Padres’ Figueroa fired up about young, scrappy 2024 roster

Just as the heat intensifies, so does the grind for the Marcos de Niza football program. The Padres, coming off an underwhelming 4-6 overall record, 1-3 in the 4A Desert Sky section, are looking to right the ship in the 2024 season. And it starts with a rejuvenated roster.

- Advertisement -

The Padres graduated both veteran quarterbacks, Braesen León and Tegan Ligouri-Melenez, in addition to skill players on both sides of the ball — Michael Turner led the team in tackles per game, sacks and was a major contributor as a pass catcher in 2023 while Jamari Johnson had a team leading five interceptions.

Though the 2024-25 roster is gearing to have around 10 seniors, says head coach Anthony Figueroa, he expects the team to go to war.

“We’re going be young but we’re scrappy,” he said. “We have a lot of kids, young men that are dedicated to the program they bought in.

“Friday night they’re going to be competing, you know. We’re going to go through a couple rough spells, just the youthful kind of things that occur —, nerves and mistakes and things like that, but these guys are smart. And they’ll pick it back up. They’re very confident in their abilities and are confident with each other. I don’t see us having too many issues.”

The strong sophomore and junior class should bring a new element to the gridiron, with the goal of seeing the game through.

“The expectation is that we play for 48 minutes,” Figueroa said. “We don’t get in our heads, we have each other’s backs and we just scrap, you know…We’re going to fight for 48 minutes. That’s my expectation.”

Having improved offensive and defensive lines will certainly help with that mission. The game is won in the trenches, and Figueroa says both lines are the teams strong point thus far.

“Those guys have been pouring themselves into the process,” he says of his lineman. “[I’ve] seen a big improvement with those guys not only on the field but in the weight room and their camaraderie with each other. They hang out with each other and break bread and build those relationships because they’re a unit. They’re doing everything they can to make sure that when it gets real, they’re going to have the bonds that need to be in place for them to be able to overcome some of the obstacles.”

Though summer break goes for another month, the Padres have been putting in work since the end of May, both on the field and in the weight room Monday through Thursday. It’s constant work, but to Figueroa, who is a Marcos graduate himself, he’s doing what he loves for a program he loves.






Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest e-Edition


Follow Us


Weekly Email Newsletter


Join Our Family...

Wrangler Newsletter

One email

Once a week

Unsubscribe anytime

Welcome to The Wrangler Community!