Yuma Catholics Richard Stallworth is Arizona highschool soccer’s greatest saved secret
Story by Evan Oscherwitz
It is rare for an underclassman quarterback to top his state in every major passing category as a freshman starter. It’s even rarer for a quarterback not to receive college offers afterward.
Welcome to the world of Richard Stallworth at Yuma Catholic. In the second year of 2020, Stallworth exploded through the air for 49 touchdowns and 3,803 yards, setting the Shamrocks to an unbeaten regular season record and earning them a trip to the 3A State Championship game. He was one of only two quarterbacks in the state to break the 3,000-yard mark, and his 133.1 passport rating was also the best in Arizona among qualified starters.
Incredibly, not a single college program offered a scholarship to Stallworth after its extraordinary second campaign. His youth and Yuma’s remote location likely played a role in keeping him off the radar of college coaches, but his performance on the field certainly didn’t.
Put on Yuma.
Richard Stallworth makes a perfect throw down the right sideline to give Yuma the quick lead.
What. A. Throw.
7-0 shamrocks, 9:01 minutes in Q1.
– Koki Riley (@KokiRiley) December 6, 2020
“We’re waiting for that first offer,” said Richard’s father and Yuma Catholic head coach Rhett Stallworth. “It’s hard to get people’s attention down here in Yuma. We hope to do it the old school way, where there’s just a lot of movie, put the movie out and people look at it and say ‘he’s a gamer’ and go from there. “
As impressive as his debut season was, Stallworth’s second act could be even more spectacular. With a year of in-game action and a full offseason, the options for Stallworth and Yuma Catholic are virtually limitless. He’ll be under pressure to follow his coming out party another extraordinary statistical season, but Richard says the idea of winning a championship and making his family proud is the only motivation he needs.
“It helped a bit to see Ty Thompson’s name (former Gilbert Mesquite quarterback) up there and him and me going back and forth, but I wasn’t that concerned about what was on the statistics sheet,” he said. “My goal in the next two years is to win a state title with my father and my little brother.”
“Richard! Richard! Richard!”
Richard Stallworth to Devon Black.
Yuma Katholik leads Pusch Ridge 17: 6 with 3:53 to go in the first half. pic.twitter.com/gQ8xLnTtJK
– ArizonaVarsity.com 🔥PREPS🔥 (@AZHSFB) December 6, 2020
Without an injury sustained in the first quarter of the state title game against Snowflake High School, Stallworth could already have a championship. Still, Richard and his father agree that the experience of playing on the big stage will pay off a lot this fall.
“I definitely think it will help,” said Rhett Stallworth. “We talked about it before we even did it and played for a state title. [You have to] pretend you’ve been there before and that’s hard to do. If you’ve already been there, you approach it differently, more mature and know how to deal with it. “
Richard’s appearance in the state championship game may have been cut short, but he saw more than the necessary number of playoff replays in the previous two games, where he easily dismantled Bourgade Catholic and Pusch Ridge, and these two games should be all the experience he needs to have Shamrocks lead to another deep playoff run.
Richard Stallworth with a DIME but it is recalled for holding pic.twitter.com/IQXgVJ9J1F
– Jackson Ramer (@JacksonYumaSun) December 13, 2020
Fully recovered from his injury, Stallworth has spent the off-season competing in passing tournaments with his teammates and working on improving his mobility, which he hopes will add another component to the Shamrocks’ already fatal attack .
“It’s really great to be out there doing whatever we have to do,” he said. “I’ve been working on going a lot faster than last season so that I’m not just a threat to the ball. I want to be able to play the ball when I need to, and that’s what I’ve been working on. “
To say he had no impact in last season’s running game would be an exaggeration as his five touchdowns on the ground were the second most on the team, but a true dual-threat version of Richard Stallworth would be opposing team for any nightmare material. Yuma Catholics attack is further aided by the return of her leading rusher and top three receivers from their run for the state title game, which will allow Stallworth to build on the chemistry he’s already developed with his skilled players.
It won’t be an easy task to reproduce its dominant performance in 2020, but all the pieces are there to make Stallworth an unstoppable force of nature in 3A. His high school training wheels, in case he ever needed them, have long been removed, and his enticingly close contact with a state championship has added another layer to his competitive flare-up. Playing in Yuma likely prevented Stallworth from receiving his full contribution, but if he can keep his current level of play, the best kept secret in Arizona high school football will no longer remain a secret.