Marana hosts Ironwood Ridge as part of the Coaches for Charity Kickoff Classic on Friday night.
The Tigers are coming off a playoff win last season, their first since 1983. Now, Marana will stay in the spotlight by hosting perennial power Ironwood Ridge in what is considered week zero of the season.
"We got that first playoff win and had the whole community cheering on for us," said quarterback Trenton Bourguet,. "We're just ready to bounce back after last year and get ready for this year. Opening up with Ironwood Ridge, they're a solid team, and it should be a fun first game."
"We're really excited," said senior lineman Angel Ledezma. "We worked really hard all summer. We have a lot of pieces to put together, but we're looking forward to this first game.
"Marana was somebody that I thought people overlooked in the past," said head coach Andy Litten. "For us to be invited to this, and to be pre-ranked 14th in the state, is something of an honor. Our kids are excited about the recognition and it makes them work harder."
Sunnyside hosts Nogales on Thursday to begin the season.