulldogs will host the Sabino Sabercats in the opening round of the 3A State Playoffs on Friday, Nov. 8, starting at 7 p.m.

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