Tolleson Lands Roy Lopez as new Head Football Coach

Kaiden Fesler, Staff Writer

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Tolleson football has landed coach Roy Lopez at the head coach positions for the upcoming 2019 football season. Coach Lopez is a very well know and elite coach in high school football, winning state championships with Marcos De Niza and spending time coaching at Sunnyside high. Coach Lopez is assembling a great new coaching staff with several coaches having experience at the highest levels of football.

Coach Lopez began coaching football in 1996 as an assistant coach at Marco de where he took over the head coaching job in 2003, this is a position he held up until 2013. In his time at Marcos de Niza Coach Lopez led the team to a state championship appearance in 2007, three semifinals, and three quarterfinals. In 2007 and 2009 Coach Lopez was voted coach of the year by the Arizona Football Coaches Association. After his time over at Marcos de Niza, Coach Lopez also help head coach positions at both Mesquite High School and also Sunnyside High school.

Coach Lopez was introduced to the team on Thursday, April 18th and since then the team has hit the ground rolling. In the meeting, Coach Lopez alongside a portion of his varsity coaching staff went through some basic introductions about each of the coaches stories with the sport of football.

When asked about his first impressions of the team Coach Lopez said “You can kind of see it right away, the real diversity on the campus of the kids, and a bunch of kids who are really hungry to succeed,”

Coach Lopez was the most ecstatic one of all as he could not stop smiling and talking about how excited he was to get started, even pausing mid-sentence to gaze among the crowd of his soon to be players and just smile and let the team know he was ready to make a change in the Tolleson football program.

Coach Lopez has brought in several outstanding coaches to surround the young men for this upcoming season. Including coach Guy who is the new Offensive Coordinator along with Coach Carr and Coach Perkins who are coming in from playing and coaching experience at New Mexico State University and Arizona Christian University, both of these coaches are focused on the wide receivers and defensive backs, then there is Coch Hernandez who will be the the Defensive Coordinator for the Wolverines and has coaches with Coach Lopez in the past at Marcos de Niza. Then also coming in from past experience with coach Lopez is Coach BIG, who helps out with the linemen and is a big presence in the weight room helping the players grow stronger.

There are also some returning coaches to the Varsity Staff such as Coach Babchuk who is an alumni of Tolleson and is entering his 4th year as the teams offensive and defensive line coach, then there is also Coach Charles in only his 2nd year with the team and he helps out with the defensive and tight ends. And there is also Coach Carver who is also an alumni of Tolleson and has been a coach in the Tolleson football Program for quite some time now and he will be helping out with the linebackers.

In addition to bringing great coaches around the players Coach Lopez has also brought around some former players of his who have gone on to the collegiate level. This includes Coaches son, Roy Lopez III, who is a senior defensive lineman for New Mexico State University. Roy Lopez III joined the team for practice on Monday before their last week of spring practice, he discussed how he had just finished up the final spring practices of his college career and he talked to the team about taking advantage of the great opportunities they are being presented with. Roy III showed his excitement for his father to be coaching again and was pumped to be around high school football again.

The following Tuesday the team kicked off their 2019 spring ball practices. Coach Lopez started off with having the team run through a combined day, where the players had the opportunity to show Coach their strengths and abilities in the weight room and on the field. From workouts in the weight room like the bench, squat, and power clean to workouts on the field like the 40 yd dash, route running and catching, and conditioning.

   Now that the team is in the third and final week of spring practices the players are much more comfortable with the new coaching staff and new system. While the team is still learning the players have shown great improvement and are ready to get the upcoming season started. Coach Lopez has touched these young men in a way that has rejuvenated the players and coach himself, the practices are full of intensity and the excitement to get better and the Wolverines are on track to make some noise this season.