August 30, 2006 - The high schools aren't the only football teams getting underway as both the University of Arizona and Pima Community College kick off their seasons in early September.
On Sept. 2, a day after the high school schedule begins, both the Wildcats and Aztecs will open the collegiate season and both squads have a local feel to them.
For the UA, which returns to action after a 3-8 season, the third year under head coach Mike Stoops promises to be a step up from years past.
All told, Stoops has kept 12 players on this year's roster with ties to Southern Arizona. Among them are Daniel Borg of Ironwood Ridge High School and Chris Elkins, formerly of Catalina Foothills High School.
Borg, an offensive lineman, will see increased playing time on a young Wildcat front line. This summer, Stoops has tried Borg at several positions on the offensive line to see which fits best.
"He's going to be in the rotation, no question," said Stoops. "We probably need to put him at one spot and let him mature before we start moving him because the offensive line is a very difficult position, especially for young kids."
While Borg enters his second year with the program as a red-shirt freshman, Elkins, a linebacker with the Falcons, made the squad as a walk-on this fall after leading the Class 4A Kino Region in tackles in 2005 with 101.
The Pima football team will have an even broader Northwest and Foothills look to it when the Aztecs kick off their season on Sept. 2.
This year's squad features nine former players from the region, all who were major contributors for their respective high schools.
The biggest contributor to Pima football is Mountain View High School, which boasts five players including Cliff Engelhart, Daniel Fonoimoana, Delbert Gallego, Nate Shirley and Kyle Wilson.
Coming over from Canyon Del Oro High School is Kade and Kyle Creviston as well as Brandon Penick. Rounding out the area connection is Michael Hunt who played his ball at Catalina Foothills High School.
Pima returns to action this year after canceling its season midway through 2005 due to a lack of players. The Aztecs will kick-off its 11-game schedule against Arizona Western College in Yuma.
The Wildcats will stay in Tucson for a 7:15 p.m. kick off against Brigham Young University.