Football Athlete Scholarships and Awards

Posted on 04/06/2023
SCV35 Honors Three Outstanding Football Team Members

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 is proud to celebrate three outstanding football team members. On Monday, April 3, 2023, Francisco Arellano (South Dakota School of Mines, D-2) and Jesse James Octavio-Callejo (Pacific University, Oregon D-3) signed their national letter of intent.

Coach Jeff Scurran, Rio Rico High Football Coach invited parents and student-athletes to attend the signing ceremony. During the ceremony, Coach Scurran commended Francisco Arellano for his hard work. This was Arellano’s first year playing football and his football career ended with a scholarship as a wide receiver to the South Dakota School of Mines. “That took a lot of hard work…This guy doesn’t say a lot. But I’ve learned that when he does speak, people listen because it’s pretty important,” said Coach Scurran. Arellano will study mechanical engineering.

He called Jesse Octavio Callejo an “integral part of the community” and students cheered when Scurran mentioned Callejo’s 2023 Arizona State Wrestling Championship title. Although a state wrestling champion, Callejo received a football scholarship to play defensive lineman at Pacific University. “It feels good because I am the first one in my family to do it,” he said.

Although Andrea Verdugo did not sign a letter of intent, she was honored for her contributions to the Hawks football team this year as the football manager. She was recognized for her contributions to the team in addition to her academic achievements and community service. For those combined contributions, the National Football Foundation created a new national award to honor her which will be known as the 12th Man Award. "She is the first person recognized by the National Football Foundation for her contributions promoting football here at Rio Rico High School," said Scurran. In addition to the recognition, Andrea will receive a scholarship. “I’m in such disbelief when they told me about the scholarship,” said Verdugo. She will attend the University of Oregon on an academic scholarship.

Scurran also commended the student-athletes and families in attendance for their support. "We succeed as a family, we succeed as a school. Help all your people. We have a lot of people out there that don't get this kind of recognition and that's what we do. We help. I've been here a little over a year, and let me tell you, that is your greatest strength. What you guys do for each other and what you do for your community. This is a very unique school in that regard. This is the 9th high school I've coached at and I've never been to a place with people like you, your heart, and your soul. That's what you contribute to all of us."