Twice As Nice: Twins Pacing Football Power Pima

You may not be able to spot tiny Pima, Arizona on a map.

Tucked away near the foothills of beautiful Mount Graham, it sits about 80 miles (as the crow flies) from Tucson. The 2.5 square mile town was founded by Mormon settlers back in 1879.

It has no fast food chains or even a grocery store. You’ll only find only a gas station and a Dollar General.

The local high school isn’t much different from most here in the state. The Pima High Roughriders, with approximately 250 students, participate in a number of community projects. Next week they’ll celebrate homecoming with a five-day “Hunger Games” theme-filled week.

Oh, did we mention their football team has won 53 of their last 58 games after making their way to the Valley Friday and destroying Bourgade Catholic 33-0?

Football is woven into the fiber of the small community.

Many believe the heart of the current Roughriders’ football community are senior twins Jarrett and Justin Kartchner. The duo does a little bit of everything for head coach Jace Hancock and their skill sets won’t surprise you as four-sports stars competing in not only football but basketball, baseball and track.

“The biggest growth in their high school career[s] were between their sophomore and junior years,” Hancock said to Sports360AZ.com. “They got into the weight room…and found out how much the weight program can benefit them.”

Both standing six-foot-five and weighing around 200 pounds they’re easily recognized when they take the field and stand out even more when the whistle blows. The twins flashed their skill sets against overmatched Bourgade. Jarrett had a pair of long touchdown receptions and Justin recorded a handful of tackles for loss on defense.

The likeable duo, who plan to take their Mormon missions after graduation, epitomize the hard-working mining and agricultural community they’re from.

“There’s probably only about 2,000 people in our community,” Jarrett Kartchner said to Sports360AZ.com. “I know everyone in our high school. Actually, everyone in our junior high and elementary, too (smiling).

“We feed off motivation. Whatever sport it is it doesn’t matter. We’re just trying to do our best. Go to practice, work hard…and win.”

Hard to argue with the results.

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.